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TCI: Sandals Foundation gives IPPS a major facelift

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#Providenciales, November 8, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – Sandals Foundation partnered with over 100 elite digital influencers and celebrities recently to give the Ianthe Pratt Primary School a major facelift. The volunteers, including designer Rebecca Minkoff, stylist Alli Webb, and Emmy Award-winning journalist Sam Champion, were at Beaches Turks and Caicos Resorts for the annual ‘Social Media on the Sand’ conference. They beautified the school grounds, painted several classrooms and play areas for the pupils as part of the foundation’s continued outreach programs.

The ‘mommy bloggers,’ some accompanied by their children, painted school murals and the courtyard with positive and educational messages. The works are a continuation of ongoing post-hurricane repairs to the school which includes repairing damaged ceilings, installing missing handrails, new guttering to the school’s administration block, fixing leaks, repairing damaged walls and organizing the school’s library.

Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of Sandals Foundation noted that this latest volunteer outreach is part of the foundation’s commitment to ‘spreading the love’ with more schools across the Turks and Caicos Islands.  “As you are very familiar, Sandals Foundation is really committed to education here in the Turks and Caicos and the rest of the Caribbean islands. So not only do we work on infrastructure and capacity building for teachers in our schools, but we try to get visitors, travel agents and travel partners involved in giving back in the Caribbean.  This is an opportunity to do some inspiring spaces here at the school, but it’s also an opportunity for many of these people to bring attention to the great Caribbean and the world outside our hotel doors.”

Ianthe Pratt Primary School is home to over 500 students ranging from ages 4 to 12 years old.  The school is one of several institutions that was adversely affected by 2017’s Hurricane Irma and Maria.

Clarke further stated; “We really want to share the love and ensure we are playing our part to help all our schools. Sandals Foundation has just recently completed $30,000 worth of work here at the school with plans to build upon this next year.  Providing positive spaces with the right learning tools gives our children more inspiration to succeed and that is our mission.”

Neekimo King, Principal of Ianthe Pratt Primary School noted; “We’re happy that the volunteers were able to come here and put these creative things on our school compound. We’re hoping that will encourage our students to read and learn while playing.’

Media influencer Rachel Teodoro said; “I love being a part of anything that gives back.  I think it’s so important to teach our families and our children and our future generation how to give back to other people and not to just focus on themselves.  I think it’s such a great thing the Sandals Foundation is doing in the community they exist in.”

In May, Sandals Foundation completed extensive hurricane repairs to the Enid Capron Primary with the refurbishment of the school’s sick bay, canteen, teacher resource room and construction of a computer lab.  The project which was conducted in partnership with American Friends of Jamaica and Yellow Bird Foundation also included the donation of 20 computers, furniture and literacy items for the lab.

The Sandals Foundation is fully committed to helping TCI schools recover from the recent hurricanes and looks forward to the further support of education as the foundation nears its 10th year anniversary in 2019.

 

Press Release: Beaches Resorts

 

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Multi-Agency Immigration Operations Across Providenciales

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#TurksandCaicos, October 22, 2021 – Law enforcement officers from across the Turks and Caicos Islands have been active together across Providenciales again this week, targeting unlawful migrants. Joint teams of Officers from Immigration Enforcement Unit and Intelligence and Forgery Units and the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force have undertaken intelligence-led road checks and operations to businesses across the island.

Marines from the Turks and Caicos Islands Regiment have also been deployed to coastlines across Providenciales as part of multi-agency effort to tackle illegal migration to the Turks and Caicos Islands.       

The Marines, who were supported by Officers from Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, conducted surveillance and checking of persons and vehicles in the area.

Speaking from North West Point, the Regiment’s Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Ennis Grant, said, “The Turks and Caicos Islands Regiment has deployed to lead coastal patrols where intelligence tells us illegal migrants are likely to try to enter the Turks and Caicos Islands.  Working in partnership with agencies, including the Marine Branch and operational units of Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, and Immigration Taskforce, means unlawful migrants are far less likely to be able to enter our Islands undetected.”

The multi-agency activity has been coordinated and overseen by Immigration Compliance and Enforcement Unit Manager Tito Forbes, who said, “This is not a one-off exercise. Tackling illegal migration is a key priority across all agencies and joint operations are repeated regularly.  The public will see Officers out in their communities frequently and we are grateful for their cooperation”.

The Minister of Immigration and Border Services, Hon. Arlington Musgrove, said, “We know the community is concerned about the threat of illegal migration, so this should reassure residents that this is something we take extremely seriously.  Unlawful migrants should take note – agencies across TCI are out patrolling our communities. I repeat that If you should not be in TCI you should leave, or risk being detained and repatriated”.

The Acting Governor, H.E. Anya Williams added, “As we continue to focus on National Security as one of our strategic priorities, we are implementing a joined up approach across government between our Joint Law Enforcement Agencies:  the Police, Immigration and the TCI Regiment to ensure that our borders are protected and that illegal migration is addressed both off and onshore by carrying out various enforcement activities at businesses and in the community.  I commend our officers on the work that they are doing and wish them much success as we strive to improve and further expand our law enforcement activities.”

Businesses are reminded that employing an illegal worker is a criminal offence, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 or to a term of imprisonment of two years, or both.  Members of the public with information about illegal migration or illegal working are encouraged to contact CrimeStoppers, which can be done completely anonymously, on 1-800-8477.

Press Release

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Development Agreement with Carnival Cruise Line Signed

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#TurksandCaicos, October 22, 2021 – After twenty-one months, the Grand Turk Cruise Center will receive cruise ships at its facility starting in early December 2021, which is welcomed news to the inhabitants of the island of Grand Turk who have experienced prolonged economic inactivity in the cruise sector, which employs some 30% of the resident population and supports small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Additionally, the Government of the Turks and Caicos, under the leadership of the Honourable Premier C. Washington Misick, on Wednesday, 13th October 2021 signed an agreement with Carnival Corporation, highlighted by a $25 million new investment in the Grand Turk Cruise Center. This investment will include the extension of the dock facility to accommodate larger ships and improvements to the reception facilities.

The Government – being acutely aware of the plight of taxi and ground transportation operators, shore excursions,  restaurants and bars, local craft and souvenir shops, jewelers and many more businesses, all of whom benefit from the cruise sector either directly or indirectly – expressed its commitment to prepare the sector for an imminent reopening. This agreement, including the investment in the cruise center, follows the Government’s efforts to accelerate negotiations that began when Hon. Premier Misick came into office in February 2021, at a time that marked approximately one year since the pause of cruise tourism arrivals to Grand Turk.

Since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, many economies of the world have been thrown into a state of flux as forced lockdowns saw economies dwindle.  Among the many sectors, the travel industry worldwide and the cruise tourism industry more specifically were disproportionately affected.  However, with wider acceptance of a vaccine, the cruise industry foresees a rebound of the sector.

The cruise sector is the private sector’s lifeblood of Grand Turk. It is estimated that in March 2020 when the cruise port closed, over 1,450 persons were employed in cruise tourism with employee wage income totaling over $26.8 million per annum. The sector was on a growth trajectory with direct cruise tourism expenditure expected to surpass $86.5 million and estimated passenger and crew arrivals to Grand Turk expecting to exceed 1.2 million annually.

The halt of the sector was a major negative economic impact for Turks and Caicos, and news of the reopening is a significant positive development to aid the recovery of tourism and the larger economy.  As the cruise industry resumes operations in Grand Turk, the Government of Turks and Caicos is focused on working with the community to deliver an exceptional overall experience for cruise guests, and ensure the safety and security of both visitors and residents in Grand Turk.

“As part of our overall restart efforts, we are very excited to be returning to Turks and Caicos later this year, and to once again be able to treat our guests to the beauty and wonder surrounding our home in Grand Turk,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We continue to be grateful for our long-standing partnership with Turks and Caicos, and look forward to working together on the expansion of the Grand Turk Cruise Center, which will bring more guests to one of our most popular destinations while providing ongoing positive economic impact to the people of Turks and Caicos and the communities in which they live.”

Hon. Premier Misick added: “As a community, we welcome the long-awaited resumption of cruising in Turks and Caicos, and we are delighted to be working closely with Carnival Corporation to continue to invest in the future of the Grand Turk Cruise Center. We look forward to long-lasting strategic alliances and joint initiatives with partners that will foster the economic growth of the Turks and Caicos Islands, creating opportunities for households across the country, making it possible for individual workers and entrepreneurs to earn more, and to achieve a higher standard of living and where businesses thrive and grow.”

 

Release: Office of the Premier

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Turks and Caicos Delegation visits Puerto Rico Haino Port in DR

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#TurksandCaicos, October 22, 2021 – The Minister of Immigration and Border Services Hon. Arlington Musgrove and Minister of Home Affairs Hon. Otis Morris, along with Ports Authority Chairman, Urban Francis and officials from their ministries, including the Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary Chawa Williams, Head of Secretariat Jenika Laporte, Director of Ports Delton Jones, and Director of EMS, Garvin Thomas returned from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on the 17th of October 2021, following meetings with management and staff of Puerto Rio Haino (HIT) focusing on trade and ports development opportunities and prospects.

Puerto Rio Haino is a very successful twenty (20) years old port concession that facilitates global trade with the Dominican Republic. HIT is very keen to share its experience with ports in the Caribbean through port operations, collaboration and trade development, capitalizing on its comparative advantage and scale.

HIT’s strategic objectives are consistent with the government’s desire to transform the TCI’s ports and diversify trade to reduce the cost of living and doing business in the TCI.

Reflecting on the outcomes of the meetings with HIT, Hon. Musgrove said “I am pleased with the outcome of the various meetings with the team from the HIT. The information received will undoubtedly add value to the TCI’s position in the wake of our Ports redevelopment project, and plans by my Government to diversify our Trade Sector. We are grateful to have been accommodated and anticipate fostering of an ongoing relationship of mutual exchange of information, best practices and assistance.”

Hon Morris added, “I am grateful for the opportunity to have accompanied the Minister to these meetings and particularly realizing the relevance of the Ports redevelopment and its importance in cross Border Trade, and I am eager to be a part of the decisions to positively impact the lives of our people.”

Ports Authority Chairman Francis elaborated “I am thankful to both Hon. Musgrove and Hon. Morris for the opportunity to participate in these meetings. The knowledge will be helpful not only in our redevelopment project but also in our Port Security and Safety enhancement plans, and our capacity building initiatives among staff.”

Areas discussed during the visit to HIT included: staff development in areas such as port security and safety, port container scanner, port digitalization and customs single window, port certification and adoption of global standards, port dredging and environmental issues and trade development opportunities focusing on developing new source markets for the TCI to take advantage of the manufacturing sector in the Dominican Republic and its global trade volumes and links which could drive down freight rates.

Hon. Musgrove observed that the discussions during the visit highlighted a number of areas for possible collaboration between the HIT and the TCI. He proposed the formation of a Joint Working Group of officials from the TCI and HIT to prioritize areas for collaboration and develop a work plan to appraise these opportunities.

The visit also afforded the TCI delegation the opportunity to observe the operations of Puerto Rio Haino.

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