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TCI Gov’t called on to activate lenience on outstanding accommodation taxes

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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – May 13, 2020 – The Hotel and Tourism sector of the Turks and Caicos Islands will inevitably lose 44 per cent of its workforce in the coming weeks as the coronavirus continues to hold the global travel and tourism industry hostage.  

Recommendations emanating from an April survey, commissioned by the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association, TCHTA and conducted by KPMG are direct.

Government should support a Staff Retention Program.

Government should work with lending institutions to secure low interest; low risk loans to cover debt.

And Government should defer tax payments and waive penalty fees and interest charges for tourism businesses.

From the survey report:  “Most of the resorts in question are amongst the largest in terms of revenue generation and therefore tax generators. They indicated they had an exemplary prior payment record but with the onset of the pandemic they were experiencing cancellations at unprecedented levels and also had greater difficulty collecting receivables from similarly impacted tour operators. Such receivables included significant accommodation tax components.”

An impressive, 73 per cent of TCHTA members have paid their taxes up to February, but it is unlikely the Government will see any more revenue from the sector anytime soon.  There are no tourists in the country and it appears the ban on in-pound passengers via flights or cruises or pleasure craft will persist for at least three more months.

The remaining 27 per cent, who did not pay taxes in February expressed this in the survey:  “All of the respondents who had not paid their accommodation tax for February would support the deferral of payment of this amount along with the waiver of interest and penalties and would commit to pay all outstanding amounts.”

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Loss of this revenue to the Turks and Caicos Islands Government is already hurting, and the report survey heralds that more fiscal pain is on the way.  The majority of survey-taking TCHTA members who have not yet paid taxes for February 2020, admitted that catching-up may not be possible within this year at all, without government leniency.

“If interest and penalties on outstanding amounts are not waived only 33% of the respondents who had not paid their accommodation tax for February could commit to pay all outstanding amounts in financial year 20/21.” Add to the loss in tourism revenue, the loss of economic activity predicated on tourism employees’ salaries.  Already, 14 per cent of hotel and tourism workers have been terminated and at this time, those employees reflected in the survey are receiving around 55 per cent of basic pay.

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Subject identified

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SERVICE WITH PRIDE AND INTEGRITY

 

***MEDIA RELEASE***

May 18th, 2024.

Following a police shooting incident on May 14th, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) is now able to name the deceased male subject, with the permission of the family.

The Serious Crime Unit contacted the relatives of the deceased, and formal identification has taken place, with the subject being identified as 14-year-old Antorens Dorcely, also known locally as ‘Toto’.

During this challenging time, the RTCIPF also expressed its deepest condolences to the deceased’s family, and the force will continue to offer support through our Family Liaison Officer.

In light of this incident, the RTCIPF is urging the public to show respect and sensitivity towards the grieving family by refraining from sharing any footage of the deceased on social media.

Sharing such material can cause additional distress and harm. We emphasize the importance of empathy and respect for the family’s privacy as they navigate their grief. The death of any young person is a loss to the TCI.

The RTCIPF is committed and dedicated to conducting a thorough investigation and ensuring that all aspects of the incident are carefully examined and the findings are communicated transparently to the public.

A request has been made to an external police force to conduct a review of the incident. This is a routine procedure and intended to ensure an independent and objective review of the facts. The community’s cooperation and respect during this time are essential. The RTCIPF assures the public that we remain dedicated to upholding justice and accountability.

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Orlando Mother Remanded for Bullet possession in Turks and Caicos

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Wilkie Arthur and Deandrea Hamilton 

Editorial staff

 

Remanded until July, but her attorney Leanna Brooks-Campbell is likely to make application for bail as the matter is now transfered to the Supreme Court.

American tourist from Orlando, Florida Shanita Shinee Grier, 45, who was arrested Monday, after two bullets were allegedly found in her baggage is the newest defendant facing the stiff penalties associated with breaching the Turks & Caicos Firearms Ordinance.

Grier was exiting TCI at the Providenciales International Airport with her daughter when the ammunition was detected, ending her Mother’s Day trip to the islands on an unexpectedly sour note.

Today, the chief magistrate remanded her to prison until July 5, 2024, however that can change.

She is facing charges of unlawful possession of ammunition; a crime punishable with a minimum 12 year sentence except in the case of a judge ruling that the case falls in the category of “exceptional.”

Then, and only then would it warrant a different sentence by a judge.

Support for the Floridian was impressive; Bryan Hagerich and Ryan Watson and their relatives filled the Magistrate’s Court on Old Airport Road informs Court Correspondent, Wilkie Arthur.

It was a show of patriotic solidarity on an issue which has elicited emotive views on all sides for Americans who are hoping to prove they were tourists on holiday and nothing more.

Bryan Hagerich of Pennsylvanian and Ryan Watson of Oklahoma also charged in two separate instances for being in possession of ammunition while wrapping up their TCI vacations in April and May respectively.

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InvestTCI facilitates the Development Agreement Between TCIG and Molo Hotel Group 

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – May 14th, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands Government and Molo Hotel Group reached a pivotal juncture on Monday, May 13th, 2024, with the ceremonial signing of a development agreement at the Premier’s Office on Providenciales. The agreement, which received official Cabinet approval on March 13th, 2024, signifies a steadfast commitment to advancing the economic landscape of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Molo Hotel Group is a family-owned business, renowned for its distinguished portfolio of high-quality hotels worldwide. The development initiative encompasses the construction of three distinct IHG branded hotels: InterContinental Turks and Caicos, Kimpton Turks and Caicos and Hotel Indigo Turks and Caicos. Scheduled for completion by 2027, each resort boasts a distinctive design from luxury to laidback sophistication spanning across the shores of Grace Bay Beach.

Kimpton Turks and Caicos – an epitome of luxury lifestyle living, will feature 192 guest rooms including three outdoor pools, a luxury spa and a fitness center. Additionally, seven dining options ranging from a beachfront restaurant to a rooftop bar.

Adjacent to the Kimpton, InterContinental Turks and Caicos will offer 59 classic luxury suites with panoramic ocean views. Mirroring its counterpart, this resort will offer an array of dining options and upscale facilities.

Steps away from the Intercontinental and Kimpton resorts, Hotel Indigo Turks and Caicos will embrace a sense of community and contemporary elegance, offering 56 bedrooms. The resort will feature an onsite restaurant, lobby bar, outdoor pool, and fitness room.

Beyond the realm of hospitality, this development agreement underscores the government’s commitment to fostering economic growth and enhancing employment opportunities in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Molo is partnering with the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College (TCICC) to actively promote hospitality as a career choice and support in developing training programs, career fairs, seminars, workshops, and events to raise awareness about hospitality careers. Molo has committed to provide employment and apprentice opportunities to TCICC students and provide mentoring and practical on property training to students.

The signing event was graced by Hon. Charles Washington Missick, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Hon. Jamell Robinson, Deputy Premier, Hon. Kyle Knowles, Minister of Public Safety and Utilities, Hon. Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Łukasz and Marcin Slominski, Owners of Molo, Ross Morrow, Managing Director Molo, Arik Kono, Vice President Upscale Development for IHG, Dr. Candice Williams, President and CEO of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, Angela Musgrove, InvestTCI CEO, Dr. Barbara Ambrister, Chairperson of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, Dr. Delores Stapleton- Harris, Vice President of Academic, Vocational and Student Affairs for the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, Mr. Kevin Baxter, Dean of Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) and Sheryl McLaughlin, InvestTCI Investment Services Executive.

Commenting on the development agreement, Premier, Hon. Misick, stated “The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing of IHG/Molo Hotels is a significant step towards a sustainable future for hospitality in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Three hotels, Kimpton, Intercontinental, and Hotel Indigo, will be introduced, enhancing our tourism product and creating employment opportunities.”

He further added, “Partnerships with the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College and Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission are underway, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to developing human capital and elevating tourism offerings. This project will bring economic growth, embrace local talent, and enrich our economy.”

Additionally, Mrs. Angela Musgrove, CEO of Invest Turks and Caicos Islands, emphasized “This collaboration confirms our commitment to fostering economic growth and prosperity within our country. We have worked closely with Molo Hotel Group, and we are confident that this transformative project will further position the Turks and Caicos Islands as a premier destination for travel and investment. Much to our delight, it will also provide opportunities for engagement with our Community College and small business community.”

The Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, operating through its primary Investment Promotion

Agency, Invest Turks and Caicos Islands, remains committed to attracting and facilitating Foreign Direct Investments to the country by providing a comprehensive suite of services. Through strategic initiatives and targeted promotion, the agency catalyzes sustainable development, driving innovation and small business opportunities across various sectors of the economy.

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