#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – July 25, 2020 — Following the announcement that Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages and Spa will reopen on October 14th 2020, we note that there has been some concern expressed.
In particular we acknowledge the comments of fellow hotelier Armando Pizzuti, Executive Vice President of the Turks and Caicos Collection, who, while happy to see a fixed date, was worried about the potential fallout for the economy in the interim. Mr. Pizzuti said his concerns were based on the fact that Beaches was the anchor resort of the TCI, accounting for the vast majority of incoming seats, and that the destination needed the extensive marketing and advertising reach of Beaches to ‘put the Turks and Caicos back on the map.’
Mr. Pizzuti’s remarks about the importance of Beaches TCI to the sector was further emphasised by CEO of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association Stacy Cox, as well as Chairperson of the Tourist Board Adelphine Pitter.
We wish to thank all parties for their support and to assure them that we have taken heed of all the comments, coming as they have come from persons who are such key players in the TCI tourism and hospitality sector. We therefore feel compelled to offer some clarification on the matter.
The recent standstill brought about by the COVID pandemic has created an unprecedented situation, the likes of which the travel industry has never faced before. The announced reopening date was arrived at using the best available information we had to direct our planning. Therefore even as we join with our various partners throughout the Caribbean in taking bold steps to get the tourism sector up and running, there are some realities that cannot be ignored.
As pointed out by General Manager of Beaches Turks and Caicos James McAnally, this announcement is an important signal for the airlines to once more start including the TCI in their planned schedules, however the fact remains that operators will not fly to a destination without very good load factors. A key priority therefore is to ensure we get enough guest bookings so that the carriers will be convinced to recommence their schedules. That will take time and an extensive and expensive marketing and promotional effort.
Separate and apart from the marketing and promotional push, there are other factors that have to be considered and the reality is that any return to normalcy will take a time. The challenges inherent in the COVID testing requirements for instance continue to make it all the more difficult. The current system of testing still results in long lines, and long waits before persons can get results. This can become even more challenging for families travelling with children. We hope and look forward to an improved system in the near future or else there will always be a struggle to get decent occupancy levels any time soon.
The people of the TCI can rest assured however that we have always been a strong and solid partner, and we have identified what we feel is the most realistic date for reopening which is still well ahead of the busy Christmas season.
In the interim we have established one of the most highly rated set of safety measures in the world with our Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness. We were encouraged to hear that following our announcement Mr. Pizzuti is also now able to plan for his reopening, which will also redound to the benefit of the entire sector.
Press Release issued July 25, 2020
Police De-Briefing with TCI Governor Daniel-Selvaratnam
#TurksandCaicos#Anti-Crime, February 23rd, 2024 – De-briefing Acting Commissioner of Police Christopher Eyre held a meeting with Her Excellency the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and Member of Parliament for Grand Turk North, the Hon. Otis Morris, today (February 21st ) at Police Headquarters, Airport Road, Providenciales.
The debriefing was to discuss concerns raised by residents during last evening’s Anti-Crime Town Hall meeting at the H.J Robinson High School, Grand Turk. Commissioner Eyre expressed his deep appreciation to Her Excellency and Hon Morris for their attendance, saying that work was already underway to address the community concerns.
Commissioner Eyre said: “I acknowledge the challenges raised and wish to assure you that the Executive of the RTCIPF remains steadfast in ensuring the TCI is safe. We listened to your concerns, and I assure you that rebuilding trust and strengthening community-policing relations are top priorities.“
The RTCIPF has taken a holistic approach in the fight against crime. Increased visibility, greater stakeholder collaborations and ongoing dialogue forums to appraise you will occur. We are accountable to you.”
Too much secrecy with Airport Tax increase says former Deputy Premier Sean Astwood
#TurksandCaicos#Tax, February 23rd, 2024 – “The TCIAA should not be allowed to announce and implement new or increased taxes or fees in this already difficult financial climate without more details,” says Sean Astwood, Former Deputy Premier regarding the increase in the Airport Development Fee from $20 to $35 describing the increase as not proactive but premature.
Astwood said there were a number of questions that he believed every Turks and Caicos Islander should ask and have the right to know the answers to including ‘Why now?’
The Opposition PDM member pointed out that only one airport has international flights and it would soon undergo a change in structure, paired with the ‘unexplainable’ delay in the completion of the airport in South Caicos and the possibility of ongoing negotiations in relation to the one in North Caicos, he queried: ‘Why not wait to see what amount or step may be needed in facilitating services in these Airports before a hike in fees?’
“In this climate, taxpayers must have more information and the benefit of a complete picture from not just the TCIAA Chiefs but from the Premier himself. The people must know what the current earnings of the TCIAA is; how has the management of the Airports increased to warrant such a large increase; how much does it cost to operate all of these airports; what is the estimated increase in revenue and how will these monies be used,” the former DP said.
He also questioned the avalanche of resignations that had recently affected the TCIAA
“I have serious concerns with the Premier’s oversight of this matter knowing that the TCIAA is no doubt experiencing a major problem with the vast number of Turks and Caicos Islanders resigning from their positions including high level positions. This alone requires a more in-depth investigation.”
Astwood also demanded information about the ongoing canopy project at the Providenciales/Howard Hamilton International which should have been completed in less than six months but was running on two years.
“TCIAA has quickly developed a reputation for big spending recently and stalled projects. We need answers as taxpayers. Why now? How much do you intend to raise? How will it be used? The people deserve a response. In a “proactive” step, this information must be provided to the public before this increase is implemented,” he ended.
Justice system instructed to improve coordination
#TurksandCaicos#Violence, February 23rd, 2024 – Violence exploded in the Turks and Caicos between January 26 and February 2nd, and with signs pointing to the involvement of recently released convicts the National Security Council is on a mission to reduce the risk of flare ups when offenders rejoin society.
The Police Force, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and other criminal Justice partners have now been instructed to review how they coordinate with each other and complete their specific roles to support case progression. Assessments about public safety in respect to offenders during bail hearings are also to be given keen attention.
The NSC is also planning to engage with the Judiciary as part of this review to help with delivering verdicts in a timely manner,
Called after the January 26 killing in Grand Turk which allegedly involved a former inmate, the meeting gathered law enforcement and other partners so that the NSC could get a sense of how effectively they were working with each other to ‘secure criminal justice outcomes.’
“The NSC— sought briefings on the effectiveness of liaison between the RTCIPF, the office of the DPP and wider criminal justice agencies in respect of case progression, including the assessments made to public safety that inform representations at bail hearings,” a statement revealed.
The information detailing the January 30th NSC meeting was released on February 2nd.
With senior leadership from the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF), the TCI Regiment, TCI Border Force, HMP and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the room, the NSC looked into two incidents involving recently released inmates.
Two days after the meeting the NSC chairs had to be briefed again about another incident involving a former inmate where two men were left dead on February 1.
The Council headed jointly by Washington Misick, TCI Premier and Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor says the risk reduction strategies discussed in the meeting NSC will seek to address HMP exit arrangements and risks to public safety.
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