NewsFIU President sees New University as ‘Perfect Avenue’ for Caribbean Tourism Education

St. Lucia News OnlineJuly 4, 202220026 min

Castries, Saint Lucia, Thursday, October 28, 2021:– The President of Florida International University (FIU) says his institution is proud to associate with the University of the West Indies (UWI) and Sandals Resorts International (SRI) to create the Caribbean’s first institution of higher learning exclusively committed to the region’s vital Travel and Hospitality sectors.

“We are proud to partner with SRI and The UWI, two highly-respected institutions in the Caribbean and both leaders in the hospitality industry,” said FIU President Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg, at the virtual launch of the Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart International School of Hospitality & Tourism last weekend.

He said FIU “already welcomes international students from 20 different Caribbean countries” and “offering even more students the opportunity to study, learn and live in two hospitality destinations, learning and working from iconic leading institutions and brands like Sandals, The UWI and FIU, is historic.”

Rosenberg also acknowledged SRI Executive Chairman Adam Stewart — a FIU graduate – who, he said, “has followed in his father’s footsteps in business, leadership and generosity.”

According to Rosenberg, the partnership “will create a perfect avenue for students looking to advance their hospitality education in two of the top tourist destinations in the world, resulting in a new generation of hospitality leaders.”

According to Stewart – whose father “Butch” built and led SRI until his untimely death last year, “My dad spent much of his life pioneering and building the regional tourism industry.”

Therefore, he added, “There truly is no better way to celebrate his legacy than by working with The UWI and FIU to ensure the sustainable development of the region’s tourism through training and investment in our young talent.”

He continued, “I know this project would have made him so happy and we cannot wait to cut the ribbon and officially welcome our first cohort of students.”

Pointing to SRI’s commitment to both history and the future, Stewart said: “Creating opportunity through education is fundamental to our organization and to the successful future of the Caribbean, as it is to all people seeking a better life for themselves and their families.

“This conviction, so deeply held by my father, was fostered by experience and in long conversations begun so many years ago with the great Professor, Sir Hilary Beckles.”

Stewart said the tripartite partnership is “deeply meaningful and the work ahead extremely vital.”

He also said, “Sandals has proven that what is born of this region can successfully compete against any brand on an international stage.

“Now, together with powerhouses, The UWI and my alma mater FIU – two world-leading academic institutions — we embark upon building the world’s premier institute for tourism, the Caribbean’s economic engine.

“This is truly, a dream come true.”

The virtual launch was also addressed by UWI Vice Chancellor Beckles.

The new university, dedicated to keeping Caribbean tourism on the global frontline and established through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the three entities, will be based in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart International School of Hospitality & Tourism is named after the late top regional tourism entrepreneur, who was also posthumously honored with The Saint Lucia Cross (the nation’s highest award) at the island’s 42nd Independence Anniversary celebrations last February.

The university will offer several existing tourism-related programmes, including the BSc in Tourism Management and the PhD in Tourism/Hospitality.

It will also offer newly-developed programmes such as the BSc in Hospitality Operations, BSc in Attractions and Events Management and Master of Science programmes in Hospitality Management and Events Management, from FIU.

St. Lucia News Online

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