Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort to reopen October 14; staff and stakeholders unsettled
#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – July 24, 2020 — Less than 72 hours after the Turks and Caicos celebrated a jubilant reopening of its borders to tourism came the unsettling announcement by Beaches Resort Villages & Spa; the resort today revealed that it will not reopen until October 14.
Beaches Turks and Caicos (BTC) is the country’s largest private sector employer; said to have some 2,000 staff members.
While the statement, made earlier today, is distressing for the team, which has not seen a regular paycheck since March, the implications on air travel to Turks and Caicos is far reaching in its impact on employees and employers across the country.
Beaches Resort accounts for 70 percent of long-stay visitor arrivals to the Turks and Caicos; these are the guests who fill up the airplanes of major carriers like: American Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue, United Airlines, West Jet, Air Canada, South West Airlines and British Airways which run regular commutes from Providenciales (PLS) to popular hubs in North America and Europe.
James McAnally, General Manager of BTC today confirmed the worst fears of many.
In a media statement, Beaches said, “We know all too well the tremendous fallout the closure of Beaches would have in terms of employment, revenue, airlift and the overall economy in the TCI, and we wish to assure our valued guests, team members and stakeholders that we are sparing no effort to have the resort ready to receive guests well ahead of the popular Christmas season.”
Other resort properties and partners in the tourism industry realize this decision, forced upon Beaches Resort by the unplanned, unprecedented Covid-19 outbreak worldwide, could and likely will have a harrowing ripple effect.
It is possible that airlines could decrease frequency in flights or worse, cease operations altogether until Beaches Resort is reopened.
Beaches (BTC), in that statement, clearly recognizes how essential its operation of 750 plus hotel rooms has on the tourism and travel sector.
The executives of the resort give good effort to offering a bright side perspective, which is that the sprawling family all-inclusive has no intention of pushing its opening back any further.
“…this announcement will provide an important signal to the airlines who can now start planning on recommenced scheduled airlift to the Turks and Caicos Islands, a major boost for the overall industry and economy.”
The problem is, with the global impact of Covid-19 being felt in the worst possible ways, it is hard to celebrate Christmas in July.
For some of the Beaches team members who tell Magnetic Media they have not yet been directly informed by the resort of its decision, two and half more months of no work and little pay, if any, is depressing and distressing.
One staff member reported having a “near panic attack.”
Covid-19 is not to be taken lightly.
It is a potentially deadly virus which has now infected 16.7 million people in the seven months since its dastardly debut in January 2020.
The hospitality and travel industries have been shattered by the contagion which demands that people do not touch each other; that they remain distant; that tends to thrive on most surfaces; which is highly infectious; that disguises itself as the common cold; it debilitates its human host by sometimes severely sabotaging its respiratory system and which has no vaccine to date.
Nearly 650 thousand people have died from the coronavirus.
The implications of resuming operations at one of the Caribbean’s largest resort properties are not lost on Beaches or onlookers.
On any given day, thousands of people can be found on the property, booked for vacations which give them access to over 20 restaurants, six outdoor pools, a waterpark, adventures and tours, spa, twelve bars, four luxury resort villages which cover 93-acres on the world famous, Grace Bay Beach.
“As anyone can imagine, this is no small undertaking due the many variables of cost, size and sheer magnitude of the resort; however, we have always kept our promises to the people of the TCI, and we intend to do so again.”
In the statement, Beaches Resort admits it will be reliant upon its staff to be TCI Assured certified opening day. “It is to this proven and dedicated team that we entrust our highly touted Beaches Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness, explicitly designed to ensure the strictest health and safety measures. Guests can rest assured therefore that when our doors open on October 14, you will be in the safest hands and will be taken care of by a team that is unmatched in its level of training and development.”
Millions to come from FSC
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Revenue from the Turks and Caicos’ Financial Services Sector will more than double in the next few years, if E Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier and Finance Minister gets his way. It ‘s one of the reasons the country is investing so much capital into getting off of the EU blacklist and becoming a secure trustworthy financial destination.
“The FSC’s revenues for 2020/21 was $10.5M— the figures for 2021/22, would be about similar,” he said. He further explained that $10.5 million from the FSC represented about 2.6 percent of the country’s 408.5-million-dollar revenue. Though it increased to $14 million in the 2021/22 financial year, finance is still a small fry compared to tourism or even stamp duties but that will change, says Saunders.
“My revenue goal for the Government by the year 2029 [or] the election after the next election – is $500M. By that time, I want the financial sector (FSC) revenues to represent at least 5% ($25M). So that’s my goal for the financial sector by 2029.”
This goal, should it be met, would increase the Government’s revenue by 100 million dollars, a significant increase in spending power for local upgrades and improvements for Turks and Caicos residents and visitors.
Saunders says it’s time for the TCI to diversify its sources of revenue to make sure that what happened in the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw residents out of a job for months, will not happen again. Tourism now makes up around 80 percent of the country’s GDP. The Minister of Finance wants to push that down to 60 or even 50 percent.
New ASHLEY’S LEARNING CENTRE CONCERT
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Musicians from the New World Symphony will be in the Turks and Caicos in concert next month and residents are invited to attend in support of the future of Ashley’s Learning Center.
A fairly young orchestral academy based in Miami, the New World Symphony was launched in the 1980s by 1987, Michael Tilson Thomas and Ted Arison,Carnival Cruises founder. From the 1500 applicants who vie for a spot each year, the symphony accepts around 35 music graduates annually for training fellowships.
A select few of those graduates will be in country on April 8th headlining at the Ashley’s Learning Center concert ‘We’re all in this together’. The concert which also feature local artistes will be held at Brayton Hall on Venetian Road from 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Tickets are available ON ISLEHELP $75 PER GENERAL SEAT $125 PER PREMIUM SEAT $195 PER GALLERY SEAT – with /FREFRESHMENTS.
For TICKET RESERVATIONs you can call: 649-341-2304 or email EVENTS@ASHLEYSLEARNINGCENTER.ORG
Women’s Health Connectivity and health a study for TCI’S benefit
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – As the country moves toward new fiber optic connectivity, bridging the digital divide could be a game changer for healthcare and other family-friendly services in the TCI.
The power of universal digital connectivity across countries was one of the recurring themes when the United Nations in partnership with the Network of Afro Caribbean Women and the Diaspora recently explored how technology, innovation and education are being used to address women’s health issues.
The session aimed to highlight success stories and explore how those processes can be replicated to help women and girls globally including in The Turks and Caicos.
The UN explained that despite holding a 70 percent majority in healthcare jobs, women are poorly represented in leadership roles and subject to systemic gender inequalities that can make receiving healthcare challenging.
As delegates from Chile and Rwanda, who were also partners in the session, shared the upgrades to their countries’ systems that had significantly improved the level of care available to their women, digital connectivity was a deciding factor.
In Rwanda the health ministries have begun to use drones to deliver medicine, SMS messages to alert about health threats and a completely digitized health care that eliminates paper documents for pregnant women and makes records accessible to any doctor, immediately.
Rwandan delegate, Rose Rwabuhihi shared tips that countries should keep in mind when trying to implement new processes to benefit women and the wider community.
- Partnership and sustainability are key factors to successful programs. She urged governments not to give up on projects or allow their partners to give up on them halfway.
- Education campaigns to introduce residents to the technology: “We need to build skills and deepen the knowledge so they can use the innovations that have been put in place especially in rural areas.
Poor connectivity and technological issues have plagued the TCI for years especially in the islands outside of Providenciales. Government has substantially acknowledged this disparity in communications services and is investing in a new undersea cable to augment services in the Turks and Caicos.
The UNs perspectives can now ignite a fire for even more family friendly, digital services.
In fact,Senator Yasna Provoste Campillay, the Chilean Delegate explained how connectivity and videoconferencing had been used to reach the county’s women in the most rural of areas. Chile is a long country, its landmass spread lengthwise creating unique communication challenges. While healthcare in Chile is separated by length the Turks and Caicos islands are disconnected by the ocean and solutions that prove useful for the South American country could well be worth implementing locally.
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