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BAHAMAS: Gambling is a Vice that Persons Secretly Indulge

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#Nassau, November 1, 2018 – Bahamas – Minister of Health Dr. the Hon. Duane Sands said gambling has been a vice that persons have secretly indulged, and for that reason, unlike most of the public health challenges in The Bahamas, there is a lack of fundamental data that can be quantified and analysed to address the problem.

“I am very conscious that today’s workshop speaks to the need to increase our capacity as healthcare providers, social workers, law enforcement, educators, gaming industry professionals and as members of the general public to identify and address signs of problem gambling and gambling addiction,” Dr. Sands said at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre Gambling Addiction Symposium, held at the Church of God Auditorium, Joe Farrington Road, Wednesday, October 31, 2018.

He said the theme of this year’s symposium, “Overcoming Your Gambling Addiction: The Continuum of Care,” speaks to empowering persons at risk of problem gambling and providing care to those experiencing gambling addiction.

The Minister of Health said he would however be remiss if he did not call upon the mental health professionals, addiction care providers, social workers and others to conduct the kind of peer review research and documentation that would allow policymakers to arrive at decisions in the best interest of the nation.

He explained that the Pennsylvania Gaming Board notes that although gambling often goes unrecognized, it is a serious workplace issue with a negative impact on performance and productivity.

Dr. Sands said the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital and one of the world’s leading research centres, further notes that gambling not only gets in the way of work productivity but also harms a person’s mental and social health.

“In recognition of these challenges, beginning in January 2018, The Public Hospitals Authority and Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre set out to launch a program to achieve the overarching goal of integrating gambling addiction services into the present existing substance abuse program at Sandilands and at other healthcare services programs in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”

He said, “It is my hope that this first Gambling Addiction Symposium hosted by the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, the Public Hospitals Authority, and the Bahamas Gaming Operators Association will begin a national dialogue that will continue to engage communities and families all across The Bahamas.”

Dr. Sands explained that the Gaming Act of 2014, which generally required that all Bahamians wager via the Internet, now permits the “numbers” game to be played in an over-the-counter, cash-based environment.

“The Act is a large and complex piece of legislation, but I believe that some change is warranted.  Notably, the Act should include the provision to prevent and minimize harm from gambling, including problem gambling.

“From a public health perspective, I hope that an assessment will be undertaken of the gaming environment.  This assessment should focus on better understanding the dynamics of the electronic numbers gaming sector, and the wider gambling environment as well, and what they mean for our current regulatory framework.

He said, “It is also clear to me that we need to restore greater public confidence in our gambling sector.  Public trust will only be built by a demonstrable commitment to player protection and basing the industry on responsible gambling, not on those gambling to excess.”

 

By Llonella Gilbert

Release: BIS

Photo Caption:  Minister of Health Dr. the Hon. Duane Sands brings remarks at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre Gambling Addiction Symposium, held at the Church of God Auditorium, Joe Farrington Road, Wednesday, October 31, 2018.  

 

(BIS Photos/Raymond A. Bethel Sr.)

 

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Sandals Team Excited about Reopening Sandals Royal Bahamian

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#TheBahamas, November 24, 2021 – Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International was on hand recently to welcome, engage, thank and motivate returning team members and new recruits of Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, as the resort ramps up its preparations for its re-opening come January 27, 2022.

With extensive renovations to the re-imagined resort continuing to unfold, the resort is also well advanced with the recruitment of nearly 1,050 team members across several levels and varying departments, and is now proceeding with its immersive orientation and training exercises, preparing the team to welcome guests for the first time since closing in March 2020.

In the most recent onboarding session attended by Stewart and chaired by a host of seasoned Sandals senior management and executives, Stewart welcomed the returning and new recruits. “I want to use this opportunity to officially welcome you to the ‘World’s Best Team’- team Sandals. Having witnessed the progress of the renovations, I can tell you all that the reimagined Sandals Royal Bahamian and all its new features is going to be the most exquisite resort in this country. The reopening of Sandals Royal Bahamian will be magical and I’m looking forward to all of us growing and evolving together. Any company that is growing is a company that provides opportunities and those opportunities are for you to seize,” he shared.

He added that the reopening provides an exceptional opportunity for Sandals and the Bahamian government to continue an amazing and mutually beneficial partnership as the tourism industry and the region continue to chart the way forward on the path to economic recovery.

“My family and I have a love affair with the islands of the Bahamas, there is nothing quite like this country. We made the decision to keep this resort closed so that we could invest in it and invest in this country, as we wanted to ensure that when we stand the test of time for the next 20 years, we have a resort like no other. As a company we promote brand Bahamas using various marketing strategies from traditional to new media, as this is a partnership between you and our organization,” he said.

Stewart spoke at one of the several orientation sessions where new and returning team members will be “Sandalized” – preparing them to effectively and confidently deliver the company’s world-class luxury-included service as they gear up for full return to work.

Philippa Adams, returning team member from the Laundry Department expressed that she is delighted about the reopening.

“I would scream right now but that may not be appropriate but I’m overjoyed that the resort will be reopening in January. The orientation sessions have been so empowering and refreshing and have given me a major boost in confidence. The sessions are furnishing us with all the tools we need to get back to work and execute at an optimal level,” declared Adams.

The orientation commenced on November 1 and will run through to November 26, 2021. Utilising technology and new state of the art training mechanisms, the orientations sessions are being held in adherence to COVID-19 protocols and are therefore being conducted in phases using dual modality of face-to-face sessions and virtual courses by way of the company’s Learning Management System (LMS).

Director for Learning, Development and Service Standards, Dr Phillip Brown shared, “As a team, we pride ourselves on innovation. As the company forges ahead, we elevate our systems to incorporate new ways of ensuring our Sandals standards are maintained, our guests’ expectations are exceeded and our team members are fully equipped for success. During these phased training sessions, team members will be exposed to our company’s world renowned service standards, our ethos of community involvement, particularly through our Sandals Foundation as also the myriad of personal development opportunities through our Sandals Corporate University.”

Brown is part of the company’s training team that is on the ground at Sandals Royal Bahamian. The team comprises leaders from various resorts within the Sandals group who are assisting with ensuring a seamless developmental process for the new recruits ahead of the long awaited, grand reopening.

 

Photo Caption: Adam Stewart_ Executive Chairman for Sandals Resorts International (SRI) addressed new and returning team members of Sandals Royal Bahamian during an orientation session, recently.

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Turks & Caicos Airline links the Caribbean like no other regional Carrier, Now Flying to Guyana

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#TurksandCaicos, November 13, 2021 – In under five weeks, interCaribbean Airways, the Turks and Caicos based airline company will begin flights between Barbados and Guyana and on Friday (November 5) the announcement came in a high profile ceremony in George Town.

Founder and Chairman of the airline, Lyndon Gardiner and its CEO Trevor Sadler were both on hand along with other dignitaries in airline and government for the well-received reveal.

Commuters are offered up to 12 flights per week between the countries.  The government of Guyana is thrilled at the potential; and so is the government of Barbados.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill explained now residents can fly out in the morning and be back home in time for dinner; he had a simple but striking statement for interCaribbean Airways; stay in the market, grow in this market even if there is competition.

When Gardiner, who is native to North Caicos, addressed the historic gathering, he explained “Everyone wants to move here to be part of the new oil, gas, tourism and manufacturing sector. interCaribbean is proud to be a part of this new growth and to support it … and I feel that Guyanese leadership is bullish on managing its economy and encouraging direct foreign investment in a way that is beneficial to the long-term strategic interests of Guyana.”

It was just last year, in August, that interCaribbean amidst the raging coronavirus pandemic stepped up to offer critical airline connection in the Eastern Caribbean.

Gardiner informed that his company was well on its way to having a flight in every Caribbean country by 2025, before progress was slowed by the pandemic.  Despite this delay, the feats of interCaribbean Airways are unprecedented and will not be denied according to company executives.

Flights from Barbados to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana begin on December 17.

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15 World Travel Award WINNERS for the Turks and Caicos Islands

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#TurksandCaicos, October 22, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board, the exclusive tourism authority for the Turks and Caicos Islands, is pleased to announce that the destination has been named a winner in seven categories at the 28th annual World Travel Awards. The World Travel Awards serve to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, it is the leading authority that recognizes the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence, globally. The full list of the prestigious regional awards won by the Turks and Caicos Islands and its tourism partners include:

  • Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination 2021 – Turks & Caicos Islands
  • Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination 2021 – Turks & Caicos Islands
  • Caribbean’s Leading All Suite Hotel 2021 – The Palms Turks & Caicos
  • Caribbean’s Leading All-Inclusive Family Resort 2021 – Beaches Turks & Caicos
  • Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Resort 2021 – Sailrock Resort, Turks & Caicos
  • Caribbean’s Leading New Resort 2021 – The Ritz-Carlton, Turks & Caicos
  • Caribbean’s Leading Private Island Resort 2021 – Pine Cay, The Meridian Club, Turks & Caicos

As a destination, the Turks and Caicos Islands has consecutively won the award for the Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination and the Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination. These awards come as no surprise as the Islands are renowned for its pristine beaches and breathtaking turquoise waters and are considered the ideal destination for honeymoons and weddings.

Minister of Tourism, Honorable Josephine Connolly, stated, “We are thrilled to have continuously won in these categories of the World Travel Awards, as this is testament to our continued commitment in ensuring the Turks and Caicos Islands is the leading tourism destination in the region. The Ministry of Tourism’s team and industry partners all play an equally important part in promoting the destination and strengthening the brand of the destination.  The awards are a cumulative effort of all tourism partners inclusive of the Ministry of Health, who have guided us throughout this pandemic and implemented protocols that not only keep the local population safe but have allowed the tourism industry to thrive. We are grateful to our team, partners and all persons in the industry for the various roles they play in continuing to make our destination a leader in the industry.”

Director of Tourism, Pamela Ewing, stated, “My team and I are ecstatic to receive the awards for Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination and Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination.

The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board has continued to promote the destination through strategic marketing and promotions plans as both a ‘Beautiful by Nature’ destination and as the leading destination for honeymoons and weddings.” The World Travel Awards also recognized and awarded some of the best tourism related agencies within the Turks and Caicos Islands, as follows:

  • Turks & Caicos’ Leading Boutique Hotel 2021 – Windsong Resort
  • Turks & Caicos’ Leading Car Rental Company 2021 – Avis
  • Turks & Caicos’ Leading Destination Management Company 2021 – Olympia Destination Management Company
  • Turks & Caicos’ Leading Hotel 2021 – The Palms Turks & Caicos
  • Turks & Caicos’ Leading Hotel Suite 2021 – Four Bedroom Oceanfront Penthouse @ Windsong Resort
  • Turks & Caicos’ Leading Resort 2021 – Amanyara Villas
  • Turks & Caicos’ Leading Tour Operator 2021 – Caicos Dream Tours
  • Turks & Caicos’ Leading Travel Agency 2021 – Turks & Caicos Reservations

Traditionally, the World Travel Awards host a Gala Ceremony where top industry leaders and high-level tourism professionals from across the Caribbean region gather. However, given the ongoing global challenges, they have now opted to host a virtual day of celebrations in lieu of a physical ceremony.

Today, we virtually celebrate the World Travel Awards Winners for the Caribbean & North America.

 

Photo Credit: Brilliant Photography

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