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ANTIGUA WILL HOST OECS CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM TRAINING
Tuesday 31st August 2010

Antigua & Barbuda will become the co-ordinating hub for hospitality and tourism in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) with the establishment of the OECS Centre of Excellence for Hospitality and Tourism training. Executive Director of Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute (ABHTI) Calvin Ambrose said the proposal was finalised at an inaugural meeting of the OECS Tourism and Hospitality Task Force in St. Lucia recently.

“While the hub will be located in Antigua as one of the member states, governance and management will be determined at the OECS level with each member state having a vote,” Ambrose said. “It is important to note that it is anticipated that the model will be implemented by the EDF under funding from the EU, and the project valued at 6 million euros with an allocation of 4.4 million will be utilised to construct a 20-room hotel and two additional classroom blocks on a 10-acre property of the Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute.”
 Ambrose said the meeting attracted representatives of various hospitality training programmes within the eight members of the regional grouping. “The mandate of the task force is to further the proposed model of establishing an OECS network of excellence in hospitality and tourism which was approved earlier in the year by ministers of tourism and CARIFORUM. The model provides for a single entity comprised of a single co-ordinating hub to be located here in Antigua & Barbuda and supported by nodes of specialisation in each of the other eight territories in the OECS,” the ABHTI executive director said.
The inaugural meeting was held to “flesh out” the task force’s terms of reference, and that body is now mandated to fine-tune the proposal with a view to finalising the working document to go forward to establish the network, Ambrose. Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute is located at Dutchman’s Bay.

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