Election Fever – Nominations to Results

Election fever is in full swing in the Bahamas and the UWI CHTM Campus is no exception. Having been on the campaign trail from nomination night (April 10th, 2017) until the release of results (April 21st, 2017); the competition was flaming hot, with campaigning starting as early as midnight on the April 12th.

Click this link to see the candidates.

Campaigns went digital as this year the nominees were not allowed to put up posters on campus. From online posters to music videos, we saw it all. In the words of our current Vice President, Keron Best; “Omg these people going all out. I love it, trust me!!!” We certainly saw the 2nd years expressing their desire to win both aggressively and intelligently through their media posts.

Intently listening to debate

This has been my third opportunity to witness elections at UWI CHTM and in all my experience this particular election was the most exciting yet. Nominees were unabashedly and boldly declaring their intentions to revamp the current system by bringing back proven established methods of getting things done by following the Mona Campus blueprint or creating new ways of reaching the student body and the public at large.

The speeches

Some of platform promises included:

  • Setting up sub-committees to assist the executive team
  • Improving health, safety and living conditions
  • Networking with the UB and the general public in marketing events
  • Attracting more Bahamian students to the CHTM family
  • Putting contingency plans in place to deal with crisis or other urgent student concerns
  • Creating a forum whereby students can voice their concerns to the Executive Team
  • Handling non-productive or rude Executive Team Members
  • Implementing strategies to foster the smooth transition of leadership after elections
  • Arming incoming students with the information they need to prepare and plan to participate in various activities/events
  • Bringing back the Big Brother & Sister Program

Reality Check

The Executive Team and Dr. Spencer, along with the student body were on hand to ask questions and force the candidates to consider some of the challenges they may face in producing some of their manifestos. Many were able to respond successfully under pressure.  The reality check they were given highlighted to them how very serious the business of leading the student body is.

Dr. Spencer in the audience

After ten days of campaigning it was time to for the students to choose the candidates who they believe would represent them best. On Friday, April 21st approximately 81% of the student body voted. However, when I went to vote, the computer room was  like a ghost town. The Executive Team were on hand to instruct us about the voting process. Many of us were torn between the presidential candidates and personally I believed that they should have been on the same team and not in opposition.

And the winner is…..

All of the candidates were gathered in the dining with the exception of Mariah Simmons who was not feeling well. The candidates were thanked for running a good campaign and then the  results were announced. My heart out went to each and everyone because there could only be one winner even though in my opinion they all did an outstanding job.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2017 CHTM Executive Team:

2017 Executive Team
Official results

Official result compliments of Neil McIntyre.

by Edith Ferguson, BSc. Tourism Management, 2017

Pageant. But wait, there’s more!

Here it is again, the month of April, the month where the annual Miss CHTM Pageant is usually held. This was the night where the long days and even longer nights of “working the catwalk” came to fruition.

Miss CHTM pageant is usually a big upcoming event as girls take on months of practice and dedication. They learn to walk with pride, speak with confidence, and perform a talent.  The pageant which usually showcases approximately five girls or more was reduced to three this year. After a few hiccups, on April 8th it was safe to say, hard work pays off.

The theme this year was Hidden Treasures and the contestants represented three special gems: Citrine worn by contestant number one, Jameelia Stephens; Amethyst worn by contestant number two, Mariah Simmons and Zircon worn by contestant number three, Kiyandra Tomlison. The lovely contestants walked the walk, and talked the talk as they paved their way to the grand finale and crowning of Miss CHTM 2017. Colourful displays of creativity, clothing and talent were showcased on stage before three guest judges and an enthusiastic audience. The panel of judges included: Mrs. Christine Rollins, member of staff, Mr. Eric Bain and Dr. Jennifer Bethel.


The MCs for the night were Keshae Bovell and Jasonta Bowen –  they welcomed the beautiful ladies to the stage as well as the ‘broadway’ performances from our very talented students.  The pageant started with an opening dance which was choreographed by the former Miss CHTM Winner (2015) Shanice Gittens.  The categories included Casual, Swimwear, Talent and Formal wear.

MCs Keshae Bovell and Jasonta Bowen

At the end the night, the winner of the pageant was contestant number three, Ms Zircon Kiyandra Tomlison from the beautiful island of Jamaica. Congratulations go out to Kiyandra for a wonderful job done. Congratulations also go out to the other contestants for doing a wonderful job and giving it their best.

On that day, the Miss CHTM Pageant was not the only special event that took place. Whilst the pageant ended on a happy note, the balance of the night was a tribute to departing direct, Dr. Andrew Spencer. The special segment dedicated to this news was filled with happy memories and sad undertones.  Heartfelt speeches were given as everyone took trips down memory lane. The night ended with beautiful vocal rendition by the lovely ladies of CHTM and cutting of a cake. Dr. Andrew Spencer, we wish you all the best in your future endeavours; you will be missed.

Overall, with the newly crowned Miss CHTM 2017 and the departure of Dr. Andrew Spencer, April 8th 2017 was not a night to easily forget. Congratulations and best wishes goes out again to the winner of the Miss CHTM pageant. We look forward to you becoming the best you and an outstanding ambassador for CHTM.

By Shanice Jordan, BSc. Tourism Management, 2017

Photos courtesy of Charlotte Rajkumar, Von Woodside, Donella Blackman, Kendrea Harris and Keron Best

Six Wonders of the Caribbean

The 2017 University of the West Indies, Conventions Sales, Planning  and Management class taught by Dr. Mark Lewis, hosted its first ever convention on Wednesday 12th April under the theme “The West Indies Tourism Federation Presents: 6 Wonders of the Caribbean.” It was hosted in the U.W.I dining room from 10 am to 1 pm. This theme highlighted six countries from which our student population originates – Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Trinidad and Tobago.


The conventions class was split into subgroups which dealt with aspects such as audio visual, décor, marketing and promotions and food and beverage. Prior to the convention, the décor team was in full effect bringing out their creative skills to showcase the countries.

And the convention begins! Upon arrival attendees were ushered to  seats by Latifah and Vernon. At first, there was a relatively small turnout, but later  more persons made their way to the convention (may be due to the free food but we’ll take it that they were interested).

Dr. Lewis  gave opening remarks thanking the class for the semester before handing the floor to the master of ceremonies, Mr. Keron Best, who brought enthusiasm and excitement throughout the event. The West Indies Tourism Federation (WITF) was introduced by Mr. Neil McIntyre, who gave a brief introduction on the general overview of the tourism sector highlighting the positive impacts.

The WITF was made of up of Ms. Melissa Leslie, Market Analyst for Barbados; Mr. Josiah Joseph, Tourism Specialist representing Guyana; Ms. Sashanee Nevers from the Ministry of Tourism in Jamaica; Ms. Tonya Tobierre, Market Researcher from the Ministry of Tourism in St Lucia; Mr. Keshae Bovell, Jr. Tourism Minister representing St Vincent; and lastly, Ms. Renissa Waldron, Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Tourism Development Company. Each gave insight into their countries popular areas and events catering to both locals and tourists. Their presentations were  aided by Powerpoint slides and video presentations.

WITF Members

Kudos to the audio visual team for a smooth showcase even with Ms. Leslie’s stubborn video!

Audio Visual Team

The breakout session followed after the presentations. The booths gave insightful information about the countries and tourist sites perfectly complimenting the presentations and using their persuasive skills to market the respective countries. A job well done to those who went above and beyond doing research and presenting on countries they were not from.

Then came the highly anticipated food! A spread of food from the different islands such as pineapple chow, cassava balls, fish cakes, bread, festival and a complimentary drink. A great job done by the Food and Beverage team, if only there were seconds! To culminate the convention, Ms. Shanelle Sterling gave the closing remarks saying a big thank you to the planning team and the attendees.

Food and Beverage Team

Thank you to Dr. Mark Lewis for giving the 2017 Convention Sales Planning and Management class an opportunity to put their theory into practice by planning and successfully executing their first ever convention. We do hope that this continues in years to come!

By Jayda Peter, BSc. Tourism Management 2017

Images courtesy of Crystal Alleyne

Tribute to Our Teachers

A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge and wisdom in the pupils.  Many overlook the work of a teacher from working with hard-headed students in the day to marking and preparing assignments at night.  The stresses of trying to cater to many students with different learning abilities can be tiring and frustrating but a teacher never fails to try to meet each of their students’ needs – squeezing, wringing, and pouring sweat and tears to get the best of their students each day.

Teachers have moved beyond their call of duty and have become nurses, counsellors, financial advisors, family and especially friends.  Whether they are having personal issues or have not slept in three days because of the work they do in and out of school, a teacher still is seen rendering a smile every morning.  You have inspired us to be confident, positive, ambitious and to be an inspiration as you were to us.

We, the students, beyond the shadow of a doubt love our teachers.  I asked some of the students to tell me reasons why they appreciate their teachers and this is what they have said.

“Ms. Mackay is very helpful, whenever you have a question you can ask her and she’ll try her best to answer it even if she has to get back to you.  She is always willing to listen, passionate about what she does and is inspirational.” ~ Tichina Smith

Ms. Mackay instructing Jenielle Rhone

Chef Farry is a blessing sent from heaven. If a person doesn’t understand a particular aspect in the work, she is always willing to lend a helping a hand.  She is the person to have special interactions in her class.  She has made my last year at CHTM really great and I’m glad I got to know such a wonderful person. ~ Kammara Jacob

Chef Farrington

“The teachers are amazing and delightful.  They are filled with integrity.” ~ Julio Salmon

“Dr. Lewis is always prepared, on time and makes the course easy to do even if the course content is difficult.” ~ Youksha Brown

Dr. Mark Lewis

“Mrs. Major and Dr. Lewis provide a familiarity that is reminiscent of my people back home whilst maintaining their Bahamian and Guyanese culture.  It helps pacify the fact that I am away from my family and true friends.” ~ Jamaal Gabriel

“Mrs. Major is always there for everyone and makes sure we all understand the course content.” ~ Youksha Brown

Mrs. Major supporting Culturama 2017

“Dr. Spencer although being predicted as a difficult teacher he has proven to us to be quite the opposite.  A teacher, who has become a friend to most, has shown that he truly cares as he always puts his students first.  I can always remember when we experienced Hurricane Matthew and Dr Spencer was the first person we saw asking if we were okay, although his home was damaged.” ~ Jalisa Cumberbatch

“Dr. Spencer has taught me to not limit myself, to think deeper and to explore my options.  He is an excellent teacher and a role model.  He believes in excellence and keeping your word.  He has taught me to always be better. He believes in you, so he expects you to believe in yourself too and surpass the limits you have set for yourself.” ~ Jenielle Rhone

Dr. Andrew Spencer

Here’s to you our heroes for your hard work. You have planted the seeds and they shall grow forever.  Thank you for your time, effort and love. As you continue on your journey planting seeds of knowledge remember this scripture Galatians 6:9 “Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up.”

By Jalisa Cumberbatch, BSc. Tourism Management, 2017

Photos courtesy of Jenielle Rhone, Sakele Watts, Dr Mark Lewis and Jalisa Cumberbatch

Lights, Camera, Action!

A picture is worth a thousand words…but a thousand pictures create a story of their own.

Our two years at CHTM are coming to an end, so to preserve our memories, celebrate our friendships and commemorate the family we’ve created, the graduating class of 2017 all (well most) came together last Sunday. We were dressed elegantly in white and black, for the annual graduating class photoshoot, taking a thousand pictures to help us create our story, our yearbook. The location, to fit the royals we believe we are, the historic Queen’s Staircase in New Providence.

Queens Staircase

Preparations started a week in advance, gathering shoes, dresses, shirts, accessories and more. Early on Sunday, the girls were hustling to get their hair completed and the boys getting their fresh cut. Some girls made appointments with our local make-up artist, Christal-Ann Downes, to get their makeup done, starting as early as 10:30a.m so that everyone could be ready for pick up at 3:00p.m.

The morning of the shoot, we learned that the student executive had a surprise for us; they arranged for us to release floating lanterns into the sea at nightfall.

CHTM filled The Queen’s Staircase that evening. After overcoming a small hiccup at the start of the evening, the pictures began! It’s safe to say that snapchat saw a whole lot of CHTM that day. As the photographer took the individual photos, the rest of the students became photographers of their own. Neil even filled in for the photographer as he took a little break, of course we had to act naturally when he returned.

The evening was passing and the students were beginning to get fatigued. Much thanks to Denroy, who managed to speed up the process so we could move to the group shots. The group shots proceeded; Class of 2017 photo, Hotel students, Tourism students (with the best group shot) and the house photos, respectively. By this time, we were exhausted! Thankfully it was time to leave this venue and head to the next, the much-needed food stop, which went longer than planned as we had to wait for the sun to set.

Food stop

We then headed over to Cable beach where the lanterns were lit and released. Some of us battled with the wind to keep our lanterns lit while others tried not to get their clothes wet. Nonetheless, it was a peaceful and poetic ending to the day, as the lanterns floated away and our lights shined brightly from the west, despite the fact that most drowned within seconds and a few caught on fire.

But we couldn’t leave just yet… CHTM never leaves without an exit! The men of CHTM tested their strength on this day as they had to push-start one of the buses so we could get home. Luckily, we have some ‘strong’ men with us and got home safely.

‘You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.’  -Dr. Seuss

By Charlotte Rajkumar, BSc. Tourism Management, 2017

Photos courtesy of Neil McIntyre, Sherika Dalaney, Shanice Jordon, Kerron Best, Tichina Smith, Melissa Leslie, Donella Blackman, Auri-Mae Thomas, Jasonta Bowen, Ayisha Elliot and Charlotte Rajkumar.

Videos courtesy of Anika Chambers & Jalisa Cumberbatch

Cruise Passengers and Sex Tourism in New Providence

The Tourism Marketing and Market Research Techniques course taught by Ms. Elizabeth Mackay conducted its first research day on  sex tourism in New Providence. The main purpose of this research was to train students on how to design and conduct research.

In the first phase we worked in teams to create the survey instrument which was a questionnaire. In the second phase we tested the instrument  to identify any ambiguities or structural defects. For the final phase we went to Junkanoo beach to administer the questionnaires to tourists. A quota sample was used and 180 questionnaires completed.

Data analysis underway

The majority of our respondents were from North America (86%) and were cruise ship passengers (93%). Their main reason for visiting was for leisure (82%); interestingly 2.8% indicated that they were in New Providence for sex tourism. Over 75% of our respondents were between 18 and 33 years old, 55% were female and the most common relationship statuses were single (42%), in a relationship (31%) and married (20%).

Sixty per cent of respondents classified sex between locals and tourists as fun, casual sex. Only 20% considered the encounter to be sex tourism and 19% categorized it as prostitution. Nevertheless many (53%) felt that sex between tourists and locals is a major contributor to sexually transmitted diseases.

With regards to prevalence the majority of respondents (57%) believe that sex tourism in New Providence had a moderate level of occurrence. 86% did not know anyone else who had engaged in sex tourism. 82% would said they would not encourage anyone to engage in sex tourism and 87% indicated that they were not likely to engage in sex with a local on some future trip to the destination.


The main reasons identified to explain sexual encounters between locals and tourists include pleasure (62%), drugs/alcohol (62%), adventure (52%), attraction (41%). Surprisingly monetary gain was identified as a main cause by only 25% of respondents.

The respondents who admitted to engaging in sex with a local while on holiday classified the exchange as casual sex (1%) or as an experiment (1%), cash was exchanged and there was unprotected sex. Findings reveal that visitors  who participate in sex tourism do so for pleasure with no intentions of pursuing a relationship.

The benefits of sex tourism for locals as identified by respondents are illustrated below:

The findings of the research were very interesting for us as a class. Our recommendation would be to conduct a parallel study for land-based tourists to see how those findings correlate with those of cruise passengers. Another interesting observation by almost all interviewers was the extent of harassment experienced by cruise passengers. Many were hostile and unwilling to speak with us.

One tourist shouted at us that he did not want to buy drugs or any illegal substances and told us that he had been approached 20 times to buy drugs. Another respondent explained that the anxiety and unwillingness was warranted as he and other cruise passengers had been ‘constantly approached to buy one thing or another since disembarking the ship’. An examination of cruise passenger harassment in New Providence is certainly a topic worth exploring in a future study.

By Jenielle Rhone, BSc. Tourism Management

Photos compliments of Charlotte Rajkumar and Jenielle Rhone © 2017