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Change again, Beaches Resort TCI to open FIVE WEEKS from now; 113 days since date change fiasco began

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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – November 14, 2020 — Perhaps on Wednesday the negotiations for a long standing tax dispute between the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) and Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos will begin and perhaps, on December 21st the property which employs 1,800 people will finally reopen to guests.

The website on Thursday night held the date for opening as Wednesday November 18.  Today, the Beaches website informs that opening for Beaches Resort in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos is postponed by nearly five weeks to Monday December 21.

Beaches Resort Turks & Caicos ready with COVID-19 health protocols in place, Photo by Magnetic Media

The date has been bumping back on the 2020 calendar since July, when international travelers were first welcomed back to Turks and Caicos, a British overseas territory, after it shut borders due to the wave of Covid-19 walloping the world.

No opening in July for Beaches Resort almost immediately impacted airline schedules; it meant less flights and naturally, less tourists and less income for thousands of families and businesses. 

At the time, Beaches Resort promised to reopen on October 14 but stunned the nation when the Board of Directors of the resort also explained the opening was hinged on getting resolve in a four-year-old tax row.

October 14 came and went, no opening for the sprawling resort which accounts for around 70 percent of long stay visitors to the Turks and Caicos.  Instead, guests who had booked vacations began receiving apologies from the resort and the offer to either re-schedule or to visit a Beaches Resort in Jamaica. 

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October 15, Beaches reiterated that the decision not to reopen was regrettable but necessary, as there remained no resolution.  The TCIG said it was owed over $26 million dollars by Beaches Resort.  Beaches Resort claimed it owed nothing and had been, for years, wrongly charged and suffered breaches in its development agreement.

A volley of spicy comments was swatted around in the public domain through press releases and media statements.  The stalemate between TCIG and Beaches Resort was now ugly but there was agreement on a mediator and the new challenge turned to confirming a date for negotiation of the dispute to begin.

November 18 was given as the new reopening date for Beaches Resort once and if the matter was settled.  November 18 was also the date given by Government for when the negotiation would start. 

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Despite urging from the likes of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) to expedite the mediation meetings; there was no change for an earlier date. Onlookers knew this fact would create a problem and now we learn that it has… the Board is also immovable on its terms; the date for opening is no longer November 18 and that means a tourism rebound is stymied by stubbornness.

The initial announcement and stipulation for reopening by Beaches Resort executives came on July 24.  One-hundred and thirteen days later and there is still no resolution, therefore the gate of the country’s most significant tourism partner remains closed and the impact is far reaching, even devastating for the TCI’s rebound amidst this unprecedented pandemic.

Beaches Resort and the Turks and Caicos Islands Government are today both quiet about the reopening date change and about whether the negotiation with the mediator actually begins next week.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Caribbean News

TCI records first case of Cholera; Minister says Response Plan Ready

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its first case of cholera.  The update came from the Ministry of Health and Human Services on Monday June 5th.

The positive result came from a stool sample sent from the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre.

The case appears to be an imported one as the individual had recently travelled to Haiti which is struggling to deal with a major outbreak of the disease.

Beset with vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration, the person was tested for the viral illness.

Cholera is spread through contact with the feces of an infected person.  This can occur when sewage isn’t treated properly and comes in contact with drinking water, or where sources of water are not properly treated.  Drinking or eating food prepared with contaminated water can cause the disease to spread.

The US National Library of Medicine says If left untreated, cholera has a 25-50% mortality rate.  Treatment reduces this dramatically to less than 1%.

Minister of Immigration Arlington Musgrove had told Magnetic Media that the Department of Immigration had implemented a new system to check for cholera infections which had also been in use for any irregular migrants from Haiti.

The National Security Council, NSC had also instructed the Ministry of Health to secure a cache of cholera vaccines for the country’s protection should they become necessary.

Shaun Malcolm, Minister of Health and Human Services today said, “The TCI’s National Cholera Preparedness and Response Plan was updated with stakeholder involvement in 2022 and a number of training sessions were undertaken for frontline workers on Infection Prevention.”

There was no mention, however, of whether the Turks and Caicos Islands was able to secure the vaccines recommended for stockpiling by the NSC.

What was asked of residents is that they “seek medical treatment immediately if they suspect they or their family members are infected.”

The patient is now in stable condition and responding to treatment, informed the Health notice.

The government has sent the sample off to the Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA to determine which strain of the virus is present.

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Caribbean News

Wal Registre’s Impressive Rise at BTC

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PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands: When Wal Registre started his career at Beaches Turks and Caicos (BTC) on October 25, 1997 as a bartender, little did he know that 25 years after, he would have risen to the post of payroll administrator within the same organisation.

The Raymond Gardiner High School graduate was always good at accounting and mathematics and had the dream of excelling in the hospitality industry in an area that would best fit his passion and academic strength.

Having been promoted to bar supervisor in 1999, Wal’s vision for growth was still active as he recognised that being a team member at Beaches Turks and Caicos would allow him to excel beyond his comfort zone. Following the completion of a number of courses with the Sandals Corporate University (SCU), he transitioned to the Cost Control unit in the Accounting Department as the cost control clerk.

Wal pointed out that his ability to grow within the company was largely due to his commitment to excellence. The SCU courses that were offered gave him the added training needed to build on what he was able to learn on the job and from his mentors.

“At BTC, training is very important to each employee. There are many opportunities for professional development and with the guidance from the Learning and Development team, and the leaders within the company, team members can truly grow,” Registre added.

One of Wal’s colleagues, Janet King, noted, “Wal’s commitment serves as an example to every team member here. His ability to grow from an entry level position to where he is now shows that everyone can succeed once they put their minds to it.”

While expressing his commitment to his profession, Wal’s dedication and discipline are traits that he values and chooses to pass on to those he leads. In sharing his advice to younger professionals seeking to enter the industry, he noted, “this organisation believes in quality work life balance that will allow each team member valuable time with family. This period helps me to maintain a bond with my family and explore the world. Training within this company is available for everyone and the ability to grow professionally is dependent on each person having the right attitude to grow.”

 

Release: BTC

Photo Captions

Header:Wal Registre, Payroll Administrator at Beaches Turks and Caicos makes final checks as he goes through documents at his desk at the resort

Insert: Anna Francis, Accountant in the Finance department at Beaches Turks and Caicos and Wal Registre, Payroll Administrator at the resort pause from discussing work related items to smile for the camera

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Caribbean News

Special Needs Unit Students at Thelma Lightbourne Primary School recognised by BTC

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PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands –  Parents and students from the Special Education Unit at the Thelma Lightbourne Primary School were recently recognized by the Beaches Turks and Caicos team during a special session at the institution as part of autism awareness activities.

Children’s Activities Manager Fedeline Julien shared, “educating students, parents, teachers and other adults about the best practices of dealing with children with autism is needed especially in our homes and schools. Children who are autistic do things differently and should be treated with patience and care.”

Robin Cox Foster, principal of the school said, “the partnership between Beaches Turks and Caicos and our school is always welcome. As the only resort on island that is an autism certified centre, they were readily available to share with our students and their parents. The involvement of the Sesame Street character, the presentations from the Kids Camp team to the parents allowed those present to appreciate their roles in being change agents for autism.”

Caring for a child with special needs was highlighted as an opportunity to create a closer bond between child and parent/caregivers.

Walter Moore, who has a son on the spectrum shared, “being able to deal with the many challenges of a special needs child will assist parents in being more patient and creative in how they care for a child. My son and I are best friends. He is comfortable talking with me about anything and I have to learn how to respect his likes and dislikes and create an environment that makes him happy.”

Beaches Turks and Caicos’ Kids Camp is an Advanced Certified Autism Centre which ensures that team members have the required knowledge, skills, temperament, and expertise to cater to all children. The resort offers age-specific programmes for infants, toddlers, pre-teens and teens.

 

Release: BTC

 

Photo Captions:

Header: Tanya Swann (left), Director of Sales, Groups and Conventions at Beaches Turks and Caicos introduces the team of volunteers who were present while Robin Cox-Foster, school principal looks on

1st Insert: Walter Moore (left) Beaches Turks and Caicos team member shares a moment with his son (right) and Sesame Street character Sesame Street

2nd Insert: Some members of the Beaches Turks and Caicos Sandals Foundation team share a moment at the Thelma Lightbourne Primary School during a presentation to the institution

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