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More Caribbean Professionals Complete Hospitality Training

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MST. MAARTEN (October 14, 2019) – Hundreds of Caribbean tourism professionals are honing their skills in cutting-edge customer service training sessions presented by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF). 

The Foundation provides people throughout the region with an awareness of the industry’s varied career options, as well as technical and professional development opportunities for those already in the tourism sector.

Following its successful training sessions in St. Lucia and St. Maarten, CHTAEF’s next round of training is being held in Grenada and Tobago this week.

CHTAEF Chairperson Karolin Troubetzkoy said the workshops recognized the natural hospitality of Caribbean people and how it could be enhanced to meet the changing needs of today’s traveler. The sessions also presented participants with new skills to master as they strive to surpass guest expectations.

With support from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association (SLHTA), CHTAEF assembled over 160 St. Lucian hospitality workers last month to help polish their skills in a series of guest service training sessions, conducted by Louise John and Suzanne Shillingford-Brooks of Talkabout & Earth Solutions.

Dubbed ‘Heartfelt Guest Care to Welcome the World’, the training – launched by CHTAEF in partnership with Virgin Holidays – gave hospitality team members, supervisors, managers and owners the knowledge and the skills needed to best serve a new and diverse generation of customers.

In St. Maarten, with the support of Interval International, individual training workshops were created for professionals working at the front office, the engineering and housekeeping departments, and supervisors.

At the end of the successful training of close to 90 professionals, Troubetzkoy endorsed the need for continuing educational programs for tourism professionals. 

“Our industry is flourishing but there will always be competing forces out there, so it is very important for us to ensure our hospitality workforce is well educated and prepared to ensure the Caribbean region retains its position at the top of the world’s most desirable vacation destinations,” reminded Troubetzkoy. 

She highlighted the importance of sponsors such as Virgin Holidays and Interval International for opening doors not only for many young people but also for hospitality workers already in the industry, who are seeking to further their education and improve their qualifications.

CHTAEF’s partnership with Interval International has introduced sessions to Aruba and St. Maarten, while Virgin Holidays supported training in Barbados and St. Lucia. Additional training sessions are now being held in Grenada and slated for later in the week in Tobago.

About CHTA Education Foundation (CHTAEF)

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF) was established 30 years ago as a stand-alone 501(c)3 nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, through which scholarships and special assistance are available for the education of Caribbean hotel industry personnel and students pursuing careers in hospitality and tourism. The Education Foundation has awarded more than US$2 million in scholarships and grants to applicants who demonstrate a strong commitment to the hotel and tourism industry. For more information, visit www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com/about-the-foundation, call +1 305 443-3030 or email foundation@caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.

Release: Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF)

Photo Captions:

Header: St. Maarten hosted a successful CHTAEF training.

Insert: From left) St. Maarten’s Minister of Tourism Stuart A. Johnson; CHTAEF Chairperson Karolin Troubetzkoy; Neil Kolton, Interval International’s Director of Business Development for the Caribbean and Southeast U.S. and CHTAEF board member; Ricardo Perez, Vice President of the St. Maarten Timeshare Association; and Wyb Meijer, Executive Director of the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association in St. Maarten this month.

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Caribbean News

ScotiaBank Turks & Caicos Awarded Best Consumer Digital Bank 2021

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Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Island – September 24, 2021 – Scotiabank TCI has been named the “Best Consumer Digital Bank 2021” by Global Finance (New York), which regularly selects the top performers amongst banks and financial services and is a trusted standard of excellence for the global financial community.

In commenting on the award, Patricia Adams, Managing Director (Acting), Scotiabank TCI said, “Supporting our customers during the ongoing uncertainties remains our top priority and we are thrilled that our significant focus and investments in our digital banking platforms continue to yield positive results.”

“During this period, we have continuously relied on feedback from our customers about their specific personal or business needs and we remain committed to further improvements as we aim to make it easier and safer for them to conduct their banking” Adams concluded.

Some of the most recent investments include the expansion of the capabilities of the Scotiabank Mobile App, upgrades made to the Bank’s ABM network to include intelligent deposit machines and the use of digital analytics to anticipate customer needs and deliver personalized financial solutions.

Winning banks were selected based on the following criteria: strength of strategy  for attracting and servicing digital customers, success in getting clients to use digital  offerings, growth of digital customers, breadth of product offerings, evidence of tangible benefits gained from digital initiatives, and web/mobile site design and functionality. Read more about the awards here.

Scotiabank TCI’s award for “Best Consumer Digital Bank” follows another recent global recognition for innovation in financial services by The Banker’s Global Innovation in Digital Banking Awards 2021. The ‘Most Innovative in Data’ award acknowledges the Bank’s investments in data and analytics, as well as its commitment to delivering a more personalized customer experience.

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Bahamas News

Over 68,000 STAYED HOME in Bahamas Elections; We have BEST and WORST for Voter Participation

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – The just-concluded General Election in Bahamas has presented a new shift in governance.  The former ruling part, Free National Movement, lost nearly all the electoral seats it secured in the 2017 general elections.  However, this seems a swap of the Progressive Liberal party’s score in the 2017 general elections in which the former ruling party (FNM) won nearly all the parliamentary seats.

68,000 STAYED AWAY

While the FNM secured 35 out of 39 seats in the 2017 ballot, leaving only four slots for the Opposition, the 2021 elections presented “new day” with the Opposition clinching 32 parliamentary seats, leaving the former ruling party FNM with only seven slots.

However, the election results showed a significant drop in voter turnout compared to the 2017 election results. Out of 194,494 registered voters in The Bahamas, only 126,414 voted, translating to 65 per cent voter turnout.

PREVIOUS ELECTION HIGHER

This was different from the previous election in which 160,407 out of 181,543 registered voters cast their ballots, translating to a remarkable 88.36 per cent voter turnout.

Being the first election in the island nation since the Covid-19 struck the Caribbean; the dismal voter turnout could be attributed to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in The Bahamas and the current countermeasures taken by individuals to avoid contracting the deadly virus.

It could also be voter apathy.

BEST IN SHOW

Despite coronavirus prevalence in the country, North Andros & Berry Islands, Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and Mangrove Cay & South Andros constituencies recorded an impressive voter turnout of 77.99 per cent, 76.11 per cent and 73.06 per cent respectively.

North Andros & Berry Islands had 2,126 out of 2,569 registered voters cast their ballots, followed by 1,255 out of 1,622 in Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and 1,706 out of 2,164 registered voters in Mangrove Cay & South Andros.

VERY LOW SHOW

The bottom three constituencies in terms of voter turnout include Bamboo Town, which had 3,436 out of 5,838 (58.63 per cent) registered voters cast their ballot, followed by Garden Hills with 3,033 out of 5,287 (57.09 per cent), and   Central & South Abaco falling at the bottom of the list with 1,844 out of 3,271 (55.96 per cent).

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Bahamas News

BAHAMAS: Nine new Cabinet ministers sworn-in

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis today introduced the first set of new Cabinet ministers with portfolios covering the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs, Education, Works and Public Utilities, Health and Wellness, Government Affairs, Agriculture, National Security and Legal Affairs.

The nine ministers were sworn-in on Monday 20 September 2021 by Governor-General the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith during ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Center.

“They are the initial members of a Cabinet which will reflect the breadth and depth of the competencies and characteristics of our team: experience combined with innovation; expertise combined with a willingness to see things anew; integrity and a strong sense of purpose,” said Prime Minister Davis.

“They are receiving these appointments because of their determination to get things done.”

Among the new Ministers sworn-in on Monday were:

  • Senator the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, Attorney General;
  • Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service;
  • Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education, and Technical and Vocational Training;
  • Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities;
  • Dr. Hon. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness;
  • Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Government Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate;
  • Hon. Clay Sweeting, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs;
  • Hon. Wayne Munroe, Minister of National Security; and
  • Hon. Jomo Campbell, Minister of State for Legal Affairs.

“I am confident that these first-appointed members of our Cabinet team are ready to deliver on the promise of a New Day for our Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Davis pledged to move with urgency to address the economic and health crises that are faced by The Bahamas.

Many thousands of Bahamians are out of work, people are losing too many loved ones to the COVID-19 virus and Bahamian schoolchildren are falling behind, said Prime Minister Davis.

“I want to be clear: we are not here to tinker at the edges of these problems,” said the Prime Minister.

“We are here to meet them head on.”

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