Minister of Tourism Tours SHTM Training Hotel

Chef Khalil Campbell, (right) Programme Director, Culinary Arts, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management shows off state-of-the art food preparation equipment inside the training hotel’s Culinary Demonstration Lab, much to the delight of Minister Bartlett (2nd left), Chancellor Carney (1st right) and Prof. Colin Gyles (left), Acting President. In the background are Dr. Carey Wallace (left), Executive Director, Tourism Enhancement Fund and Mr. Michael Edwards, Programme Director, Baking Technology, SHTM.  

Chancellor, University of Technology, Jamaica, Mr. Lloyd Carney during his week of engagements at the Papine Campus, between June 13 – 16, 2023,  welcomed Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett CD, MP on a tour of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM) training hotel. 

The Chancellor, joined by members of the University’s Executive Management team, welcomed the Hon. Edmund Bartlett and a delegation from the Ministry of Tourism and associated agencies – the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCO) on Friday, June 16, 2023.  The Minister’s visit followed an invitation by the Chancellor and was slated by the Ministry as a fact-finding mission under its Destination Assurance Programme, which seeks to enhance tourism-related assets in Jamaica. 

Prior to his tour of the SHTM Hotel, the Minister and his delegation participated in a brief introductory session on the facilities.  An informative presentation on the capacity of the training site was led by Dean, College of Business and Management, Dr. Andrea Sutherland.  The Dean noted that the facility which was constructed under the UTech, Jamaica Enhancement Project in 2015 features, among other amenities, state-of-the-art culinary labs, lecture theaters, several suites, a restaurant, a dining area, and a baking lab.  Dr. Sutherland informed that the opportunity exists for branding several of these areas. 

In his remarks, Chancellor Carney indicated to the Minister and his visiting party that the state-of-the-art hotel training facility places UTech, Jamaica at the forefront and on a high competency list to offer all of the services required in some of Jamaica’s best-rated hotels. 

“Not only do we provide direct hotel capabilities training, but everything that a Riu or a Sandals need – from the management of their sewer system…management of their cooler system…we at UTech provide every skill necessary to run a large-scale hotel” asserted Chancellor Carney.  

The Chancellor also explained that currently, the training hotel serves as a practical learning facility for scores of students undertaking degree and certificate courses in tourism and hospitality at UTech, Jamaica to gain hands-on training.  However, the institution’s management team is lobbying the government for its assistance to have the training hotel evolve into a functioning local hotel whilst maintaining its current operations as a practical training ground for students.  


Minister Bartlett raps with (l-r) Mr. Torne Dixon and Mr. Devauny Brown, Internet of Things (IoT) Product Developers at PreeLabs Limited, a start-up technology-based company incubated at UTech, Jamaica’s Technology Innovation Lab (TIC). Preelabs team members are specialists in IoT embedded systems design, robotics, programming, and product development, providing customized solutions to their clients’ needs. 

Chancellor Carney stated further that with the convenience of both the training hotel and the Technology Innovation Centre on the campus, UTech, Jamaica can be seen as the “real training ground” for not only future tourism and hospitality professionals of the new digital era, but also for those in business and IT fields.   

Referencing Virtual Reality Jamaica Limited, Chancellor Carney stated “one of our start-up companies currently being hosted at our TIC is working on a 3D modeling simulation.” The nature of the technology product as described by Chancellor Carney includes the digitization of tourist sites and other attractions to create a virtual vacation experience for prospective visitors as far as in Dubai.  He added that this provides a great opportunity for collaboration between UTech, Jamaica and the Ministry of Tourism in the interest of boosting development, including training individuals to meet the demands of the industry. 

In response, Minister Bartlett noted that his Ministry is invested in “human capital development as a key strategy for growth,” citing that even as the nation approaches the post-COVID-19 era in which approximately “$72 million” was lost due to the global supply chain disruption, only about “18 percent is back.”  

Against this backdrop, Minister Edmund Bartlett applauded the present efforts of UTech, Jamaica and encouraged his hosting officials to further incorporate the use of technology in its methods and practices. This he noted as “tourism of the future, driven by experiences, is going to be significantly influenced by the Internet of Things.”  Minister Bartlett emphasized that “we have to look at a future of educational development which is different from what we are used to so I would be very interested to see what your curriculum is going to look like in the context of this new tourism that is emerging.” Concluding his remarks, the Minister told the UTech, Jamaica team that “two key elements of the future are resilience and sustainability and you could become that institute here that drives resilience and sustainability for the entire region.” 

Intrigued by the information shared regarding the capacity-building innovation being undertaken at the Technology Innovation Centre (TIC), the Minister extended his visit to meet with some clients at the technology-based start-up business incubator.  Prior to his departure, Minister Bartlett signaled his interest in holding further talks with UTech, Jamaica stakeholders in pursuit of partnerships with the institution in the areas of tourism and hospitality development.

The Hon. Edmund Bartlett (left), Minister of Tourism meets members of the UTech, Jamaica Executive Management Team on his arrival at the UTech, Jamaica School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM) Training Hotel on Friday, June 16, 2023. Pictured (l-r) are Miss Marion Brown, Vice President and University Registrar, Dr. Haldane Johnson, Deputy President, Dr. Andrea Sutherland, Dean, College of Business and Management. (2nd row, from left) are Dr. Anthonio Anderson, Vice President and Chief Information and Technology Officer and Mrs. Simone Jackson -McGregor, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer.  


Michelle Beckford 
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 876 970-5299