Prince of Songalka University – Phuket Thailand
June 12, 2008
Tourism Development Officer in the Ministry of Tourism on Nevis Ms. Nicole Liburd described her participation in the fifth International Tourism Management course in Thailand from May 14th to June 16th 2008, as having been beneficial to Nevis.
She made the comment during an interview with the Department of Information on June 11, 2008 on the heels of her return to Nevis at the end of an international tourism course which was held at the Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus. It was offered locally through the Organization of American States (OAS) by the Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency (TAIC), Foreign Affairs Department of the Government of Thailand. There were 25 participants from 18 countries which included Nevis and Cuba, the only participants from the Northern Hemisphere.
“We were also to do health and medical tourism and it amazed me that we [in Nevis] have a lot more history with regards to health tourism but we have not developed it fully so that might be something we can look at. [With regard to] our tourism policies and our product planning, we must have more cohesive methods for how we check our statistics, visitor arrivals [and] the revenue from tourism and so on.
“It is important for us to now put measures in place to capture this information because it makes the planning of tourism easier, it makes the allocation of funds for tourism easier and these are things a lot of agencies require in order to give us assistance as well. So yes there were a lot of things that I think I can put in place here [in Nevis] and I am encouraged to share with my co workers,” she said.
According to Ms. Liburd, the course covered a number of subject areas in tourism management and destination planning and participants were exposed to Tourism in Asia to understand the difference in tourism in the Asian market.
“We did Tourism Planning and Policy; we did Tourism Behaviour; Consumer Behaviour we did Tourism Marketing and Marketing Strategies we also did Destination Management Concepts; Tourism Impact; Human Resource Development; E Marketing, Meeting Incentive Conference and Exhibitions. We did Sustainable Tourism Development and we also did Health and Medical Tourism.
“It was a lot it was roughly between 130-160 hours because of the course content was supported with field trips to different venues,” she said.
Ms. Liburd said the course was important to her because of her work at the Research and Development Unit in the Ministry of Tourism on Nevis to understand not just the tourism in Nevis but to see it in a broader scope.
She explained that she was also able to learn about the various tourism markets through the participants and was also able to present a country report in which she presented the tourism market in Nevis. Ms Liburd believed that it was important to learn from partners both near and far involved in the tourism industry.
“I feel it is very important for us when we are working in tourism to have a broad view of the industry so we can learn from our partners and our neighbours because we may not reinvent the wheel and there will be no point in doing that when you have limited funds, limited resources and limited staff you have to be able to implement and do certain initiatives I think this is a good way for me to do that.
“I was very encouraged and awakened to a lot of different concepts within tourism so I found it very, very interested,” she said.
Ms. Liburd also thanked those who made it possible for her participation in the course.
“I would like to thank the OAS, the Human Resources Department of the NIA as well as the Foreign Affairs Department in the federal government because they assisted me with the initial application process and through my application I was later accepted.
“My understanding was that there were about 750 applicants that were narrowed down to 21, so to me it was a real big deal to be able to be part of that and to be able to give them a lot of information about my country as well. There was a lot of exchange of information,” she said.