The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has reached agreement with the Nova Scotia, Canada-based e-learning courseware development company, Velsoft, to further advance the regional tourism development agency’s virtual training programme.
As part of the memorandum of understanding, Velsoft will provide CTO access and hosting to its learning management system and manage the Caribbean Tourism Institute, the CTO’s online campus developed by the Canadian firm.
The new portal is an open online educational, training and development learning centre designed to provide affordable access to training opportunities for everyone who works, or aspires to work, in the Caribbean tourism and hospitality sector.
“Velsoft has been working closely with us to help us realise one of our key human resources development objectives of increasing the access of Caribbean nationals to high quality training and educational opportunities,” said Neil Walters, the CTO’s acting secretary general. “This partnership has allowed us to develop and offer this virtual training hub and will continue to help us in our mission to develop and design relevant e-learning content, which will benefit our tourism and hospitality sector.”
From its inception, the CTO has been a strong proponent of human resources development in the tourism industry and has as one its strategic objectives, to assist its member countries in developing and strengthening their human capital to better enable them to offer high levels of professional service.
The launch of the online training platform and courses is an important step in achieving this objective and to support ongoing training and build regional and institutional capacity.
“What the Caribbean Tourism Institute presents us with is a blended approach to learning, utilising synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods as this online platform will allow for self-paced instruction but will also offer occasions when it will host real-time training and development sessions,” said Sharon Banfield, the CTO’s director of resource mobilisation and development.
As part of the agreement, Velsoft will provide all technologies to convert CTO courses into e-learning and will allow the institute full access to its non-accredited courses, which will be promoted under the institute’s brand.
“Velsoft is excited to partner with the Caribbean Tourism Organization on the ambitious initiative to raise the collective level of skills in the Caribbean’s tourism sector. The Caribbean Tourism Institute represents the easiest and most cost-effective way to provide personalized training that is both culturally and contextually relevant,” said Jim Fitt, chief executive of Velsoft.
“Our intention is to release at least two new online courses each month as a way of ensuring the Caribbean Tourism Institute maintains its commitment to ensuring the latest and most applicable training is made available to the over 2.5 million professionals in the Caribbean’s hospitality and tourism sector, ” he added.