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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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Facts laid out in Beach Vending Bill Debate by Tourism Minister Connolly

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

 #TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2021 – Tourism Minister Josephine Connolly says the policy that birthed the controversial Beach and Coastal Vending bill was conceived under the PDM administration.

Connolly was speaking in the House of Assembly on November 30 when she made the claims.  She said the policy had been around since 2020 and had been in circulation among tourism stakeholders and publicly via the DECR up to June this year.

“The bill was circulated in 2020 up to three times. In June of this year the policy was again circulated. And the DECR held meetings to discuss the policy and some of the changes.”

Connolly claimed that the policy which had been drafted by the previous administration and had then been intentionally ignored by them.

“…Mr Speaker, I met on my desk a draft policy on beach vending prepared by the previous government. It had sat there gathering dust, not because it was not needed but because the previous government did not want to deal with it,” the Minister said after laying the Bill for its second reading.

Connolly insisted however that she was up to the task of seeing the bill through.

“They let it slide; leave it for the next guy, but I am the next guy and I am not shy.”

She went on to reference a specific issue affecting vendors. She said currently, vendors only needed a business license to operate on the beach. This resulted in vendors tying up several booths and denying other vendors a chance.

She claimed the bill would fix this as each vendor would only be allowed one license to operate on the beach, thus increasing fairness.

 

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First Grand Turk Workshops completed under the theme:  “Re-starting the Turks and Caicos Islands Cruise Industry”

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#TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2021 – On December 2, 2021 The Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Fisheries and Marine Affairs, Culture and Heritage, Agriculture, Religious Affairs and Gaming along with the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with Carnival Corporation hosted the first day of workshops on December 1st, 2021, for persons in the cruise industry of Grand Turk under the theme ‘Restarting TCI’s Cruise Industry.’

The session began with an invocation by Pastor Oscar Talbot, followed by a welcome by moderator Brian Been from the Ministry of Tourism. The morning session was facilitated by Carnival Corporation’s Mr David Candib, Vice President, Development & Operations, Global Port & Destination Development Group; alongside Ms Marie McKenzie – Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The lively discussion was centered around Destinations Partnering with the Cruise Industry – the model that works. Also, Ms Lilla Ferenci, Senior Manager, Product Development and Marketing at Carnival took part in the discussion guiding persons through the challenges and opportunities of shore excursions, expectations, insurance, and other aspects of cruise tourism.

The evening session was facilitated by Mr Luc Clerveaux, Deputy Director of the DECR, presenting on new Beach and Coastal Vending protocols, which drew much attention of the attendees. The sessions were well received as vendors were able to get further insight into the protocols.

Hon. Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism stated that “I am elated to see you all eager to continue the journey of professional development. With the ultimate goal being to increase visitor’s satisfaction alongside holistic investment in the industry by vendors and service providers on Grand Turk. These Workshops are a part of a mutual consideration by the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) and Carnival Corporation for the development and enhancement of partnerships within the local business community. And are designed to meet the needs of operators and create awareness regarding business opportunities within the Turks and Caicos Islands’ Cruise Industry.”

Updated: The workshops continued into December 2nd and Friday December 3rd with the following:

December 2, 2021 – Investment and Business Development 9:00 a.m. at Yellow Man Auditorium.

December 3, 2021 – Maritime and the Cruise Industry (vessel owners, captains, and crew only)

Held, 9:00 a.m. Turks & Caicos Islands Community College Auditorium.

The workshops were comprised of excursion operations, retail, and general business development. Please note only vessel owners, captains and crew are allowed for Day 3. Persons were encouraged to register based on their interests.

Covid-19 Protocols were strictly enforced.

 

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NOTICE to ALL Current Beach Vendors on Grand Turk

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#TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2021 – This letter serves as an official Notice to all current beach vendors and water sports operators using any marine vessel for water sports and water tours within a Protected Area; all persons holding a National Parks permit are asked to come and renew your applications.

The Department of Environment and Coastal Resources would like to notify the public to visit our Grand Turk office to update all current vendors identification, including all employee information and renew their vending permits.

This will allow a smooth transition into the reopening of the Grand Turk Carnival Cruise Centre. Update requirements include:

  1. Completed Application form
  2. Valid business licence in the correct category
  3. NHIP and NIB Contributions (for renewal of permits)
  4. Two forms of Government Identification (Passport, Status Card, NHIP and NIB accepted)
  5. Name of crew and staff documents (passport, valid work permit in the correct category)
  6. TIDES Certificate
  7. Horseback riding – must have a waste management plan included with application, and health certificate for horses.
  8. All non-motorized vessels must have a rescue boat
  9. Notarized bill of sale for all equipment

We also like to remind all operators that T.I.D.E.S training and fees are temporarily waived until further notice!!

As we strive for improved environmental cohesiveness under the laws of the Turks and Caicos Islands we are compelled to ensure each member are engaged in tourism are trained at the highest level and quality.

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