Spending lots of time in the kitchen and an insatiable love of food have always appealed to Trinidadian Selwyn Wickham. It’s not surprising that he has chosen to develop his culinary interests through Jamaica’s Western Hospitality Institute (WHI) which boasts an accredited Associate degree in Culinary Chef Management and a Bachelor’s in Hospitality and Tourism Management.
Wickham is among the first batch of non-Jamaican students in the Bachelor’s program to pursue the practical section of the program in Canada. Participants spend eight weeks here in the summer pursuing a syllabus that includes Research Management Marketing Matrixes and Applications, Financial Planning and Management, Hotel/Resort Development, Paradigm Shift and Future Trends and French as a Second Language.
As part of the summer program offered by the WHI and the Constellation College of Hospitality, the students also put on a travel and trade exposition which was held last Friday at Seneca College Residence.
In addition to Trinidad & Tobago, the program has evolved to include participants from Haiti, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Lucia and the Turks & Caicos Islands.
WHI founding president Dr. Cecil Cornwall said the Canadian exposure enhances the participants’ personal and professional development.
“About 90 per cent of the students have never been on a plane before, yet they are studying tourism and serving tourists,” he said. “While in Canada, they get a chance to see the infusion of different pockets of culture from around the world and better understand the guests that come to Jamaica and other Caribbean islands.
“By putting on this trade show, they are selling Jamaica – the destination and product. The government does not have to pay for this advertisement.”
Jamaican Jason Miller says he’s benefitted from the Canadian experience.
“It has opened my eyes to various aspects of the industry,” said the former Wolmer’s student.
The graduates are expected to fill management positions in the Caribbean’s growing tourism sector.