October 13, 2006

Two teenagers to represent SVG in Bahamas

Two Vincentian teenagers will be representing this country at a major regional tourism contest in The Bahamas this month.

They are Yahtibah Speedwell and Rianna Thomas.

Speedwell is among 26 finalists of the 2006 “MY CARIBBEAN” ESSAY CONTEST”. Her entry was selected from among 114 entries this year. The students, aged eight to 12 were required to submit a 250-word essay on the topic: “Imagine that you are a travel journalist and you have been assigned to write a story about your country for Condé Nast Traveler. Remember that our editorial mission is Truth in Travel, and we like to go beneath the surface to show people more than just the usual tourist spots.”{{more}}

The competition is opened each year to the 32 member states of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation and this year 114 students from 26 countries entered.

Each finalist and a chaperone will fly to the Caribbean Tourism Conference (CTC) in Grand Bahama Island, which is being held this year from October 22 to October 24. A grand prize-winner and two runners-up will be announced during the awards ceremony on October 24. A US$2,000 scholarship for the winner and two US$500 scholarships for the runners-up will be awarded.

The contest, sponsored by Condé Nast Traveler, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, American Airlines, Pelican Bay Hotel, UNEXSO Grand Bahama, and the Grand Bahama ISLAND magazine, educates elementary school children in the Caribbean about the importance of tourism to their country.

The winning essay will be published in the January issue of Condé Nast Traveler, on news stands on December 26, 2006.

Thomas, the current Young Leaders National Debate Winner and student of the St Vincent Community College is this year’s delegate who will participate in the 2006 CTO Youth Congress and Conference also scheduled for The Bahamas October 22 – 26.

The Youth Congress is sponsored by Travel + Leisure Magazine along with Air Jamaica and the Naismith Basketball Foundation. Their goal is to stimulate greater awareness and excitement about tourism among young people in the Caribbean. The various conference sessions, including the Youth Congress and Essay Reading will be streamed live on the Internet at There will also be a link at