The Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute (ABHTI), formerly known as the Hotel Training Center began in 1977 as a unit of the Antigua State College at Golden Grove which came out of a merger of the Leeward Islands Teachers’ Training College, and the Golden Grove Technical College. At that time the Golden Grove Technical College included a Hotel and Catering Department which was started through British sponsorship. In 1978, all the 6th Forms of the island’s secondary schools were brought together to form the Advanced Level Department at the Antigua State College.
In 1981, the Hotel and Catering Department moved to a larger space at a building that previously served as the Officers’ Club of the United States Base Facilities at Dutchman’s Bay and was renamed the Hotel Training Center. The Center operated as a department of the Ministry of Tourism with a mandate to educate and train human resources of Antigua and Barbuda to meet the needs of the tourism and hospitality industry. The Hotel Training Center offered basic training in front desk operations, housekeeping, restaurant and bar service, and food preparation.
The growth of the tourism industry led to the upgrade of the Centerjumpdealers to meet the needs of the industry. The Government of Antigua & Barbuda with the assistance of the European Union, through its European Development Fund (E.D.F.), closed the Center in 1998 for refurbishment and expansion of the facilities. During this time the Center operated from the Multipurpose Center.
In October 2003 the upgrading of the facilities was completed and the Center reopened with a new name and improvements which included improved teaching facilities of additional lecture classrooms, demonstration laboratories, state of the art kitchen, refurbished main building with expanded restaurant, bar, and a meeting room and a new administrative block with library, computer rooms and faculty room.
The institution offers courses to new entrants to the tourism industry between the ages of 16 and 25 years. Students have the option of pursuing a 2 year programme of study or a 1 year programme. The courses are full time, five days per week and for 10 or 20 months duration. On completion of this period, students are attached to an industry partner for a two or three months’ period of internship to gain practical experience.
ABHTI has developed linkages with the University of the West Indies for accreditation of the courses in Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts. This arrangement provides students with the opportunity to complete two years of training at the Institute to gain an Associate degree and also to complete the Bachelor’s degreekirstenogsoren at the University of the West Indies – Cave Hill, Barbados campus with an additional two years of studies. The main curricula of the Institute are that of the Caribbean Tourism Learning System (CTLS) developed by the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
ABHTI is a statutory body of the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy run by a board of directors.