#SANTA BARBARA, CURAÇAO, December 10, 2020 – Sandals Resorts International (SRI), the world’s leading all-inclusive company, announced today the signing of an agreement that will bring Sandals® Resorts to a brand-new destination, at the Santa Barbara Resort on the island of Curaçao.
This will mark the ninth island destination for the brand in the Caribbean region. The new Sandals Curaçao will initially include 350-luxurious rooms and suites stretched along the Spanish Water Bay and the Caribbean Sea, with a further expansion planned in the coming years. Formerly the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, part of a broader 3,000-acre development, the resort will be completely “Sandalized,” a process set to begin in 2021.
Sandals Curaçao will bring the opulent resort innovations to the island, which have become synonymous with the world-renowned Sandals Resorts brand across the region. Conceptual plans for the resort include adding key elements for the signature Sandals experience, including new expansive pools, a variety of 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining options and lavish accommodations, including magnificent newly constructed River Suites. Guests will also have access to the neighboring 18-hole Pete Dye championship golf course, two onsite marinas and 38,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, the largest on the island.
World-famous for its vibrant culture, pristine beaches and coves, Curaçao also boasts spectacular dive sites and exotic marine ecosystems. With year-round temperatures of 80 degrees, it’s touted as the perfect anytime-escape. The resort will have a positive, immediate and long-term impact on the island and the people of Curaçao. In year one alone, it is expected to have an over $40 million economic footprint and an impressive track record on the creation of new employment. The resort alone will add over 1,200 local jobs, comprised of 800 new team members, and 400 local tradesmen and craftsmen. This will be followed by a positive economic ripple-effect for the community extending to the local taxi and transportation sectors, wider supply chain, agriculture, increased airlift and increased yearly tourism numbers—especially with the key US tourism market.
Roald Smeets, Director of the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, said: “We have a unique opportunity to attract a globally-recognized hotel operator, owner and investor such as Sandals Resorts, which will bring an unprecedented boon to the Curaçao tourism industry and the local economy. Its position as both a hotel operator and owner, with the ability to attract regular scheduled airlines from North America, distinctly marks it out from other hotel groups. We found its impressive plans for the site and dedication to building the profile of Curaçao as a world-class tourism destination particularly compelling. Its future investment into the community will reinvigorate the tourism market, secure the livelihoods of hundreds of families and benefit every individual on the island through rejuvenating the local economy. Curaçao has a tremendous future ahead, due to this exciting new venture, which will put Curaçao truly on the global stage.”
Sandals Resorts International Founder and Chairman, the Hon. Gordon “Butch” Stewart, along with Deputy Chairman Adam Stewart, had this to share: “It has been our distinct pleasure to work alongside the government of Curaçao and the Smeets family on this exciting new endeavor for the Sandals brand,” stated Gordon “Butch” Stewart. “We wish to express our deepest gratitude to Roald Smeets, who has been instrumental to this process and absolutely delightful to work with. We plan to do more than our part to raise the world’s appreciation of this beautiful country.”
Adam Stewart added, “Each time we expand, we bring with us the full potential of our 40-years in hospitality. The new Sandals Curaçao embodies our philosophy of forward-thinking and looking through a new lens. It is a promise not only to our guests but to our team members for continued innovation. Curaçao is a place to be discovered, and we are so proud today to become part of this community.”
CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence
“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.
She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.
Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.
“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.
“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”
The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.
She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.
For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average.
In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.” Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.
Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”
Sea Patrol Vessels Approved by Cabinet, October 11 Meeting
#TurksandCaicos, November 25, 2023 – Her Excellency the Governor, Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, chaired the 26th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday, 11 October 2023 at the Governor’s Office, Providenciales.
All Members were present except the Hon. Josephine Connolly.
- Approved the Consultation Report on the Proposed Amendments to the Turks and Caicos Islands Immigration Ordinance with amendments and agreed for the amended document to be brought back to Cabinet for final approval for onward submission to the House of Assembly.
- Approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) and Geta Crew Holding Ltd. for a mixed use development project on the island of Grand Turk, with the view of entering into a Development Agreement as per the Encouragement of Development Ordinance and the National Investment Policy.
- Approved the renewal of rental lease agreement, for various Government offices, between TCIG and Waterloo Property Management, Grand Turk.
- Approved the awarding of the following contracts:
- PN 005694, TR 23/13, Furniture and Equipment for NJS Francis Building; and
- PN 005696, TR 22/10, Purchase of Patrol Vessels.
- It noted the update from Her Excellency the Governor regarding the upcoming visit of UK Ministers to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Grand Turk Tourism Career & Entrepreneur Fair, Showcasing Jobs in the Industry
#TurksandCaicos, November 25, 2023 – The theme for Tourism Environmental Awareness Month is “Investing in Today for Tomorrow”. Students of the HJ Robinson High School in Grand Turk were given an opportunity on Tuesday, November 14th to learn about job opportunities in the tourism industry.
The students were part of the Tourism Career and Entrepreneurial Fair held at the Yellowman and Sons Auditorium. The career fair was the first of three that Experience Turks and Caicos is staging as part of Tourism Environmental Awareness Month. The other two will be held in South Caicos on November 21st and Providenciales on November 30th.
In her address, Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Josephine Connolly stressed that tourism is the biggest employer in the Turks and Caicos Islands and everything is related to the tourism industry.
“Over the past decade, we have enjoyed immense popularity. We have direct flights from the US every day, we have over 25 flights from the US into the Turks and Caicos Islands on a Saturday and sometimes on a Sunday. We have two direct flights from Europe, Virgin which started last Wednesday and we have British Airways twice a week. There are flights from Canada connecting us and we have flights connecting us in the Caribbean. We have Caicos Express and InterCaribbean,” she said.
“We have to prepare ourselves because we want our tourists to have the best experience from the time they arrive until the time they leave. The industry is changing, the skills are changing and it all matches what the travel and tourism industry needs.”
“Tourism accounts for a large percentage of the workforce and there are many other jobs and businesses that support the tourism industry like cleaning services, landscaping, banking, groceries, shipping companies, utility companies, lawyers and so many more. Although these organisations are not directly into tourism, tourism accounts for a significant portion of their business,” she said.
“Investing in Today for Tomorrow is not solely for economic growth but it is about investing in our environment, communities and most importantly investing in yourselves. Seek membership, acquire knowledge and never underestimate the power of perseverance.”
Also giving remarks was the Honourable Shaun Malcolm, Minister of Health and Human Services, who urged the students to take in everything they can learn.
“This is a great initiative. I had the privilege of working in the hotel industry, in the tourism industry for over 19 years so this is something that is very close and dear to my heart. The Minister of Tourism is working tirelessly every day to ensure that not only do we remain the envy of the Caribbean but that we bring our people along and I want you to know that we spent hours under her leadership as a Government working on improving every island and you will see in the not too distant future, many good things, big things coming to fruition. As the Minister said, Tourism is our business, it is our bread and basket and we don’t take that lightly,” he said.
In his remarks, Jamel Robinson, the Honourable Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure pointed out the careers that people would not normally associate with tourism.
“You have your firemen, you have your Airports Authority, you have Invest TCI, the police and many others, because we all work together to make that 85 percent of our GDP work for all of us,” he said, noting that his Ministry provides the support infrastructure to help the tourism industry in the Turks and Caicos to be the best in the world.
‘It signifies the importance of strategic value of decision making, recognizing the choices you make today directly impacts the future we are building for the generation to come. In the Turks and Caicos, a nation of pristine beaches, rich culture and warm hospitality, investing in today for tomorrow is not only sustaining our tourism industry but also ensuring its responsible growth. It involves equipping our future generation with the skill and knowledge to be stewards of our natural resources and ambassadors of our unique heritage,” he said.
The Tourism Career and Entrepreneurship Fair saw participation from a number of agencies and vendors. We would like to recognise and thank the following for their support: the TCI Community College, Beaches Resort, the Turks and Caicos Airport Authority, the Human Resource Management Directorate, the Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force, the Turks and Caicos Fire Services, the Department of Environmental Coastal Resources (DECR), Department of Maritime and Fisheries, Funtastic Tours, Splash Tours, Invest TCI, Blue Water Divers, Aunty Nanns, Tasty Treats and the Department of Tourism Regulations (DTR).
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