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JAMAICA: Tourism Sector On Track To Exceed Growth Targets



Montego Bay, November 6, 2019 – Jamaica – Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the targets under the 5x5x5 plan are way ahead of schedule, placing the sector on an unprecedented growth path.

The five-year growth targets, set in 2016, are aimed at attracting five million tourists, generating US$5 billion in earnings, and increasing total direct employment to 125,000, while adding 15,000 rooms.

“In only three years, we have either achieved some of our targets or we are close to achieving others. We are way ahead of projections and should easily achieve the 5x5x5 by 2021,” Minister Bartlett told JIS News.

He said that the sector currently employs 127,600 workers directly with induced and indirect employment at approximately 250,000.

“We have been strategic and deliberate in our growth strategies and it has paid off, as now we have exceeded our employment targets just two years shy of the timeline set,” he noted. 

He said that arrivals and earnings are “well within striking distance” in year three of the five-year projection, showing increases of nine per cent and 10.2 per cent, respectively.

“Arrivals as of now stand at 4.4 million, while earnings are at US$3.7 million,” the Minister noted.

Meanwhile, Minister Bartlett said that increased focus is being placed on human capital development, with the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI) recently graduating its third batch of students since its inception in 2017.

“We will have qualified workers with professional certification in the sector,” he said.

“The facility offers a practical curriculum that complements existing hospitality programmes at several tertiary institutions. Between October 2018 and now, 1,342 participants have graduated from the JCTI,” he said.

He said that the JCTI is on track to train and certify 8,000 workers over the next five years to meet the demands of the sector.

Certification programmes offered by the JCTI include Hospitality Instructor, Culinary Tutor, Bartender Tutor, Hospitality Supervisor, Chef, Bartenders and American Culinary Federation (ACF) Evaluator. Next year, the JCTI will launch its Job Site, which is a website to connect certified workers in the sector to job vacancies and for business operators to find employees.

Contact: Garwin Davis

Release: JIS

Photo Caption: Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett (seventh left); and Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and Chairman of the Board of Management of the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI​), Dr. Andrew Spencer (seventh right), with JCTI graduates at a facility’s third graduation exercise held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James, recently.

Photo (Contributed)

Bahamas News

Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

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Caribbean News

Hurricane Ian impact on Cayman Islands



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#Cayman, October 1, 2022 – The Cayman Islands experienced fierce winds and high seas from Hurricane Ian on Monday, as the storm passed offshore, causing little lasting damage.

Some areas on the island experienced flooding as low-lying condo complexes and some residential back roads were inundated with water. Almost 4,000 homes were without power on Monday; however, most had electricity restored by the evening.

There were also no reports of any injuries, deaths, or serious structural damage.  The country started its restoration process on Monday afternoon, clearing debris from the roads, surveying the damage and providing support to residents where needed.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, Premier of the Cayman Islands Wayne Panton said he was pleased with how residents handled the situation.

“While we have been very fortunate to have been spared the worst of a potentially very serious storm, I’m extremely pleased to have seen the efforts made by the Caymanian public to prepare for ‘the worst, while praying for the best. In this situation, this is simply the safest, most strategic thing to do,” the Premier said

Despite the all-clear being issued on Monday evening, the Ministry of Education announced that government schools will remain closed to students until Wednesday, 28 September.

Meanwhile, in Cuba, authorities have declared emergencies in six areas, with forecasters warning of storm surges on the coast along with flash floods and mudslides.

Tens of thousands of people were told to leave their homes and seek shelter. Cuba could see up to 12 inches of rain from Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Ian dramatically intensified and is blamed for at least two dozen deaths in Florida; where the storm struck with near category five force winds and a near 20 foot storm surge.

Over 700 rescue operations were activated in Florida in the aftermath of the storm, which is still wreaking havoc in the U.S.


Cayman photo credit:  RC Cord

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Caribbean News

Soca Boss honoured as Trinidad & Tobago marks 50 Years



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer


#Trinidad&Tobago, October 1, 2022 – Machel Montano, the Soca Boss, was on Saturday, September 24, awarded the Hummingbird Gold National Award as Trinidad and Tobago celebrated its 46th anniversary of becoming a republic.

The Hummingbird medal is awarded for loyal and devoted service beneficial to the state in any field or acts of conspicuous gallantry or other outstanding humane action.

Montano, who is celebrating 40 years in soca music, expressed his gratitude for the award in a statement on his social media pages.

The Soca Monarch expressed gratitude to his family, who he said have always supported him throughout his journey.

“I am humbled and wish to dedicate this honor to my family, my parents, Elizabeth and Winston Montano, who set me on this path and without whom I would not stand proud here in this moment. Their love, guidance and support throughout the years have absolutely been my foundation,” Montano said.

Adding that: “My brother Marcus for igniting my musical spark and always being there up to this day, someone I can call on anytime for any task. My wife, my children, in-laws, sister-in-law, nieces, aunts, cousins and loved ones who have all steered and cheered me on.”

He also expressed heartfelt gratitude to his musical family, friends and fans.

“Over my 40-year journey in music my family has grown into a Famalay…sprawling all over the globe, all my musical friends; writers, producers, musicians, managers, dancers, collaborators, creators, techs, teachers, assistants, dedicated staff, friends and FANS 🙌… everyone who has ever contributed to anything I’ve done, it’s always been fun and I thank you all,” he said.

Montano said he hopes his award will inspire other entertainers and encourage them to keep working hard and aspiring.

Congratulations to the Soca Monarch and Boss on this major milestone.

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