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TCI: Premier Signs OCT Declaration on Ocean

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#Providenciales, November 1, 2019 – Turks and CaicosPThe Premier Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson signed a Declaration on Ocean during the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) Association’s Conference on Oceans held in Brussels, Belgium on the 16 – 17 October 2019. Turks and Caicos Islands made representation at the Conference with the ceremonial signing of the OCT Declaration on Ocean as part of the two-day event.

The Overseas Countries and Territories associated with the European Union are largely oceanic territories. Their existence and their survival are inseparably linked to Oceans for food, livelihoods, water, oxygen, climate, socio-economic growth, culture and tourism. The Turks and Caicos Islands depends very heavily on Oceans for similar reasons; sourcing food, jobs for locals and largely as an attraction to millions of visitors to the Islands per year. To ensure that TCI’s Oceans are protected, maintained and ensure the collection of data to assist with sustainability research and conservation efforts, the Declaration was signed.

The OCT Declaration on Ocean which aims to promote sustainable natural resources, conservation of biodiversity and management of oceans was developed with four (4) main objectives: –

1)      To conserve and sustainably use the environmental value of Oceans

2)      Foster the economic value of Oceans and support a sustainable Blue Economy

3)      Stimulate the social value of Oceans

4)      Develop regional, European, global and inter-OCTs collaboration, with the support of Member-States having a link with OCTs to:

a)       take a harmonised regional and territorial approach to improve the maritime monitoring (illegal fishing, pollutants, etc) using common protocols and shared technology while recognising the differences between the OCT’s marine areas;

b)      Cooperate between OCTs in marine research and innovation;

c)       Promte human and institutional capacity to advance ocean governance and management by OCTs;

d)      Capitalise effors by a coordinated involvement in international fora and act as embassador for Oceans; 

e)      Optimise the use of available EU funding, with a particular view on new opportunities that will be available in the EU programme post 2020 which are of interest of Oceans and OCTs;

f)        Keep abreast with European policy developments when appropriate, with a view of getting involved in future initiatives for Oceans.

With growing human populations and activities, Oceans are suffering from pollution, overexploitation, coastal degradation and the effects of climate change. Warmer seas temperatues, increased intensity of storms, rising sea levels, loss of biodiversity, coral bleaching, ocean acidification and significant increased pollution by plastics are all major issues threathening the sustinability of our Oceans and can have an impact on human health.

The Turks and Caicos Islands increasingly moving toward a greener more environmentally conscious lifestyle, through its enacted Ban on single use plastics and the impending ban on the importation of polystyrenes along with noteworthy investment in research and data collection by TCIG to properly manage and govern the use of our marine environment and the protection of our coast lines has been a heavy focus for TCI Government.

The signing of this Declaration ensures that TCI remains compliant with international conservation standards and best pratices and that the country has access to the most recent data and technologies in the region that can inform and boost the sustainable use of our natural resources.

More than 15 OCTs signed the OCT Declaration on Ocean, the Turks and Caicos Islands included. The Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) with the support of the European Commission, organised the Conference on Oceans chaired by Prime Minister of Curaçao, M. Rhuggenaath. Panellists included four Members of the European Parliament, representatives of several Directorates General of the European Commission, representatives of the Member States to which OCTs are associated and political delegations from 21 OCTs.

The OCTAssociation  is a non-profit organization operating out of Belgium and has 22 members – including inhabited OCTs and TAAF (French Southern and Atlantic Lands). Its highest decision-making authority is the Ministerial Conference which consists of the representatives (Political Heads of Government or delegates) of each member Government.

Release: TCIG

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Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board Celebrates World Tourism Day

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The Destination Continues to See an Influx of Tourists, Following One of the Busiest Summers on Record, and Is Optimistic for the Future

#TurksandCaicos, September 27, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board, the exclusive tourism authority for the Turks and Caicos Islands, is excited to celebrate World Tourism Day on today, September 27, 2021, and reflect on the Island’s significant increase in tourism since the pandemic. Thanks to the Tourist Board’s strategic marketing and public relations plans, combined with its vigilant TCI Assured protocols, aggressive vaccine campaign, and pent-up travel demand, the destination reported one of its busiest summers to date in 2021 with an increase of over 18% in June, 19% in July, and 15% in August compared to pre-pandemic statistics in 2019.

“On World Tourism Day and every day, we are proud to celebrate the success of tourism to the Turks and Caicos Islands, especially after the challenges that we and all tourism-driven countries faced during the pandemic,” said Pamela Ewing, Director of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board. “We have worked hard to enforce necessary safety protocols to ensure that tourism, our main economic driver, continues to positively impact both our local and travelling communities. The destination is optimistic for one of the busiest Festive seasons to date ahead, and we wish success to all other islands in the Caribbean.”

Tourism in the Turks and Caicos Islands continues to flourish due to the Tourist Board’s strategic marketing and public relations campaigns in the United States, Canada, South America, United Kingdom and Europe to promote the destination as safe for travelers. This includes press trips with key publications, radio campaigns in source markets, advertising and partnerships with stakeholders, and executing the signature event, Turks and Caicos Conference (TACC), which updated all partners on protocols and accommodation availability.

“We are grateful for all of our valued tourism partners, who have supported our efforts to ensure the ongoing safety of our residents and guests, and to the community for their vigilance in getting vaccinated and adhering to protocols,” said Honorable Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands. “It is because of everyone’s commitment that we’ve been able to keep tourism thriving safely and allow guests to focus on enjoying the exceptional vacation experience afforded by the destination, our picturesque beaches, and our world-class resorts and villas.”

Travel confidence has also increased thanks to the destination’s TCI Assured portal, a quality assurance pre-travel program and portal, which requires require a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR, NAA, RNA or Antigen test result from a test taken within three days of travel, medical / travel insurance that covers medevac, a completed health screening questionnaire, and proof of vaccination for all visitors ages 16 years and over. The vaccine requirement underscores the destination’s commitment to health and safety and expands on its already vigilant travel protocols, which have been in place for travelers since July 22, 2020, when the destination opened its borders to tourists. The Turks and Caicos Islands also continues to promote its vaccine campaign among residents, with over 70 percent of the adult population being fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine—making it one of the most inoculated countries in the world.

For more information on the Turks and Caicos Islands, call 1 (800) 241-0824 or visit www.turksandcaicostourism.com. Follow the Turks and Caicos Islands on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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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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COVID Works programme launched by Ministry of Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development

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#TurksandCaicos, September 21, 2021 – The Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development, the Honourable Akierra Mary Deanne Missick and the Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development team are pleased to announce the launch of the COVID WORKS Programme, that went live on September 1, 2021.

The Programme seeks to support many who have lost jobs and livelihoods, while providing labour intensive work for economic exchange opportunities for persons to be engaged.

Works are set out in three (3) levels and comprise a variety of categories example, cleaning, road works, demolition and general construction to name a few.

Level 1 – value $1,500 – $9,999

Level 2 – value $10,000 – $39,999

Level 3 – value $40,000 – $70,000

Turks and Caicos Islanders with valid business licenses are also being encouraged to submit proposals to the Public Works Department for consideration for works throughout the islands. 

Commenting on the launch of the programme, Hon. Missick said, “We are very much mindful of the impact that restrictions introduced by Government in an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, has had on the islands, many continue to experience financial hardship. Whilst, the hospitality and construction sectors in Providenciales have rebounded well, as an Administration, we cannot rest knowing that other industries are still limping along.

As a result, during the remainder of this financial year, the Turks & Caicos Islands Government has now launched the COVID Works Programme to provide an opportunity for Petty and Small Contractors to assist the Government in the enhancement of our communities, through programmed works, to the benefit of all of us as residents”.

The Minister went on to note, “This Programme is set to the tune of US$5,000,000.00, and works will be rolled out across the Islands in batches, as we have to ensure that we do not go beyond the allotted expenditure and that financial oversight and transparency are maintained.”

The initial batch of works for South Caicos, which comprised the following, was returned and evaluated on Monday, September 13, 2021 and included:

South Caicos 

Demolition- Queen’s Shed

Demolition- Distribution Concrete Tank

Demolition- Old Clinic Building

Demolition- DECR Building

Demolition- Library Building

Repair of Water Cistern

Works for Grand Turk included:

Grand Turk 

Demolition- Blood Bank Building

Demolition- Geriatric Ward Building

Demolition- Kitchen Building

Demolition- X-ray Building

All returning bids must be sent to the COVID Works email at tcigworks@gov.tc

Kindly note that as of Monday, September 20, 2021, the following works are planned to be released:

Grand Turk: 

Beach Cleaning (Eastern portion of Grand Turk)

Street Cleaning (All areas)

Providenciales:

Beach cleaning (Areas of Shore Club and Five Cays)

Street Cleaning (All areas)

A number of other works for Middle & North Caicos, as well as Salt Cay will be released shortly. This is a six month program that will spread throughout the TCI and we encourage persons to continue to register via tcigworks@gov.tc or the local Public Works Department and District Commissioners’ offices, to be eligible for this opportunity.

These works will continue on a monthly basis and the programme will come to an end in March 2022.

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