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Tourism Industry Prepares for Uncertain Times

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Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) set for Miami this summer

#MIAMI – March 6, 2020 – In the midst of an unprecedented decade of Caribbean tourism growth when hoteliers, tourism-related businesses and destinations successfully tackled a number of challenges, industry stakeholders are gearing up to address anticipated new challenges and share active solutions to help steer a course through uncharted waters.  Drawing upon the theme “Riding the Wave – Smart Actions in Uncertain Times”, challenges and solutions will be front and center at the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), the Caribbean region’s annual networking, education and best practice sharing event for hospitality and tourism business stakeholders.

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The timing for this year’s CHIEF and its value to industry participants could not be more important during these uncertain times according to the forum organizers. 

CHIEF’s overarching goal is to help ensure the industry’s profitability and that the region remains one of the world’s most desirable destinations.
Organized by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), and slated for Hyatt Regency Miami from June 26-28, 2020, CHIEF will draw more than 400 hoteliers, suppliers and other hospitality and tourism sector stakeholders from across the region, as well as from the United States and Canada. 

“Through CHIEF, owners, managers, supervisors and tourism industry leaders will connect and compare lessons learned about effectively addressing the impacts of devastating storms, threats of pandemics, shifting marketplace dynamics, escalating operational costs, and the mind-bending array of marketing and technical options as they look to protect and build resilience and profitability,” states CHTA’s CEO and Director General Frank Comito.   

Regional and global industry experts will lead panel discussions and connect one-on-one with attendees as they share their expertise in hospitality, tourism and the cultivation of diverse and high-performing talent at all levels focusing on enhancing efficiencies in operations, sales and marketing, and environmental sustainability.  Quickly recognizing and acting on rapidly emerging trends to stay ahead of the competition is a major focus of CHIEF, which is why the theme this year is so apt, said Comito.

“‘Riding the Wave – Smart Actions in Uncertain Times’ means we want to stay on top while ensuring we can continue to learn quickly about what needs to be done when there are unforeseen bumps, and we’ll have speakers, panels and interactive discussions which will amplify these prerogatives for progress.” 

Over the two days of CHIEF, participants will be able to attend general and breakout sessions, an awards presentation, an innovative trade show, and other activities to complement the core program.

Hyatt Regency Miami

CHIEF is taking place concurrently with CHTA’s highly anticipated Taste of the Caribbean, also being held at Hyatt Regency Miami, and featuring top culinary teams from participating Caribbean nations and territories competing for recognition and awards, from June 26-30.

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Bahamas News

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

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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

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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

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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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