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Caribbean News

Major TCI Tourism Update from Minister & Directer, Southwest Airlines still coming Nov 5



#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – October 20, 2017 – The Government Administration has approved a near $200,000 public relations budget for the TCI Tourist Board and Ministry of Tourism to use as it canvasses major markets with the message that the Turks and Caicos is ‘open for business’ following the September hurricanes.

The Minister of Tourism on Thursday announced that by mid-December the Turks and Caicos luxury tourism brand should be completely ready. Tourism Minister Ralph Higgs and Tourist Board Director, Ramon Andrews teamed up for local media yesterday to update on the strategy, to talk about the impact of recent travel blitzes and to report on the state of the tourism industry, which is number one for the TCI.

The campaign, said Minister Higgs, will run 90 to 100 days, he added that funds were immediately made available so that on the ground, face to face encounters could happen. And they are happening, over the weekend the Turks and Caicos was well represented at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s State of the Industry conference held in Grenada and the week before, a contingent was in New York City.

The Minister, who also heads up culture and maritime confirmed that there have been meetings with more than the hotels and resorts; he said there have been significant sessions with tourism service providers including tour operators. The report is that everyone will be ready, that everyone is eager to serve.

#GrandTurkCruiseCenter begins taking cruise ships on November 1st and on November 5th, as scheduled, #SouthwestAirlines will touch down at the Providenciales International Airport with its inaugural flight from Ft Lauderdale – bringing added airlift from South Florida.

When it comes to the main draw of these islands, our environment and coasts; the Minister said there have been assessments with help from overseas experts. The result is an ‘optimistic’ outlook for the natural beauty of TCI including its coral reefs.

The report to media (and by extension the general public) revealed that resorts are agreed to update the Minister weekly on their booking trends, and the latest info is bookings are ‘returning.’

Tourist Board Director, Ramon Andrews said that fact is due in large part to explanations by the Board, the Ministry and the Hotel and Tourism Association which are clarifying to the marketplace that the Turks and Caicos is not the British Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico or Barbuda or Dominica, where storm damages were tragically so much more severe.

Andrews said Thanksgiving will be ‘soft’, but that early next year during the winter season, it will be big and he urged the tourism sector and its professionals to ‘brace for it’.

As for whether or not festivals which thrill every final quarter of the year, including the Caribbean Food and Wine Festival, the Conch Festival and Maskanoo will happen – the duo said ‘Yes, they are all still on!’

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.

Bahamas News

Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

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Caribbean News

Hurricane Ian impact on Cayman Islands



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#Cayman, October 1, 2022 – The Cayman Islands experienced fierce winds and high seas from Hurricane Ian on Monday, as the storm passed offshore, causing little lasting damage.

Some areas on the island experienced flooding as low-lying condo complexes and some residential back roads were inundated with water. Almost 4,000 homes were without power on Monday; however, most had electricity restored by the evening.

There were also no reports of any injuries, deaths, or serious structural damage.  The country started its restoration process on Monday afternoon, clearing debris from the roads, surveying the damage and providing support to residents where needed.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, Premier of the Cayman Islands Wayne Panton said he was pleased with how residents handled the situation.

“While we have been very fortunate to have been spared the worst of a potentially very serious storm, I’m extremely pleased to have seen the efforts made by the Caymanian public to prepare for ‘the worst, while praying for the best. In this situation, this is simply the safest, most strategic thing to do,” the Premier said

Despite the all-clear being issued on Monday evening, the Ministry of Education announced that government schools will remain closed to students until Wednesday, 28 September.

Meanwhile, in Cuba, authorities have declared emergencies in six areas, with forecasters warning of storm surges on the coast along with flash floods and mudslides.

Tens of thousands of people were told to leave their homes and seek shelter. Cuba could see up to 12 inches of rain from Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Ian dramatically intensified and is blamed for at least two dozen deaths in Florida; where the storm struck with near category five force winds and a near 20 foot storm surge.

Over 700 rescue operations were activated in Florida in the aftermath of the storm, which is still wreaking havoc in the U.S.


Cayman photo credit:  RC Cord

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Caribbean News

Soca Boss honoured as Trinidad & Tobago marks 50 Years



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#Trinidad&Tobago, October 1, 2022 – Machel Montano, the Soca Boss, was on Saturday, September 24, awarded the Hummingbird Gold National Award as Trinidad and Tobago celebrated its 46th anniversary of becoming a republic.

The Hummingbird medal is awarded for loyal and devoted service beneficial to the state in any field or acts of conspicuous gallantry or other outstanding humane action.

Montano, who is celebrating 40 years in soca music, expressed his gratitude for the award in a statement on his social media pages.

The Soca Monarch expressed gratitude to his family, who he said have always supported him throughout his journey.

“I am humbled and wish to dedicate this honor to my family, my parents, Elizabeth and Winston Montano, who set me on this path and without whom I would not stand proud here in this moment. Their love, guidance and support throughout the years have absolutely been my foundation,” Montano said.

Adding that: “My brother Marcus for igniting my musical spark and always being there up to this day, someone I can call on anytime for any task. My wife, my children, in-laws, sister-in-law, nieces, aunts, cousins and loved ones who have all steered and cheered me on.”

He also expressed heartfelt gratitude to his musical family, friends and fans.

“Over my 40-year journey in music my family has grown into a Famalay…sprawling all over the globe, all my musical friends; writers, producers, musicians, managers, dancers, collaborators, creators, techs, teachers, assistants, dedicated staff, friends and FANS 🙌… everyone who has ever contributed to anything I’ve done, it’s always been fun and I thank you all,” he said.

Montano said he hopes his award will inspire other entertainers and encourage them to keep working hard and aspiring.

Congratulations to the Soca Monarch and Boss on this major milestone.

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