Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett is hailing as ‘transformational’ the initiative by  Sandals Resorts International to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) to train its employees, through the use of virtual and augmented reality.

Pointing out that the initiative had the potential to dramatically reshape the education and training landscape in the tourism sector and other industries Minister Bartlett said: “This platform offers the potential to advance education and training outcomes to unprecedented levels, thereby guaranteeing that our workforce is not just knowledgeable but also well-equipped to meet the future needs and challenges of a dynamic industry that operates in a rapidly changing environment.”

The Minister was making the keynote address at the Oct. 5 launch of a partnership between the Sandals Corporate University (SCU) and EON Reality, a global pioneer in virtual and augmented reality software development, at Sandals Royal Plantation hotel.

He observed that “in a dynamic and constantly changing global landscape, it is by way of innovations such as the SCU-EON XR Platform that we will be able to guarantee our continued relevance and maintain a competitive edge.”

Minister Bartlett said that such endeavours would guarantee the sustained position of tourism as a global leader in education and training benchmarks, pointing out that “the goal is not to merely establish a platform, but more importantly it is to herald the advent of a new paradigm in education transformation.”

Sandals has begun using the technology to train its over 16,000 employees across the Caribbean. Terming the launch of the SCU-EON XR Platform a milestone innovation, Minister Bartlett stated that the venture will mark the start of Jamaica’s tourism workers transitioning into a new technological age.

Terming the platform as revolutionary, Bartlett said “the utilization of artificial intelligence and extended reality will be employed to redefine training and capacity building, particularly within the tourism industry.”

He also saw the virtual platform playing a pivotal role in ensuring the resilience of the tourism sector and maintained that “in pursuit of excellence in tourism, it is always important to recognize and celebrate projects and innovators who push the boundaries beyond the transformative capabilities of modern technology.”

Also taking part in the launch were Executive Chairman, Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart; Senior Corporate Director, SCU, Dr Luz Longsworth; Chairman, SCU Advisory Board, Wayne Cummings; and Co-Founder and President of EON Reality, Mats Johannson, who demonstrated the use of the EON XR, with Minister Bartlett and Mr. Stewart personally participating.

In the photo 

Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett (centre) experiences the EON RX Platform virtual reality visual of setting up a kitchen, at the launch of a partnership arrangement between SCU and EON Reality for the virtual training of Sandals Resorts Caribbean employees, at Sandals Royal Plantation Resort in Ocho Rios. He is flanked by Executive Chairman, Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart (left) and Co-Founder and President of EON Reality, Mats Johannson.