New junior minister of tourism elected

Ti-iha Edwards of Claire Hall High School (center) was chosen Wednesday as the 2022-23 junior tourism secretary. Akemi Ducray of St. Anthony’s High School (left) came in first and Neilisha Mara of Antigua Girls’ High School (right) came in second. (Photo by Antonio Makeida)

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Makeida Antonio

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Antigua and Barbuda will be represented by a new junior tourism minister at the Caribbean Youth Congress (CYC) in the Cayman Islands this September.

CYC is an educational competition that brings together students aged 14 to 17 from Caribbean Tourism Organization member countries to discuss regional tourism issues.

Ti-iha Edwards, a second grade student at Claire Hall High School, will be the new Junior Tourism Minister for 2022-23 and will travel as a CYC delegate.

Edwards won the speech competition at the National Tourism Youth Congress held on Wednesday at the Hospitality Training Institute of Antigua and Barbuda. She defeated seven other young contestants from Antigua schools by displaying a restrained demeanor even under pressure.

Edwards expressed her excitement after the announcement that she had won the title.

“I feel very good, I am proud not only of myself, but of all the work that I have done in these few weeks. It’s nice to know that all the work you’ve done is bringing something fruitful and positive,” Edwards told the Observer on Wednesday.

In her spare time, Edwards plays volleyball and says it’s one of the things that makes her happy. She also attributed her expanded vocabulary to her love of reading, a tool she eloquently used to achieve success in the competition.

For those considering becoming the next junior tourism secretary, Edwards has some helpful advice.

“You will be nervous, don’t let that nervousness get the better of you. This will lead to a lot of stuttering and errors. Relax, calm down, remember that after this competition you will look back at this competition and say: “I wish I were calmer,” she said.

She also thanked her mother for helping to prepare.

“Special thanks to my mom for helping me with everything,” Edwards added.

Meanwhile, Akemi Ducray of St. Anthony’s High School came in first and Neilisha Mara of Antigua Girls’ High School came in second.

Participants, as well as their mentors, will receive prizes including tablets, accommodation, restaurant reservations and spa treatments approved by the Ministry of Tourism.

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