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Beaches’ New Years Tourism Gift

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Beaches Turks and Caicos has proclaimed its recently concluded Travel Agent Megafams programme as its most successful ever with over 2,720 of North America’s top travel agents visiting the country, most for the first time.

The much-celebrated orientation programme saw agents jet into Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands from key travel gateways throughout the vital North American region via 20 specially-chartered airplanes, including six wide bodied jets, at a cost of over US$5 million to the resort company.

Sandals Resorts International Chairman Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart commented, “The Travel Agent Megafams is the single biggest trade programme ever seen in the Turks and Caicos Islands and this latest campaign has generated unprecedented levels of the exposure for Providenciales and the country as a whole. It is a huge exercise and once you factor in the cost of chartering the aircraft, the taxis, food and beverage, entertainment and everything else, it’s a substantial investment but the long term benefits to the destination are immeasurable.”

“The quality of the agents we bought down to Provo was of paramount importance. They were the best of the best; each highly qualified and carefully veted beforehand and in many cases travel hundreds of miles to the airport from the surrounding cities and states to attend. These individuals possess the ability to have a game-changing effect on the TCI tourism industry and bringing them here and giving them the chance to experience up close and personal what the Turks and Caicos has to offer makes all the difference in the world.”

As many as 85% of the visiting travel agents experienced the TCI for the first time with the Beaches Turks and Caicos team rolling out the ‘red carpet’ treatment with resort tours, island-wide excursions, catamaran tours as well as plenty of free time to explore the country all featuring in the agents’ exciting three day itinerary. In addition, each travel agent was required to attend a four-hour training course arming them with the education they need to successfully sell the destination once they reach home.

Jessica Lang from Travel Planners International in Florida commented, “It was a pleasure to experience Turks & Caicos for the very first time in the great care of Sandals. My stay at the Beaches Resort exceeded my expectations. It was a true treat for my soul to be surrounded by so much beauty, appetizing cuisine, and fun filled activities. Working for a large host agency, I love helping our travel agents sell not only more travel, but quality travel, and the Beaches Resort at Turks & Caicos is guaranteed to surpass the expectations, as it did for me.”

Stewart also paid tribute to the Turks and Caicos Government who contributed US$500k to the programme under a previous agreement, “the Travel Agent Megafams are not just about our resort, it’s about the Turks and Caicos Islands as a destination and I publically applaud the TCI Government for their role in ensuring the programme was both feasible and memorable. The majority of those agents who attended had never been to the TCI before so it’s easy to see the impact that this has had in the North American agent community.”

Travel agents visited from 19 key US and Canadian hubs throughout North America including Boston, New York, Newark, Rochester, Fort Lauderdale, Baltimore, Montreal, Cleveland, Atlanta, Orlando, Dallas, Houston, Nashville, Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto, Miami, Charlotte and Westchester.

The island’s taxi drivers played an instrumental part in what is usually a slow period on the TCI tourism calendar and did a remarkable job transferring the groups to and from the airport and, in some case, providing island-wide orientation trips for the agents.

“I have received a multitude of the most tremendous messages and letters from agents commenting on everything from the food they ate and the service of resort staff right through to the taxi drivers and the immigration department, who did a marvellous job of fast tracking them through the airport. The word of mouth being generating is simply priceless and I take my hat off to His Excellency Governor Beckingham, Premier Ewing and his team, the opposition leader Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, the great local hoteliers, the people of the TCI and everyone else who played a part in the programme’s success. Special mention must also go to Beaches Managing Director Don Dagenais and his resort team who blew them away; we are already reaping the benefits of the programme and plan to do more in the future,” Stewart concluded.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Crime

Five Cays Shooting Death

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

June 22nd, 2024.

Homicide detectives of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force are actively investigating a murder in Five Cays, Providenciales.

Initial reports indicate that shortly after midday, the Police Control Room received several calls stating that gunshots were being heard in the area of the Community Center.

RT&CIPF officers responded to the given location and found the lifeless body of a male with what appeared to be gunshot wounds about the body.

The RT&CIPF is asking anyone with information that may help in this investigation to contact the closest police station, 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 to provide any information anonymously.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app to share information.

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Rescued

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Media Release

June 22nd, 2024.

 

Two occupants of an aircraft were rescued around 3:28 p.m. today (June 22) following an intensive sea search around Providenciales.

The occupants –two males- are currently receiving medical attention.

The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force can confirm that shortly after midday, the Air Tower received a report regarding an aircraft landing on water (ditching) approximately 11 miles from Northwest Point, Providenciales.

The aircraft had departed from the United States and experienced engine failure.

Having received reports of the incident, a Strategic Coordinating Group with representation from the RT&CIPF, the TCI Civil Aviation Authority, the Airport Authority, the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies, and the Ministry of Health was activated to coordinate the search and rescue.

The group worked closely with partners from OpBat and received confirmation that a United States Coast Guard helicopter had successfully rescued the two persons after three hours.

The victims were brought ashore.

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Mat Newton said, “I wish to express my profound gratitude and acknowledge the invaluable support of our national and international partners.

“This successful rescue operation is a testament to our collective strength and coordination. With the full support from our US partners and the local marine community, I extend my heartfelt thanks to our OpBat partners and the crew of the US Coastguard helicopter, as well as the Marine Branch of the RT&CIPF, the staff of the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR), the Department of Fisheries and Resources Management, Caribbean Cruisin, and vessels from the TCI Search and Rescue Association.

“We are now in the process of initiating an investigation into the accident in close liaison with the Civil Aviation Authority.”

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Swiss-Canadian Pilot speaks from Hospital bed; was THREE HOURS in TCI waters after Crash Landing

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By Wilkie Arthur, Danae Dennie, Deandrea Hamilton

Editorial Team

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 22, 2024 – For three hours in the wide open Atlantic Ocean, the two men who were aboard a twin engine aircraft forced on Saturday to crash land in waters near Providenciales held onto hope and each other, certain they would be rescued. Miraculously both men are now back on dry ground and are expected to make a full recovery, with local doctors reporting only superficial wounds as evidence of their harrowing experience.

Islanders in the Turks and Caicos learned about the aircraft mayday around 12:30 p.m.

“The Coast Guard received information from dispatch.  Survivors contacted dispatch by satellite phone saying they can see the helicopter.  Two persons in the water wearing yellow life jackets.  Several boats, as well as helicopter still actively searching,” was a key update shared with us around the time the men were pulled from the water.

It was shared with Magnetic Media that the private flight took off from Palm Beach, Florida around 8 a.m. on June 22 that the duo ran into some problems over the Turks and Caicos where they had planned to make a fuel stop.  Instead of refueling, there was an “orchestrated decent”; something pilots are trained to perform in the event of an emergency.

Wilkie Arthur of Eagle Legal News secured an interview with the man piloting the plane. He confirmed it was a twin engine aircraft, that both people on board survived and that he was Swiss-Canadian, his passenger, a Frenchman.

“The water was warm (pilot laughs) and I knew it was important for us to stay together, with each other and I had the watch and he had the phone and we just tried to get somebody to find us because it is hard to see such a small airplane in the swells but if they know that some people are alive, then they keep searching.”

The Swiss Canadian who opted to withhold his identity said that he was in good spirits and commended the rescue effort.

“I guess everybody is happy.  It was good coordination from local and US Coast Guard and the folks here, taking care of us.”

The men are being treated at the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre in Providenciales, brought in by ambulance minutes before 5 p.m.

Mr. Arthur spoke to the pilot as he lay, bandaged but grateful in a hospital bed.

In a press release, the Turks and Caicos Minister for Aviation, Arlington Musgrove expressed his thanks to the various agencies and the TCI boating community for their rapid response.

“Your service is commendable and is demonstrable of the rich community spirit that exists in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

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