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T&T Heats up with Festivals, New Meetings Space and Hotel Deals this Summer



image004PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – June 9, 2015 – Rated the “happiest” Caribbean nation for the second time by the World Happiness Report, the dual-island nation of Trinidad & Tobago is sizzling with hot hotel deals, a thriving culinary scene and a diverse mix of cultural events this summer. With a 20 percent increase in US arrivals recorded in the first quarter of 2015, the destination is gearing up for summer with a selection of new restaurants, hotels, festivals and deals for US travelers.

New Meetings & Convention Space
Shaw Park Complex, Tobago
Set to officially open in July 2015, Tobago’s Shaw Park Complex, situated in Scarborough, is a first-rate multi-functional facility with theater, indoor sport, conference and convention amenities designed to cater to the needs of international, regional and local event organizers. The facility features a main hall that seats 3,700 and six other meeting/lecture rooms, ranging from 150 to 286 seats and will address four pillars of development including business, tourism, culture and sport. For more information, visit, call (868) 461-4112 or email

Hotel News and Updates
Bacolet Beach Club, Tobago
Bacolet Beach Club, one of Tobago’s premier boutique hotels, recently completed expansions that include the addition of the “West Wing” building. The addition features 15 luxurious, marble tiled suites and an infinity pool overlooking the hotel’s private bay. Each room’s private veranda offers panoramic views of the nearby sea and Bacolet Bay. Rates start at US $220 for the Bay De Luxe rooms, based on double occupancy. Rates include transfer from airport (four night minimum stay), full American breakfast, taxes and Wi-Fi. For more information, email or call 868.639.2357.

Courtyard Port of Spain, Trinidad
Marriott’s Courtyard Port of Spain recently upgraded one of its suites to include a full kitchen complete with the replacement of the carpet in the bedroom and living room. The upgraded suite now features Pergo flooring, a stainless steel refrigerator, dishwasher, electric counter top stove, and a range of small appliances, dishware, tableware and cutlery. The suite also offers a Jacuzzi tub and a large balcony overlooking the poolside terrace. The one bedroom suite can comfortably accommodate a couple or a small family, as a pull-out sofa is available in the living area. For larger families, an adjoining guest room with two queen beds is available. Rates start at US $359 for the suite, based on double occupancy. The hotel is also offering 20 percent off standard room rates for stays June 15 – September 15, 2015 with a booking window of May 15 – July 30, 2015 and a two night minimum. Guests can also take advantage of 10% off dinner at the main restaurant of the hotel during their stay. For more information, visit

New Restaurants and Entertainment
LUCE Sushi Bar & Lounge, Trinidad
Located on the restaurant level at Hilton Trinidad, LUCE is no longer the best kept secret in Port of Spain. Known for its inspiring presentation and bursting flavor, LUCE officially opened XXX. With breathtaking views of Queens Park Savannah and lush Northern Range, some have been referring to it as “the little oasis.” LUCE features floor to ceiling glass panels and an outdoor terrace and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. For daily updates and menu highlights, visit

Buccaneers Beach Bar & Grill, Tobago
Situated on the shores of Stonehaven Bay at Grafton Beach Hotel, Buccaneers is the only restaurant and “liming spot” on the beach in Tobago. Conveniently located just 15 minutes from Crown Point, Buccaneers features signature cocktails and a fantastic beach inspired menu complimenting the atmosphere of the island and its local cuisine. Guests can watch the sunset while enjoying happy hour cocktails from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. For more information, visit

Zoe Snorkeling Tours, Tobago
Owned and operated by popular Tobago waterman Duane Kenny, Zoe Snorkeling Tours is all about personalized service. Pickup locations vary based on the guests’ preference with tours starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 12 p.m. Guests can relax and enjoy the ride of the comfortable and covered 140 horsepower jet boat, complete with a swim platform on the back. The cost of the tour is US $80 per adult and US $40 per child under the age of 12. Price includes a three hour tour with snorkeling gear, non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. For more information, visit

Cultural Celebrations and Festivals
Trinidad Fruit Festival
The fourth annual National Fruit Festival in Trinidad will take place at Nu Image Simplex Complex North Road, New Grant from June 19 – 21. This event is aimed at providing knowledge on local produce and focuses on the importance of maintaining local supply to meet international demands. In addition to featuring a variety of local fruits, the festival will host a Best Chow competition and aerobic challenge. Admission is free and prizes will also be given throughout the festival. For more information, call (868) 771-2473.

Tobago Dragon Boat Festival
Held at Pigeon Point Heritage Park on June 22, the annual Dragon Boat Festival offers locals and visitors alike many activities, including dances, magic shows, music, boat racing, dragon dances, food and much more. More than 20 teams from both islands compete for titles as thousands of residents and visitors cheer. The festival showcases the island’s beauty and gives patrons a chance to sample delicious local Creole and Chinese cuisine. For more information, visit

Tobago Heritage Festival
Beginning July 16 with celebrations coming to a climax in a J’ouvert and street parade on Emancipation Day (August 1), Tobago Heritage Festival is one of the most important festivals of the year for the island. Both Trinidad and Tobago have extensive cultural backgrounds, from European to African to Amerindian, creating a very unique and diverse culture. Tobago Heritage Festival celebrates traditions that are mostly African, with eclectic events and dances hosted in various villages throughout the island. Tobagonians from various communities have used this celebration of culture to educate and entertain both visitors and local youth. The main event each year is the traditional “Ole Time Wedding,” held in the village of Moriah. This mock marriage ceremony highlights the influences of European culture on the local population featuring a colorful procession of the satin-garbed bride and top-hatted groom while guests dance in the streets. For more detailed information, visit

Tobago Blue Food Festival
One of the most unique food expositions in the Caribbean, the Blue Food Festival is an annual festival where local chefs and creative, indigenous cooks come together to share their knowledge, cooking secrets and tasty blue creations with commonly-used local ingredient dasheen, the Caribbean root vegetable that actually turns blue when cooked. On October 18, 2015, guests will be treated to cooking demonstrations and competitions, samples of local chefs’ creations, and entertainment by popular local performers.
A large percentage of Trinidad & Tobago’s population consists of East Indians and a significant amount are Hindus. The nation’s Hindu festivals, customs and traditions form an integral part of society. The celebration of Divali, also called Hindu Festival of Lights, is the perfect time for travelers to immerse themselves in Hindu religion and culture. Its formal event, Yagna, showcases a traditional ambiance of Indian décor, film, music and food. The highlight is Divali night, November 11 this year, when earthen lamps made of artistically designed bamboo arches and plantain trees, called deeyaas, are lit across the country. For more information, visit

Hotel Packages
Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre, Trinidad
Nestled in the foothills of the Northern Mountain Range, less than ten minutes outside Port of Spain, Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre caters to both the leisure and business traveler. Valid for the month of August 2015 only, take 30 percent off with rates starting at US $90 for single occupancy and US $100 for double occupancy. All rates are inclusive of taxes, breakfast, wireless internet, and a complimentary cocktail evening. For more information or to book, email with attention to Barry Bidaisee.

Coco Reef Resort & Spa, Tobago
With 135 rooms, suites and villas, Coco Reef Resort & Spa offers easy access to the three most magnificent beaches in Tobago: Store Bay, Pigeon Point and Coconut Bay. This summer, the resort is offering a number of enticing deals for travelers. From May 1 to December 20, for $3,000, guests can enjoy transportation to and from ANR Robinson International Airport, deluxe ocean view accommodations with a private patio or balcony for five days and four nights, daily breakfast buffet, nightly dinner at Tamara’s Restaurant or Bacchanal’s Bistro including one glass of wine per person, five total spa treatments per person (spa manicure, spa pedicure, Swedish massage, sun repair facial and sun repair facial treatment), nightly entertainment, complimentary watersports and night/day tennis. This rate is based on double occupancy. Also valid May 1 to December 20, Coco Reef Resort guests can enjoy the exclusive web package for two. At $2,800, this package includes transportation to and from ANR Robinson International Airport, a 50-minute Swedish massage per person, ocean view accommodations with a private patio or balcony for five days and four nights, complimentary breakfast and lunch, unlimited beer, house wine, local rum drinks, vodka, gin, scotch and sodas, day/night tennis and complimentary watersports. For more information Coco Reef Resort & Spa, visit

Kapok Hotel, Trinidad
Locally owned and located just outside of Port of Spain, Kapok Hotel is offering every fifth night free for travel July 1 – August 31, 2015 with a booking window of June 1 – 30, 2015 using promo code SUMMER. Rates start at US $138.00 for standard room category. Offer available only on or

Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, Tobago
With 178 deluxe oceanfront guestrooms and 22 suites, all complete with breathtaking ocean views, three oceanfront swimming pools, a PGA designed 18-hole golf course, a PADI 5-star dive center, tennis, spa services, kids club and variety of excursions, Magdalena Grand is offering 25 percent off for travel now through December 18, 2015 with a four-night minimum stay. This offer includes two free rounds of golf and must be booked by July 31, 2015. For booking information, email or call (868) 660-8500.

Plantation Beach Villas, Tobago
With six luxurious villas, each outfitted with modern amenities that provide stunning panoramas of the Caribbean Sea, Plantation Beach Villas is ideal for family vacations, romantic getaways and group reunions. Planation Beach Villas is offering a “Stay for 7, pay for 5” special, which is valid on reservations booked through November 2015 for travel during the months of June, September, October and November 2015. Rates start at US $440 per villa per night for a group of four guests or US $550 per villa per night for groups up to six guests. For booking information, email or call (868) 639-9377.

Villas at Stonehaven, Tobago
With 14 spacious villas set on the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, Villas at Stonehaven borders a protected bird sanctuary nestling in 260 acres of forested hills. Stonehaven is running a summer special of 20 percent off rates valid for stays from June 1 – July 15, 2015. For stays from July 16 – November 30, 2015, guests can take advantage of 15 percent off the room rate. To receive either of the offers, room must be booked by June 30, 2015 using booking code Sum15. Rates start at US $330 per night for two adults and one child in a One Bedroom Luxury Ocean View Villa. For more information or to book online, visit

About Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad & Tobago is located in the southeastern region of the Caribbean. With its careful approach to tourism, the dual-island nation offers a distinct blend of culture, eclectic cuisine and an assortment of eco-adventure activities. Trinidad, the ‘cultural capital of the Caribbean,’ is home to the world famous Carnival and the birthplace of the steel pan drum, the only new acoustic instrument to be invented in the 20th century. Tobago, sister island to Trinidad, is the quintessential Caribbean island with secluded beaches, quaint villages, private villas and award-winning eco-attractions that include the Main Ridge Rainforest, the oldest protected reserve in the western hemisphere and the six-time award winner for World’s Leading Ecotourism Destination by the World Travel Awards. For more information on Trinidad & Tobago visit or

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Environmental Health Department Recognizes Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week 2023



Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands May 12, 2023 – Mosquito Awareness Week is fast approaching, and its an important initiative which was established with the approval of CARICOM in 2014 to raise awareness about the link between mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit and to strengthen initiatives aimed at eliminating mosquito breeding sites. Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week will be observed this year from May 8th – 14th, 2023 under the theme “Small bite, big threat” and slogan “Beat the buzz: Prevent, Protect, Control”.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is present in the Turks and Caicos Islands, can spread diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika.

During the Month of May, the Environmental Health Department will be discussing ways to control vector populations and prevent the spread of diseases. This can include using insect repellent, eliminating breeding grounds, and properly disposing of waste.

Vector Control Awareness Month in the TCI is an extension of Mosquito Awareness Week, recognizing the threat posed by mosquitoes and is a reminder that we all have a role to play in preventing the spread of vector-borne diseases. Let’s work together to keep our communities healthy and safe.

For additional information, please contact the Environmental Health Department on 1649-338-2143/44.

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Social Services hosts Special Event for TCI Younger Ladies



By Dana Malcolm

Staff writer



#TurksandCaicos, May 2, 2023 – Another edition of the government’s mentorship program “The Lady in Me” was held this week. This time young ladies in Providenciales were the ones being treated. The program targets at-risk adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 years old.

Photos of the beautiful setup shared with our news team show branded gifts waiting for the girls as they spent the two-day event sponsored by UNICEF focusing on how to cultivate healthy physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being.

Students from various schools arrived in uniforms immaculately pressed for the event put on by the Department of Social Services.

Acting Governor Anya Williams was in attendance and expressed faith that the initiative would cause true change.

“It was a pleasure to share with them my insight into the importance of making the right decisions in their youth, which will help to shape their futures and why they should see and value themselves as their greatest asset and to hear from them their goals, aspirations and the challenges that are currently being experienced by our younger generations,” she said.

In introducing the program the Government had said it was aiming to help participants: “examine the adolescence values, competencies, belief systems, inner feelings, motivations, critical thinking, and communication skills,” in order to “build their self-awareness and interpersonal relationships to strengthen their self-esteem— to create a sense of pride and enhance self-respect, self-worth, and self-esteem as they mature and improve personally and professionally.”

The Department said the event was expected to impact 100 girls.

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What’s at LJMMA? President explains snazzy equipment 



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – Situated on a Cay of its own, the LJM Maritime Academy (LJMMA) is the Bahamas’ only school of its kind and with sponsorships from Campbell Shipping, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Carnival Cruises, Disney Cruises, and more it boasts an extremely well-equipped campus. The Turks and Caicos Community College (TCICC) is now partnering with the LJMMA to bring those amenities to TCI students through TCICC.

Brendamae Cleare, President of the institution, joined in on a maritime stakeholder meeting introducing the partnership to the Turks and Caicos’ residents on Tuesday, March 21, detailing everything that the LJMMA had to offer.

“We have– classrooms, workshops, a bridge simulator room, a crane simulator, an engine simulator and we also have a GMDSS simulator and radar simulator as well,” she explained.

The simulator building was commissioned to the tune of $30 million and is only in phase one. Also included alongside the fancy simulators, which give students hands-on experience with the boat engines and cranes that they will work with in the future, there are temporary administrative offices, libraries, nurse’s stations and more.

Other buildings on the Cay include, a firefighting simulator and the school even has lifeboat simulators, which mimic what it would be like pushing the lifeboat off the side of a huge vessel and maneuvering it in the ocean.

The Maritime Academy was birthed in 2011 when executives at Campbell Shipping including Lowell J. Mortimer (which is the only Bahamian-owned shipping company Cleare says), realized that there were no Bahamians working on their ships and were determined to change that.

“We had the college of the Bahamas, which is now the University of the Bahamas. We had a technical and vocational institution. We had banking and tourism colleges, but nothing like maritime but [we said] why not maritime?”

And the LJMMA so was born, named after its founder Mortimer. In its first year, it fielded over 180 applications and accepted just over 40 students. It is semi-regimented, which means strict rules for students, just as they would have to abide by on vessels.

The institution is accredited by the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of the Bahamas, the Bahamas Maritime Authority, the Institute of Materials, Minerals, Mining and others.

Cleare said the vision of the school was to become a globally recognized institution of excellence, in maritime education and training.

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