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Grenada’s Leo Garbutt named 2020 hotelier of the year

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Caribbean Hotelier of the Year Leo Garbutt is flanked by CHTA President Patricia Affonso-Dass and Frank Comito, CHTA CEO and Director General.

#THE BAHAMAS – The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has named respected Grenada hotelier Leo Garbutt 2020 Caribbean Hotelier of the Year.
The owner of Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel in Grenada received the coveted honor during the opening of Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Nassau last night as recognition of his exceptional contributions to Grenada and the Caribbean hotel and tourism industry over the past 30 years.
“We all know that 2020 vision is perfect and at this moment this is a perfect moment in my life,” said an emotional Garbutt upon receiving the coveted award. The hotelier thanked CHTA, previously awarded hoteliers of the year, the people of Grenada, his wife and his family for their support.

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Frank Comito, CHTA’s CEO and Director General, described Garbutt as “an adept, self-taught entrepreneur, whose love of his hotel, his adopted island and the Caribbean drove him to master the intricacies of the industry in our region.”

Garbutt began his hotel career by chance when a delayed flight to his native United Kingdom landed him in the Calabash Hotel in 1986. That led him to fall in love with the island and the hotel. “We all know that love makes people do strange things and despite a complete lack of experience in the hospitality business he and his wife bought what was then a 22-room hotel and built it into today’s 30-suite world-class award-winning luxury resort and spa,” said Comito. “As they say Amor Vincit Omnia – love conquers all!”

Garbutt’s commitment to excellence has seen the continuous improvement of his hotel product and service over the years. TripAdvisor now ranks Calabash the top luxury hotel in the Caribbean. A member of the coveted Virtuoso and Fine Hotels & Resorts programs as well as the prestigious Relais & Châteaux group, Calabash’s worldwide recognition has significantly raised Grenada’s international profile as a top-class tourist destination.

Leo Garbutt’s love for Grenada and the tourism industry grew as he invested his time and treasure into the property, and he and his staff have made significant contributions to the community. Now Second Vice President of the Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association, over the years he has pushed many initiatives to promote sustainable tourism, notably including the recent national ban on Styrofoam and single use plastics.

Calabash is strongly committed to the community and the staff are 100 percent Grenadian. Dedicated to looking after their island and community, the family supports early childhood education through Grenada Schools Inc and the island’s children’s homes through Pack for a Purpose, with donations to The Bel Air Children’s Home, The Dorothy Hopkin Centre for the Disabled, The Queen Elizabeth Home for Children and Programme for Adolescent Mothers.

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His daughters Adele and Beth and niece Hannah work alongside Garbutt to maintain and add sparkle to his five-star offering. The team works tirelessly to treat staff and guests as if they were extended members of Garbutt’s family, making Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel their home away from home.

Produced by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, this year’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace host sponsors are the Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, Baha Mar, and Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board, while Platinum sponsors include ADARA; AMResorts; Figment Design; Interval International; Marketplace Excellence; Mastercard; STR; TravelClick, an Amadeus company; Travelzoo; U.S. Virgin Islands; and HM&B.

Gold sponsors are American Airlines, Best Western International, Caribbean Airlines, Caribbean Travel + Life powered by Islands, Caribbean Wellness & Education, HCP Media, playAWARDS, Questex Travel Group (Travel Agent and Luxury Travel Advisor), Questex Travel & Meetings Events, Sojern, Symova, Travel Relations LLC, and TravPRO Mobile.

Silver sponsors are 7 Pillars Marketing on Demand; Arrivalist; BCV, a Rategain Company; Caribbean Journal; Condé Nast; Copa Airlines; Gamemasters Escape Solutions; interCaribbean Airways; Mitel; Northstar Travel Group; Pegasus; Saint Lucia Tourism Authority; SiteMinder; St. Martin / St. Maarten Tourist Office; Travel + Leisure | Blue Group Media; and TripAdvisor.

PRESS RELEASE: CARIBBEAN HOTEL & TOURISM ASSOCIATION

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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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