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2015 Christmas Message By The Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie Prime Minister and Minister of Finance The Commonwealth of The Bahamas

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Nassau, 24 Dec 2015 – My Fellow Bahamians:

As we celebrate Christmas this year, let us be mindful of one of the great truths impressed upon humankind by Jesus Christ whose birth we are commemorating: Love Thy Neighbour As Thyself.

However, let’s remember that our neighbours extend beyond the persons residing in the house next door. They encompass all of our brothers and sisters in the national family and those from other countries who live among us.

We know that it is easy to love our relatives and friends but if we are to build a stronger and safer Bahamas, we must share ourselves with our neighbours in the broadly defined sense of the term as I have just used it.

Love is usually shown at Christmas by giving material gifts to loved ones and in the fellowship of family dinners, parties and other social events. However, we need to remind ourselves that those who are not in those close circles of family and friends may be in even greater need of our love and compassion, especially at this time of year in this Season of Giving.

If we demonstrate love, compassion, peace, and a spirit of reconciliation towards all persons within our borders, many of the concerns that we have with our society will greatly diminish.

We witnessed real examples of this love and compassion when, in October, a number of islands in the central and southeastern Bahamas were ravaged by Hurricane Joaquin. It was a wonderful, even awe-inspiring example, of the great good that lies within us and of the powerful spirit of neighbourly goodwill that wraps us together into a national family. I cannot commend enough all those civic groups, religious organizations, government agencies and private individuals that partnered with the National Emergency Management Agency in addressing the needs of those ravaged by Joaquin.

At this time of year we should also be thankful for all the many agencies and volunteer groups that came together to help our brothers and sisters in greatest need – the poor, the hungry, the unemployed, those abandoned by their families and left to fend for themselves. These, the least among us, press hard upon the national conscience as indeed they do on our own private consciences as well. We are so grateful for the efforts of all those persons who contributed so generously of their time and resources to help alleviate the misery and suffering of the afflicted among us.

As we prepare to start a new year, we in the government are encouraged by new developments and investments in our Bahamas. Indeed in recent weeks Heads of Agreements for significant new developments were signed heralding a bright economic future for our Bahamas.

We are also encouraged by the progress being made in relation to Baha Mar. We therefore look with optimism and confidence towards the day when this resort will fulfill its promise and positively impact the economic life of our nation. Despite all the setbacks, I remain absolutely convinced that this will happen in 2016. This is not wishful thinking. It is well informed optimism.

We are also buoyed by ongoing infrastructural developments in our nation and by the new pages that are being turned in the vitally important spheres of telecommunications and energy. These improvements are helping us to build a stronger and more modern Bahamas better equipped to meet the challenges of life in the 21st Century.

My Fellow Bahamians,

As we are reminded of the surpassing value of family, we must remember that the fight against crime is a concern for all of us. We must therefore redouble our efforts to work together with our uniformed forces.

We will continue to institute training opportunities and job creation initiatives to ensure that our at-risk youth are afforded positive life changing alternatives.

At the same time, however, those who remain intent on pursuing lives of criminality, who only want to rob and steal or to inflict violence upon others, to such persons, they must hear this: cease and desist because there is no place in our society for those hell-bent on senseless acts of violence. The strong arm of the law will catch up with you, so stop, stop now, and stop before it is too late.

We will be introducing even tougher measures to combat criminality in 2016. Bringing down crime is a challenge of the highest priority and one that we are determined to wrestle to the ground in the New Year.

On that note, I wish to express our appreciation to our uniformed forces, especially the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Defence Force, our Department of Corrections and our Customs and Immigration officers. They are working diligently to make sure that our Bahamas is safe and secure.

To all of our civil servants, I offer thanks and appreciation for the hard work that you do all year long. Your commitment to public service is indispensable to the continued development of our nation.

To those visiting with us, we welcome you to our country and know that when you sample our food, take in our Junkanoo Parades and enjoy our hospitality this Holiday Season, you will return again and again as welcomed and appreciated family members.

My Fellow Bahamians, as we look beyond this Holiday Season and into the New Year, we see a road of progress sprawling before us. Yes, we know that we have a way to go. Yes, we will have challenges. Yes, we will have setbacks. Yet we also see milestones ahead of us, like our National Development Plan VISION 2040, the implementation of the first phase of National Health Insurance, and the expansion of the national economy in ways that are bound to create many new jobs and give rise to many more opportunities for entrepreneurial enterprise. You will be hearing more about our specific plans in all these areas as the New Year progresses.

So, I feel good about our prospects for 2016. It’s going to be a good year for The Bahamas, a good year for Bahamians. I’m convinced of that! And together we can make what already promises to be a good year even better!

I wish each and every one of you, my entire Bahamian family, a Merry Christmas and God’s richest blessings for the New Year.

May the Peace of God that passes all understanding cover all of us in our Bahamas.

Thank you.

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Ms. Camilla Lightbourne joins Experience Turks and Caicos team  

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Ms. Camilla Lightbourne

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 22, 2024 – Experience Turks and Caicos is pleased to welcome Ms. Camilla Lightbourne to the post of Executive Assistant to the CEO effective February 06th, 2024.

Ms. Lightbourne is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree a DeVry University in Florida and previously worked as an Import Logistics Associate at Graceway Trading Ltd. Where she supported department goals and initiatives through the generation of reports and a Business Account Executive at Digicel where she managed daily and monthly reports and helped resolve customer issues.

In welcoming Ms. Lightbourne to the team, Ms. Racquel Brown, Change Manager and Interim CEO of Experience Turks and Caicos said Ms. Lightbourne’s appointment underscores the growth of the organisation.

“Experience Turks and Caicos is growing as an organisation to meet its mission and goal.  The Executive Assistant to the CEO is critical to support the CEO Office for the effective and efficient day-to-day administration to assist the CEO manage the scheduling and timely completion of Strategic Projects and Programmes.   I look forward to working with Ms. Lightbourne as the Change Manager/Interim CEO of Experience Turks and Caicos in this regard,” she said.

Ms. Lightbourne said she is pleased to be part of the Experience Turks and Caicos team.

“I am elated to join such a dynamic organisation and working with the CEO’s office where I will have an opportunity to implement many of the project management and organisational skills I have learned over the years. I am looking forward to making my mark on the future development of our country’s tourism product,” she said.

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Caribbean News

CTO Chairman Hails Success of Business Meetings in Saint-Martin

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February 22, 2024 – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) concluded its business meetings last week in Saint-Martin, marking a significant milestone in the collaborative efforts to strengthen and revitalize the Caribbean tourism sector. Under the direction of Chairman Kenneth Bryan, who also serves as Minister of Tourism and Ports for the Cayman Islands, the CTO has embarked on a transformative journey to reimagine its role and impact within the global tourism landscape.

“When I took over as chairman (in 2022), we decided to go through a reimagining exercise and you can start to see the changes already,” said Chairman Bryan, citing the appointment of Secretary-General and CEO Dona Regis-Prosper, the return of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Bermuda to the 25-member body, and the re-engagement of destinations such as Montserrat as examples of the progress made.

A highlight of the meetings was the presentation of a comprehensive plan for the year ahead by Regis-Prosper, the first woman appointed to the post in the organization’s history.

This year’s first series of business meetings focused on defining a strategic direction for the upcoming year and reviewing the organization’s accomplishments since Minister Bryan’s tenure began. “The discussions were fruitful and reflective of the vibrant spirit that characterizes our collective efforts,” stated Minister Bryan. “The CTO is moving towards a reimagined, revitalized and relevant future, with a clear focus on overcoming challenges through unity and shared vision,” he asserted.

A significant part of the meetings centered on the critical role of aviation in connecting the Caribbean. Chairman Bryan emphasized the commitment to enhancing regional connectivity and addressing the complexities of aviation logistics, highlighting a resolution to engage with key stakeholders, including the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and regional airlines, to advocate for increased seat capacity and facilitate more seamless travel within the Caribbean.

The group discussed the possibility of staging a Caribbean aviation conference: an assembly of airline and airport authority executives; hotel brands; tourism stakeholders; and government ministers with responsibility for tourism, civil aviation, regulatory and finance matters. “We need robust dialogue on the necessary changes to incentivize more connectivity within the region, so we’re going to put our foot down on the gas concerning this because it’s a serious concern for many members, particularly in the Eastern Caribbean.”

Reflecting on his tenure as chairman, Minister Bryan is encouraged by the progress made, particularly in stabilizing the organization’s fiscal position, increasing membership confidence, and positioning the CTO prominently in global tourism discussions. The CTO’s efforts have also focused on leveraging technology, artificial intelligence, and digital media to enhance the Caribbean’s appeal as the world’s leading warm-weather destination.

The CTO’s vision also encompasses a rebranding of the organization and a reinforcement of the foundational spirit of Caribbean kinship. “Our goal is to ensure that every member state feels tangible value from its involvement with the CTO, fostering a sense of belonging and collective achievement,” commented Minister Bryan.

He said CTO’s strategic direction, under the Secretary-General’s leadership, promises a dynamic and inclusive future for Caribbean tourism, one that emphasizes innovation, collaboration, and a deepened sense of regional camaraderie.

 

Photo Caption: Kenneth Bryan, Chairman of CTO’s Ministerial Council and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands (left), is pictured with CTO Secretary-General Dona Regis-Prosper; Bermuda Minister of Tourism Owen Darrell; and Rosa Harris, Chairman of CTO’s Board of Directors and Director of Tourism for the Cayman Islands.

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Caribbean News

DIGICEL BUSINESS’ HOSPITALITY SOLUTIONS IS REVOLUTIONISING THE GUEST EXPERIENCE

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February 22, 2024 – Digicel Business is proud to introduce its cutting-edge Hospitality Solutions, designed to transform the guest experience in hotels, resorts, and hospitality establishments worldwide. With a commitment to innovation and excellence, Digicel Business is empowering the hospitality industry to thrive in a digital age. In an era where guests expect seamless connectivity, personalized experiences, and efficient services, Digicel Business is at the forefront of delivering solutions that meet these evolving demands. Our Hospitality Solutions suite offers a range of services and technologies that will redefine the way guests interact with your establishment.

Key features of Digicel Business Hospitality Solutions include:

  1. Reliable & Secure Connectivity: Ensure lightning-fast, secure internet access throughout your property, enabling guests to stay connected effortlessly, whether for work or leisure.
  2. Enhanced Guest Experiences: Elevate customer satisfaction and loyalty with convenient and customized experiences, including Hospitality TV, Push to Talk radio, Access Control, Fixed Voice for your front desk and rooms & Video Surveillance.
  3. Efficient Operations: Increase operational performance and efficiency, reduce operational cost by reduction of manual processes. Focus on what you do best, while we take care of the rest.
  4. Security Solutions: Secure customers’ data with solutions that are easy to use but sophisticated enough to keep you secure. 5. Scalability: Our solutions are adaptable to properties of all sizes, from boutique hotels to sprawling resorts, ensuring a customized fit for your establishment. 6. Dedicated Support: Digicel Business provides support to ensure hotels and resorts can resolve any connectivity or technology-related issues promptly.

Lydia Tucker, Head of Digicel Business Turks & Caicos, commented: “The hospitality industry is undergoing a significant transformation, with digital technologies at the forefront of this evolution. At Digicel Business, we are committed to helping our partners in the hospitality sector embrace these changes and deliver unparalleled guest experiences. Our comprehensive suite of Hospitality Solutions is designed to enhance operational efficiency, increase guest satisfaction, and drive revenue growth.”

As the Caribbean and Central America‘s leading communications and technology solutions provider, Digicel Business continues to invest in cutting-edge solutions that empower businesses across various sectors

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