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Grand Turk gets grand focus in Throne Speech, will PDM Administration deliver?

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Photo from Governor's Office

#GrandTurk, Turks and Caicos Islands – Friday, June 22, 2018 – Grand Turk, during the 45-minute Throne Speech, got five mentions specifically; more than any other island in the Turks and Caicos archipelago and many would say, rightly so.

It has been challenging for the Capital of the country to say the least.

Slammed by two major hurricanes within the span of two weeks and reeling, still, from what many have cited is a sluggish pace for repairs and reconstruction.

More recently, there was an announcement that a leading commercial bank would make an exit later this year; ScotiaBank intends to close its branch in Grand Turk.  And these newer challenges only compound the existing ones.

There are issues with water distribution and other essential utilities.  Issues with the cleanliness of the island.  Issues with public buildings and their dilapidated conditions.  Issues of unruliness at the prison and how the facility can expand.  Issues with a vexing spate in crime and issues with fires and the lack of a domestic fire unit to put blazes out more quickly.

Grand Turk remains though a quaint community, famously wrapped in history, the seat of Government where Cabinet meetings and House of Assembly meetings are held and where the lion’s share of tourists visit; over 700,000 yearly.

The new Investment Policy states there will be ‘a focus on Grand Turk’ as stated in the Throne Speech, delivered on Monday by His Excellency Dr. John Freeman, Governor of the territory.

It was also explained that ports works were coming and they would include Grand Turk.

“Mr Speaker the Government will complete critical maintenance and redevelopment work at the Ports and will poise the Ports for the anticipated growth in the Islands.

The Government also  commits to addressing three Airports within these Islands as a matter of priority. The Government will complete rehabilitation works to the Grand Turk and Salt Cay Airports and will repair the South Caicos Tower. The Government will also commission the critical works to construct the South Caicos Terminal and Combine Services Buildings.”

Rehabilitative construction work is also promised for the Grand Turk campus of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College.

As promised, this second fiscal year for the PDM Administration will secure a fire truck for the island, which has for decades relied upon the limited availability of the airport fire-fighting facilities for help.

“Mr. Speaker, the Government is keen to equip responders to mitigate the loss of life and property, in the unfortunate event of disasters of any kind. To this end, Mr Speaker the Government will begin its strengthening of Domestic fire prevention and will secure a new fire truck for the Island of Grand Turk.”

Right now, in Grand Turk, city water is off for many residents.  The Throne Speech contained some news about fixing the water woes of the Capital island.

“Mr. Speaker, the Government recognized the serious challenges in the area of water production and distribution especially of the Island of Grand Turk. The Government will address and resolve the myriad of legacy issues in their entirety over the next two Budget cycles.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Facts laid out in Beach Vending Bill Debate by Tourism Minister Connolly

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

 #TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2021 – Tourism Minister Josephine Connolly says the policy that birthed the controversial Beach and Coastal Vending bill was conceived under the PDM administration.

Connolly was speaking in the House of Assembly on November 30 when she made the claims.  She said the policy had been around since 2020 and had been in circulation among tourism stakeholders and publicly via the DECR up to June this year.

“The bill was circulated in 2020 up to three times. In June of this year the policy was again circulated. And the DECR held meetings to discuss the policy and some of the changes.”

Connolly claimed that the policy which had been drafted by the previous administration and had then been intentionally ignored by them.

“…Mr Speaker, I met on my desk a draft policy on beach vending prepared by the previous government. It had sat there gathering dust, not because it was not needed but because the previous government did not want to deal with it,” the Minister said after laying the Bill for its second reading.

Connolly insisted however that she was up to the task of seeing the bill through.

“They let it slide; leave it for the next guy, but I am the next guy and I am not shy.”

She went on to reference a specific issue affecting vendors. She said currently, vendors only needed a business license to operate on the beach. This resulted in vendors tying up several booths and denying other vendors a chance.

She claimed the bill would fix this as each vendor would only be allowed one license to operate on the beach, thus increasing fairness.

 

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First Grand Turk Workshops completed under the theme:  “Re-starting the Turks and Caicos Islands Cruise Industry”

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#TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2021 – On December 2, 2021 The Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Fisheries and Marine Affairs, Culture and Heritage, Agriculture, Religious Affairs and Gaming along with the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with Carnival Corporation hosted the first day of workshops on December 1st, 2021, for persons in the cruise industry of Grand Turk under the theme ‘Restarting TCI’s Cruise Industry.’

The session began with an invocation by Pastor Oscar Talbot, followed by a welcome by moderator Brian Been from the Ministry of Tourism. The morning session was facilitated by Carnival Corporation’s Mr David Candib, Vice President, Development & Operations, Global Port & Destination Development Group; alongside Ms Marie McKenzie – Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The lively discussion was centered around Destinations Partnering with the Cruise Industry – the model that works. Also, Ms Lilla Ferenci, Senior Manager, Product Development and Marketing at Carnival took part in the discussion guiding persons through the challenges and opportunities of shore excursions, expectations, insurance, and other aspects of cruise tourism.

The evening session was facilitated by Mr Luc Clerveaux, Deputy Director of the DECR, presenting on new Beach and Coastal Vending protocols, which drew much attention of the attendees. The sessions were well received as vendors were able to get further insight into the protocols.

Hon. Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism stated that “I am elated to see you all eager to continue the journey of professional development. With the ultimate goal being to increase visitor’s satisfaction alongside holistic investment in the industry by vendors and service providers on Grand Turk. These Workshops are a part of a mutual consideration by the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) and Carnival Corporation for the development and enhancement of partnerships within the local business community. And are designed to meet the needs of operators and create awareness regarding business opportunities within the Turks and Caicos Islands’ Cruise Industry.”

Updated: The workshops continued into December 2nd and Friday December 3rd with the following:

December 2, 2021 – Investment and Business Development 9:00 a.m. at Yellow Man Auditorium.

December 3, 2021 – Maritime and the Cruise Industry (vessel owners, captains, and crew only)

Held, 9:00 a.m. Turks & Caicos Islands Community College Auditorium.

The workshops were comprised of excursion operations, retail, and general business development. Please note only vessel owners, captains and crew are allowed for Day 3. Persons were encouraged to register based on their interests.

Covid-19 Protocols were strictly enforced.

 

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NOTICE to ALL Current Beach Vendors on Grand Turk

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#TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2021 – This letter serves as an official Notice to all current beach vendors and water sports operators using any marine vessel for water sports and water tours within a Protected Area; all persons holding a National Parks permit are asked to come and renew your applications.

The Department of Environment and Coastal Resources would like to notify the public to visit our Grand Turk office to update all current vendors identification, including all employee information and renew their vending permits.

This will allow a smooth transition into the reopening of the Grand Turk Carnival Cruise Centre. Update requirements include:

  1. Completed Application form
  2. Valid business licence in the correct category
  3. NHIP and NIB Contributions (for renewal of permits)
  4. Two forms of Government Identification (Passport, Status Card, NHIP and NIB accepted)
  5. Name of crew and staff documents (passport, valid work permit in the correct category)
  6. TIDES Certificate
  7. Horseback riding – must have a waste management plan included with application, and health certificate for horses.
  8. All non-motorized vessels must have a rescue boat
  9. Notarized bill of sale for all equipment

We also like to remind all operators that T.I.D.E.S training and fees are temporarily waived until further notice!!

As we strive for improved environmental cohesiveness under the laws of the Turks and Caicos Islands we are compelled to ensure each member are engaged in tourism are trained at the highest level and quality.

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