Khalia Huggins – Youth Tourism Minister
Ms. Khalia Huggins of the Charlestown Secondary School (CSS) is the new Youth Tourism Minister of Nevis.
Ms. Huggins was adjudged winner from a field of eight participants from the three high schools on the island during the 2022 Bank of Nevis (BON) Limited Tourism Youth Congress (TYC) held on May 18 at the Nevis Performing Arts Center (NEPAC).
Mr. Kijari Huggins of the Gingerland Secondary School placed second and Ms. Lauchele Herbert of CSS placed third.
The TYC was hosted by the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Ministry of Tourism. During the opening ceremony, Mr. John Hanley, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, said the Congress is an opportunity for some of the best and brightest high school students on the island to engage in intellectually stimulating and thought provoking dialogue on issues that are highly relevant to the advancement of the Nevis Tourism Industry.
“There is so much that we have learned from these youngsters over the past several years during which we have engaged in this exercise. The students’ discussion is always of a very high standard and is always instructive to those of us who are currently practitioners and planners within the Nevis tourism Industry.
“In this forum a wide variety of issues such as sustainable tourism, entrepreneurship, and experiential tourism are explored and articulated. What has been particularly interesting over the past several years has been the incorporation of digital technology, which has become a standard feature of youth congress presentations.”
Ms. Zahnela Claxton, Principal Education Officer in the NIA’s Department of Education, commended all stakeholders who contributed to making the Congress possible. She expressed gratitude to the title sponsor BON on behalf of the Ministry and Department of Education for its support of children and the development of Nevis.
“We know that true education reflects the holistic development of our students, and this is just one avenue through which the participants as well as those students in the audience can learn and develop skills which nay have otherwise been untapped,” she noted while congratulating the Ministry of Tourism for its commitment to ensuring the children are aware of Nevis’ tourism product, thus ensuring the sustainability of the island’s main industry.
BON Marketing Officer Mr. Pheon Jones said he was happy to see the return of the event after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the participants of the TYC always brought forth innovative ideas and since tourism is one of the biggest revenue-generating sectors for Nevis, it is good to have the youth as part of the discussion.
Ms. Huggins is the second consecutive winner from Charlestown Secondary, following in the footsteps of Ms. Brianne Chapman in 2019. In addition to being named Youth Tourism Minister, she was awarded the 1st place trophy, a gift certificate for dinner for two at the Golden Rock Inn, and $300 in a Youth Saver’s Account at the Bank of Nevis. All of the students received participation trophies.
Nevis has been participating in this exercise for over 10 years with excellent results. Two former Youth Ministers of Tourism, Ms. Neila Jones and Mr. Rol J Williams have won the regional Caribbean Tourism Youth Congress (CTYC).
Ms. Huggins will represent Nevis at the CTYC scheduled for October 2022 in the Cayman Islands.