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Butch Stewart announces 90 day closure of Beaches TCI



#TurksandCaicos, September 14, 2017 – Providenciales – Beaches Resort Villages and Spa Turks and Caicos will close for three months and today announced that guests will be re-routed to its properties in Jamaica.

The sobering news came from Sandals Resorts Intl Chairman, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart who gave the update via social media and following a personal assessment of the facility which was severely battered in Hurricane Irma.

“After a thorough assessment of the work that needs to be done, Beaches Turks & Caicos will be pleased to accept guests beginning December 14th.  The red carpet will be rolled out and Beaches Turks and Caicos will be better than ever.”

The temporary closure of this six-star luxury family all-inclusive resort will deal a heavy blow economically to the TCI.

Beaches employs 1,850 people and its resort is responsible for the lionshare of visitors to the country.

“This had been an extraordinary week for too many people and our thoughts and prayers go to those impacted.  We are among the lucky ones and we are counting our blessings.  As you continue this week, I hope that you will consider your own good fortune and the family and friends around that make getting through life’s storms a little easier.”

Previous closures of this magnitude have resulted in airliners also putting the pause on commutes to Destination TCI.

And it’s not just the employees who are adversely affected whenever Beaches has to shut down, but associated tourism companies including taxi and tour operators and yes, the Government.

“We sincerely regret the inconvenience this rings to guests with upcoming holiday plans.  We truly understand the importance of your family vacation and we look forward to exceeding your expectations at Beaches Resorts.  With that said, we are happy to re-accommodate your stay at one of our Beaches Resorts located in Jamaica or to any available Sandals Resort, or reschedule your travel dates for Beaches Turks & Caicos.  To make arrangements, please call 1-800-BEACHES.”

Premier Sharlene Robinson in her Wednesday media debrief said the TCI Tourist Board was working on report inclusive of resorts that would be open, and those due to close.

Some resort closures are traditional during this slower tourism season.

While there are guests now able to depart due the Provo Intl Airport reopening, there are some who are arriving for vacations despite the impact of Hurricane Irma.


Bahamas News

Ministers Moxey and Wilchcombe pay tribute to Anita Doherty during track meet



#TheBahamas, December 6, 2021 – Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey was among many who turned out at the GB Sports complex on Saturday afternoon (December 4, 2021) to pay tribute to former Bahamian track and field legend and former Principal, Anita Doherty.

“I had to be here to be able to pay honour to the amazing and incomparable Anita Doherty who, by the way, was my Physical Education teacher and Principal at the former Freeport Anglican High School,” Minister Moxey said, during a short opening ceremony for the Anita Doherty Odd Distance Track and Field Meet at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex.

The Sporting event was the first official track and field event for Grand Bahama since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019.  Minister Moxey said that it was important for the track meet to take place in Grand Bahama, to get the kids and young people out and about, doing positive activities.

“After being locked down because of the pandemic, it is good to see these kids out here expending that energy and being able to compete and have fun,” said Minister Moxey. “While we are still under certain health protocols which we have to follow, to have the kids out here and to be able to run and compete here is a good thing.

“But meets like these are important for Grand Bahama because we still have the goal of becoming one of the major sporting capitals in the country. Our Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture has stated how important it is not only for the country as a whole to become active in sports again, but he specifically saw the potential of Grand Bahama and has committed himself to helping Grand Bahama become the sporting giant it can be.”

Minister Moxey noted that there could be no better way to reintroduce sporting events back to Grand Bahama, while honouring a woman who herself has been a beacon of sporting greatness for The Bahamas during her heyday as an athlete.

“After I had received a scholarship to attend Freeport Anglican High School, I felt a little bit lost, but Mrs. Doherty took me under her wings and it helped me to excel,” added Minister Moxey. “I am privileged to be a part of all Mrs. Doherty has done for the young people of Grand Bahama, for the community and [for being] instrumental in business development for the island.

“So, you have done more than just represented this country internationally in sports, but you have been a beacon within the Grand Bahama community.”

Also on hand to pay tribute to Mrs. Doherty was Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe, who said he basically grew up in Mrs. Doherty’s home during weekends when he returned to Freeport.

Wilchcombe says Mrs. Doherty has always been a strict disciplinarian, who made sure that kids did what was right, giving priority to school work before anything else. “Anita Doherty is one of the great Bahamians of our time,” said Minister Wilchcombe. “She was perhaps one of the greatest female athletes in The Bahamas. I have no doubt that when we celebrate fifty years of Independence in a few years, that Anita Doherty will be one of those people who are honoured during those critical celebrations.”

Saturday’s Anita Doherty Odd Distance Track Meet was sponsored and authorized by the Bahamas Amateur Athletics Association.  President, Dramecko Archer was also in Grand Bahama for Saturday’s event.


By Andrew Coakley


Photo Captions:


BIS Photos/Andrew Miller

Header: Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, Hon. Obie Wilchcombe (centre) and Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey (second from right) were among many who turned out on Saturday, December 4, 2021, for the Anita Doherty Odd distance track Meet at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex. Also sharing the moment with Mrs. Doherty (second from left), were Senator Kirkland Russell (left) and Dramecko Archer, President of the Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association (right).

1st insert: Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey helped to present medals to winners in the U17 girls 300M final, during the Anita Doherty Odd Distance Track Meet at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex on Saturday, December 4, 2021.

2nd insert: Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, Hon. Obie Wilchcombe was one of the presenters of medals to winners during the 2021 Anita Doherty Odd Distance Track Meet, which was held on Saturday, December 4, 2021, at the GB Sports Complex.   Minister Wilchcombe presented the winners of the U13 Boys 300M with their medals.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas and Germany Enter Agreement to Facilitate Direct Airlift



#TheBahamas, December 4, 2021 – The governments of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and of the Federal Republic of Germany entered into a technical bilateral Heads of Agreement aimed at fostering closer ties between both countries.  A central feature is an Air Traffic Agreement to facilitate direct flights from Germany to The Bahamas, which would in turn facilitate movement of goods and services, ease of direct shipment as opposed to going through a third country, among other things.

The HOA was signed during a ceremony at the Ministry of Works & Utilities on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.  The Hon Alfred Sears, who served as Acting Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, and His Excellency Dr. Stefan Keil, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to The Bahamas signed the agreement.  Also present were: Permanent Secretary Reginald Saunders, Ministry of Tourism Investment & Aviation; Luther Smith, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works & Utilities; Bacchus Rolle, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works & Utilities; Melanie Roach, Director of Public Works; and Carl Christian Illing, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bahamas.

Mr. Sears said it was a pleasure both countries entered into such an agreement, which he deemed would bring together, two peoples.

The Bahamas and Germany formed diplomatic ties in 1974 and have enjoyed successes in commercial enterprise, tourism and family ties as many Bahamians live in Germany.

“This relationship has been growing and this (agreement) represents the ease of travel, business and social interaction between our two countries,” Mr. Sears said, adding that Bahamians consume and use German products namely vehicles, pharmaceuticals and other items.

In other areas, Mr. Sears noted that The Bahamas is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world susceptible to effects of global warming. He thanked Germany for its role in the recent COP26 held in Glasgow, Scotland, during which that country pledged some twenty million Euros for disaster risk reduction initiatives.

He recalled Hurricane Dorian, which struck Abaco and Grand Bahama from September 1-3, 2019 and, as a result, residents in the path experienced storm surges 20 feet high, many lives were lost, clinics, other public buildings and infrastructure were damaged and/or destroyed, and The Bahamas lost a large portion of its GDP.

“The commitment of Germany resonates with us,” Mr. Sears said, “as we rebuild and build the infrastructure stronger.”

The minister shared the possibility of acquiring more vehicles from Germany, targeting more stopover visitors from there with projection of higher spend and enjoyment of more cultural activities.  Permanent Secretary Saunders supported this, by confirming that direct air travel is being facilitated through the agreement.

Ambassador Keil too acknowledged the close relationship between both countries, and that the technical agreement will further strengthen those ties.


By Lindsay Thompson


Photo Caption: Photos show Minister Sears and Ambassador Keil during the signing ceremony at the Ministry of Works & Utilities, November 30, 2021.

(BIS Photos/Yontalay Bowe)



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Caribbean News




The fastest internet just got even faster…for the same great price


Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – 1st, December 2021 –  Digicel+ is gifting The Turks and Caicos Islands faster home fibre speeds for Christmas, and beyond. Fulfilling the brand promise of Simply More (more power, more speed and more reliability), customers will now benefit from up to 2x faster download speeds on broadband and bundle plans.

This is all about a better experience for customers, and not about the cost. This free upgrade gives Digicel+ customers an even better home fibre internet experience, for anyone, on any device. And as part and parcel of the digital lifestyle, Digicel+ is the gateway to a Smart Life, which means that state-of-the-art Smart Solutions like Smart Homes and Smart Security are no longer just concepts, but a powerful reality.

Addison Stoddard CEO of Digicel TCI said, “This Christmas, we’re excited to reward customers with a super slick, superfast, super reliable home fibre experience, underpinned by service delivery that is, of course, second to none. Our entry-level plans are the fastest on the island and this puts us head and shoulders above any other internet offering in the country.”

The upgraded packages now start with download speeds of 50Mbps, and go up to 300Mbps for the speed demons and heavy gamers out there. This allows the Turks and Caicos Islands to connect to the global knowledge economy, have amazing entertainment options, and power their personal and professional experiences, thanks to these new superfast internet speeds.

Addison Stoddard continued, “It’s more of what our customers expect; more of what they want and it’s another way that we can be a part of our customers’ digital lives – at home, on the go, anywhere and everywhere. Simply put, Digicel+ is simply more.”

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has solidified the importance of having a steady, powerful and reliable home internet connection, mainly due to many schools going online and parents working remotely. Now, with even faster internet speeds, customers get the best home fibre experience every time. This provides opportunities for MORE working, MORE schooling, MORE gaming, and MORE streaming with Digicel+.

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