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Six Senses Resort and Spa returns for another try at Salt Cay, Cabinet considers the concept

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Artist rendering of Six Senses villas on Salt Cay

#Salt Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands – Wednesday June 27, 2018 – For nearly a decade, Six Senses Resort has been angling itself for a unique presence in the Caribbean and had determined that tiny Salt Cay in the Beautiful by Nature Turks and Caicos Islands was ideal for the luxury escape.

Then major controversy struck and soured the prospect of the development which was touted to be ‘green’ and bring ‘green’ to the people of the island, often considered ‘forgotten’.

The names Mario Hoffmann and Stephan Kral –  Salt Cay Devco, investors behind the Six Senses concept – were severely tarnished in the scandalous Commission of Inquiry of 2009.

Despite, the duo tried vigorously to salvage their reputation, to no avail.

In 2018, the Developers of Six Senses are back and have already made a presentation to the Turks and Caicos Islands Cabinet, piquing interests it seems as the investors have been asked to return with a more detailed plan.

A Cabinet report from the Governor’s Office on May 30, 2018 said this about the agenda item: “Considered a Proposal for the Development of a Six Senses Resort on the Island of Salt Cay and requested further information.”

Ever since, there has been a steady stream of inquiries to Magnetic Media to find out more about the development and what it proposes on the tranquil island, renowned for its laid back beauty, intriguing history, captivating coastal vistas and its animal life including endearing donkeys on land and awe-striking whales in the ocean.

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Articles from 2010, including a feature in Turks and Caicos magazine ‘Times of the Islands’ had featured the concept of a resort promoting zen-like villas, sultry spa, tennis court, restaurant and eco-friendly golf course as an opportunity for a resurgence of the island where the economy now is just as dry as its Salinas.  Ironically, the 2.5 square miles used to be a financial life line to the people of the cay and the country, during the salt-raking era.

The Turks and Caicos Weekly News (newspaper) in an article on June 11 2018, reminded of the court battle and loss of Salt Cay Devco; where Mario Hoffmann  had to return over 1,500 acres of land to Government, cover a percentage of the legal fees and surrender his Turks and Caicos Belonger status which was obtained under the Michael Misick government regime.

You get the feeling that getting this application and proposal approved will not be easy; but just maybe the timing is right.

A media release in 2010 announced that Six Senses Resorts and Spas was pegged to open its Turks and Caicos edition in 2013; five years later we are only told by the Investment Minister – Premier Sharlene Robinson – that there is no comment at this stage of the pitch.  

Hon Sharlene Robinson said to Magnetic Media:  “It is a Proposal discussed and I am not able to share anything further as it is a matter before Cabinet. What I will say is that the residents of Salt Cay do not have opportunities to speak to the Government in the upcoming round of Town Halls and to benefit from.”

The 2010 article, published online at HotelierMiddleEast.com, among other websites said in part:

‘Designed to introduce the group’s ‘Slow Life’ philosophy, the project will comprise a total of 40 one- and two-bedroom villa suites and three-bedroom retreats, plus 13 four-bedroom residential villas.

In addition to various dining option, including an organic garden restaurant, there will be a jazz bar, an observatory, and Cinema Paradiso — an open-air area showing classic movies.

Leisure activities will focus on water activities, but will also include tennis and an eco-friendly golf course.’

The news story explained that the phase one investment on the Six Senses Resort and Spa would be $200 million.

Salt Cay residents are admittedly curious.

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.

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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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