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Turks & Caicos Islands Triumphs at 2020 World Travel Awards Caribbean Gala



Minister of Tourism Hon. Ralph Higgs and Chairman of TCI Tourist Board Adelphine Higgs-Pitter accept the awards for Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination 2020 and Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination 2020 for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

#PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands (January 22, 2020) – The 27th Annual World Travel Awards Caribbean Gala was held on January 20, 2020 at Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas. The Turks & Caicos Islands once again captured the prestigious awards for Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination 2020 and Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination 2020.

The entertainment at the 27th World Travel Awards Caribbean Gala included Junkanoo

In addition to the above awards won by the destination, several Turks & Caicos Islands resorts were awarded as follows:

Ø  Turks & Caicos’ Leading Boutique Hotel 2020 – Beach House

Ø  Turks & Caicos’ Leading Car Rental Company 2020 – Hertz

Ø  Turks & Caicos’ Leading Destination Management Company 2020 – Olympia Destination Management Company

Ø  Turks & Caicos’ Leading Hotel 2020 – The Palms

Ø  Turks & Caicos’ Leading Hotel Suite 2020 – Three Bedroom Executive Penthouse at The Shore Club

Ø  Turks & Caicos’ Leading Resort 2020 – Amanyara Villas

Ø  Caribbean’s Leading All Suite Hotel 2020 – The Palms

Ø  Caribbean’s Leading All-Inclusive Family Resort 2020 – Beaches Turks & Caicos

Ø  Caribbean’s Leading Boutique Hotel 2020 – Point Grace

Ø  Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Suite 2020 – Grace Bay Penthouse Suite at Grace Bay Club

Ø  Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Resort 2020 – Sailrock Resort

The ceremony, which celebrates excellence in the travel and tourism industry, was attended by Caribbean Ministers and Directors of Tourism, industry leaders and international media. The Turks & Caicos Islands delegation was led by Minister of Tourism Hon. Ralph Higgs and included Chairman of the Tourist Board Adelphine Higgs-Pitter, Board Member Kendra Parker and USA Regional Marketing Manager Pamela Ewing.

L-R: Pamela Ewing, USA Regional Marketing Manager; Leandrea Missick, Ministry of Tourism Executive Administrator; Hon. Ralph Higgs, Minister of Tourism; Graham Cooke, Founder of the World Travel Awards; Adelphine Higgs-Pitter, Chairman of the Tourist Board; and Kendra Parker, Board Member of Tourist Board.

Graham Cooke, Founder, WTA, said, “What an incredible evening it has been here at the magnificent Sandals Royal Bahamian to mark the opening of our 27th annual Grand Tour. We have had the privilege of recognizing the Caribbean’s leading destinations, hotels, resorts, airlines and travel providers and my congratulations to each of our winners.”

Representatives of Sailrock Resort at the World Travel Awards Cocktail Reception.

Minister of Tourism Hon. Ralph Higgs stated, “It was my pleasure to have accepted the World Travel Awards on behalf of the Turks and Caicos Islands we are extremely honored. Being recognized as the Caribbean’s most romantic destination in particular, is an excellent attainment as we have taken steps to position the destination as a preferred wedding and honeymoon destination. These achievements are testament to the commitment and hard work of our amazing team and partners, who continue to work diligently in promoting brand TCI”.


Chairman of the TCI Tourist Board Adelphine Higgs-Pitter said, “I wish to express my sincere thanks to the general public for voting for the Turks and Caicos Islands in all eight categories that the destination received nominations in. We are thrilled that Turks and Caicos won and maintained the awards for Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination and Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination which demonstrates the service consistency and product quality of brand Turks and Caicos”.

The Turks & Caicos Islands, as a destination, has won the World Travel Award for Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination every year since 2015. From 2012 to 2014 the award for Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination was won by Grace Bay Beach specifically which seized the title from Negril, Jamaica. The 2020 nominees for Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination were Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Martinique, The Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago and U.S. Virgin Islands.

This year marks the second win for the destination as the Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination. Turks and Caicos Islands won the award in 2019 for the first time, capturing the title from Antigua and Barbuda who held the coveted title every year since 2015. The nominees for Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination 2020 were Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, St Barth, St Martin, The Bahamas and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Graham Cooke, Founder of the World Travel Awards and Gordon Butch Stewart, Chairman, Sandals Resorts International

The World Travel Awards Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2020 will take place in Moscow, Russia on Friday, 27 November 2020 and the Turks and Caicos Islands expects to receive nominations in several world categories.

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Bahamas News

Statement From Hon. Fred Mitchell, MP Minister of Foreign Affairs On the Passing of Colin Powell



#TheBahamas, October 18, 2021 – I learned this morning  of the death of Colin Powell, the American general and diplomat. I worked with him as Foreign Minister in my first term, particularly on issues related to Haiti.

Yesterday in the CARICOM meeting, I recalled while discussing Haiti his role in the crisis of that time. I recall his life, times and work as generally thoughtful and considered. He was also an example of Caribbean success in America, one to emulate. He was the son of Jamaican parents. He was an example of success as a Black man in America. I am saddened by his passing.

On behalf of the Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis, the government and people of The Bahamas, and in my own behalf, I extend condolences to the United States of America and his family.



Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Commonwealth of The Bahamas

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Agreement Signed!  Next Foghorns and Three Times the Arrivals



#TurksandCaicos, October 13, 2021 – When the foghorns blare again at the Grand Turk Cruise Center it will be well into the Christmas season, but the scheduled arrival of the Carnival Freedom on November 28, will end a 20-month pandemic imposed pause on cruising, the economic life-blood, of the capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“We have eleven meetings since May to make this happen.  I think it’s a huge, huge improvement on what we’ve had before, speaking to the value of the partnership of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and Carnival and we look to have a long and fruitful relationship,” said Hon Washington Misick, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Turks and Caicos Islands Government today, finally inked a deal with Carnival Corporation, which appeared hinged on the cruise company being granted the green light for an expansion to berthing at the Port, which opened in 2006 on the island of Grand Turk.

The signing of a new Development Agreement followed an October 7 Cabinet approval of the document; the brief ceremony was carried live on Facebook from the Office of the Premier in Grand Turk.

“Indeed as the Premier has stated, we met 11 times and many times in person, you were in every meeting and sometimes with members of Cabinet, the Attorney General and we worked on something that we will all be proud of for many years to come,” said Giora Israel, Senior Vice President Global Port & Destination Development.

Strongly intimated, by Premier Misick, that this expansion had been stalled.  Definitely stated, also by Premier Misick, it is full steam ahead for a resumption of cruising.

“We are confident that cruise ships filled with visitors will be back in time for the high season 21/22. We are not stopping there. Government is investing heavily in the improvement of the Cruise Port and infrastructure in Grand Turk including: Acquisition of a Property to be converted into a Vendors Market. $1.5m dollars has been allocated to refurbish and improve the property. Additional properties will be acquired and developed to accommodate vendors who depend on the cruise industry for their livelihood. 2-million dollars will be spent to construct a floating dock for the Water Sports Operators. We are providing up to $1 million in grants to eligible operators to help them prepare for the reopening of the Cruise Industry,” said the Premier during a National Address on September 23.

Three cruises to Grand Turk are booked for November and December 2021 and if all goes according to schedule – or better – the cruise calls on November 28, December 11, December 12 and December 26 will usher in a happier holiday season for the dozens of companies left in limbo with the crash of cruising in March 2020.

“I really want to thank our employees at the Port.  We have had employees who stayed here for the last two years working hard to maintain the port,” said Mr. Israel as he acknowledged the enthusiasm shown by the TCI Government to complete the deal; he added, “But I also want to thank the Community of Grand Turk.  We are a part of this community; we have been welcomed as a part of this community.  The Community has embraced us and we have embraced the Community, the business community and we need to look at this as a partnership,” expressed Mr. Israel during the live stream.

Outside of cruise tourism, Grand Turk draws dive enthusiasts from around the world and is increasingly experiencing popularity in the luxury villa market.  Nonetheless, these other distinctions for the island which is home to the Parliament and the Governor’s Residence, fall a distant second and third place to the thousands of cruise visitors travelling on four, five and six day itineraries; Cruising is what really brings the boom.

“We’ve had a long partnership of 20 years and this partnership is just getting better.  New horizon, new opportunities and when I look at this magazine, which is a magazine we issued when the port was opened, we expected that the biggest ship would be 1,800 passengers.  Within 90 days of today, we are expecting ships that will be able to carry three times the number of passengers…”

The Development Agreement gives Carnival Corporation the permissions and perimeters to begin a $25 million dock expansion project.  The Turks and Caicos Cabinet informed that the signatories represented:  the Crown, the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Grand Turk Cruise Terminal Ltd and Carnival Corporation.

Details of the Agreement were not revealed, therefore the scope of the expansion remains unknown.   What has been made clear is upon completion of the new dock, the largest ships in Carnival’s fleet will be able to moor in Grand Turk with the high probability that cruise passenger and crew arrivals to the islands of Grand Turk and Salt Cay, will triple.





Carnival elation Dec 11

Carnival Freedom Nov 28, dec 26

Carnival freedom Dec 12

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Bahamas News

CARPHA Team undertakes Assessment of Guyana’s National Surveillance System for Non-communicable Diseases



October 14, 2021 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) conducted a technical mission to Guyana from September 22nd – 25th, 2021 to undertake site visits as a part of an ongoing assessment of six (6) Member States’ systems for the national surveillance of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors. This activity was implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Guyana through an Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – funded project.

The aim of the assessment s to provide evidence in support of the development of a Regional Surveillance System for NCDs, a priority under the regional health framework Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (2016-2025).

During the mission, the CARPHA technical team reviewed the capacity of existing surveillance mechanisms in Guyana to collect, analyse and report on the NCDs and risk factor indicators proposed for the regional surveillance system. These indicators were recommended by a multi-stakeholder meeting series convened in 2020 under the AFD project, which reviewed global, regional, and sub-regional mandates, targets and practices in surveillance for the prevention and control of NCDs.

The CARPHA Team along with senior officials from the Ministry of Health conducted visits to two (2) health centres, the National Cancer Registry, Ministry of Health Surveillance, and Statistics Unit.  The results from the overall assessment will be presented to the Ministry of Health Guyana and will also be reviewed alongside results from similar assessments in Anguilla, Aruba, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname to inform the finalisation of the regional surveillance system design through a regional stakeholder meeting.

The regional NCDs surveillance system would facilitate the reporting and availability of data to inform policy development, planning, and tracking of progress towards meeting for targets NCDs at Regional and National levels.

Through funding from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), CARPHA is leading the Region in Strengthening Strategic Intelligence and Partnership Approaches to prevent and control NCDs and Strengthen Regional Health Security in the Caribbean. This project, signed in 2019 with a value of €1,500,000.00, demonstrates the commitment of the Government of France and the French people to supporting the public health priorities of the Caribbean Community through CARPHA.

More information on the Project can be found at:

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