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TCHTA calls for resolution in Beaches Resort matter

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American Airlines arrives; July 22 marked reopening of TCI borders to tourism

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – October 21, 2020 – Since the reopening of the Turks and Caicos to international travel, opening day for the country’s largest employer and taxpayer has been a standout concern for many with the resort accounting for approximately 70% of long-stay visitor arrivals to Providenciales.

Airlift demand is highly dependent on its reopening and, sadly, other large properties have consequently delayed their re-openings. For those who have reopened their doors, small amounts of rooms are filled.  This, in turn, means a damning plight for the approximately 13,000 individuals employed by the hospitality industry.

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Taxis remain off-line, a torrent of layoffs has been experienced, restaurants have opted to close their doors, and local musicians and craft vendors whose livelihoods are completely dependent on the local tourism industry have not earned anything in months. The vitality of the local industry hinges on the reopening of this property, and its continued closure translates to devastating fallout for the overall economy in Turks and Caicos. Turks and Caicos Islanders are ready to get back to work and be afforded the opportunity to adequately care for their families and households.

The effects of this unfortunate situation have the potential to be far-reaching. At an extremely fragile time where all Caribbean countries are fighting for the rebounding of their tourism product, travel partner confidence is essential. Unfortunately, this can be quickly lost with our partners, with frustrations being felt by those working diligently to sell Turks and Caicos to a limited market, only to have to manage cancellations with no real answers to provide to travelers.

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The TCHTA is gravely concerned with the negative impact this may have, and fears that interest in the destination will wane as travelers’ attention is poached by destinations whose product is more accessible.

The Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association remains dedicated to the achievement of sustainable growth in tourism for the benefit of our members and the entire Turks and Caicos community. As such, the association is calling for an urgent resolution to this critical matter, and extend our unwavering support to all parties, offering any assistance we can provide. 

A valued, long-standing member of the TCHTA, Beaches Resort’s importance to the local economy and the tourism industry is undeniable. Over the years, Beaches has been an exceptional community partner, giving invaluable support through youth and mentorship programs, their marine conservation and protection efforts, their iCare program, direct support to local schools, and the much-needed support provided during times of crisis. Management has stated they remain confident that the matter can be brought to closure by month’s end and has emphasized that their commitment to the people and communities of Turks and Caicos has not waivered.

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The TCHTA is not party to the details of the underpinnings of these legal issues and stands free from favor toward either side. The settling of this matter in an amicable way is paramount to the health and success of the industry and the economy, and we lend our full support to that end.

These past months have certainly brought with them challenges to the tourism sector and to the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands.  Through the collaborative efforts of TCHTA members and our partnership with the Government, we have made great strides in providing safe and sustainable responses to this global challenge, and are proud of programs like TCI Safe which have proven to yield continued confidence in the strength of brand TCI alongside TCIG’s robust protocols.

Turks and Caicos tourism is now seeing light at the end of the tunnel. At a time where many will seek to enjoy the upcoming season basking in the beauty of our shores, we encourage all parties involved to move to resolve this matter with expedience, and we are ready to help in whatever way possible.

PRESS RELEASE, the Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association

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EXCLUSIVE!  Police black CID Vehicle shot up by bandits in Five Cays

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Wilkie Arthur

Court Correspondent

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 15, 2024 – It was an uneasy night on Tuesday May 14 for some residents of Five Cays, Providenciales owing to continuous, serious fire power with gun shots blaring in various areas of the community.

Some say they heard shots in Granny Hill and reported a man walking around with a gun, randomly shooting at unidentifiable targets. Some say shots were heard behind the Enid Capron Primary School.  Some say they heard gun shot sounds coming from a residential area as well.

The most compelling accounts, however, were on reported events in another area called “The Wells”; a community in the depths of Five Cays and South Dock.

Criminals took on law enforcement in a gun battle involving the armored truck and a CID vehicle.

No members of the Royal TCI Police were hit.

Not the same for the other side.  One person was hit, a young man not known to police and it’s not clear if he was one of the men shooting at the police or an innocently caught in the crossfire.

The man was arrested as a possible suspect.  He is also in hospital with an “entrance and exit” gunshot wound.

During the shootout in The Wells, the CID vehicle was shot at repeatedly, disabling its movement as gunfire damaged the engine. Concerning to us, these shootings were at different times and locations but came in rapid succession; one right after the other, I was told.

Most described the sounds as coming “from some big guns.”

Police the morning after allowed me in to see up close.

Video, photos feature my EXCLUSIVE, close-up look at the damage done by criminals; it is clear high powered rifles were used by these suspects still at large.

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Charred Remains Found in Back Seat of Completely Burnt Vehicle

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Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Correspondent

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 21, 2024 – A gruesome discovery was made around midday today (Sunday, May 19th, 2024) when police and fire rescue teams responded to a call at a location on Blue Hills Back Road, off Millennium Highway. The area, situated next to the Fortis Sub-Station, is accessible via a long, secluded dirt road.

Upon arrival, authorities found a vehicle completely engulfed in flames. The vehicle was later removed by police after being alerted by an anonymous source to its burnt-out location. Local residents indicated that the fire had been ignited around 2-3 a.m. earlier that morning, but authorities were not notified until later in the day.

Residents could not provide details about the individual inside the vehicle or even discern its color due to the extensive damage caused by the fire. Videos of the discovery location are available, but footage of the vehicle itself will be provided once it has been located. The vehicle was reportedly still burning when police arrived at the scene.

Official Royal TCI Police Report:

Media Release – May 19th, 2024: Active Investigation Officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) are currently on the scene of a vehicle fire in the Blue Hills, Providenciales area. Acting on received information, officers arrived at the location along North Side Close and discovered a burnt vehicle with what appeared to be a body inside.
The RTCIPF is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances of this incident. As this is an active investigation, more details will be provided to the public as they become available.

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Caribbean News

NATIONAL SECURITY SECRETARIAT INFORMATION NOTE ISSUED MAY 17, 2024

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May 21, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and or ammunition without a licence and strict penalties in order to serve and protect the community. Our Firearms Ordinance, which was amended in 2022, states that:

No person (other than a licensed gunsmith in the course of his trade) shall have in his possession, discharge or use any firearm or ammunition unless he is the holder of a firearm licence with respect to such firearm, or in case of ammunition he is the holder of a licence for a firearm which takes that ammunition.

Firearm and/or ammunition offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of twelve years plus a fine. Where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion, under the law, to impose a custodial sentence and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case rather than impose the mandatory minimum.

The Chief Justice is advancing sentencing guidelines in respect of the application of exceptional circumstances. Wider work is also ongoing with criminal justice partners to review the efficiency and effectiveness of case progression, in driving justice outcomes.

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their baggage is free of firearms and/or ammunition. Permission from an airline carrier does not constitute permission to bring firearms or ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands. Travellers are also strongly advised to search their luggage before they travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure they do not bring in forbidden items inadvertently. Such offences will result in arrest.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a common law legal system, and reserves the right to enforce its laws. All persons, including visitors, must follow lawful process.

The Turks and Caicos Islands welcomes all visitors but reminds travellers that persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands do not have a constitutional right to carry firearms. Equally, the importation of firearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons is strictly forbidden, unless licence to do so has been issued by the Commissioner of Police.

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