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Sandals Ramps Up Campaigns To Drive Recovery of Caribbean Tourism

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~ Resort company focused on spreading the word that the Caribbean is open for business~

#April 24, 2021 – Since it reopened its first resort last June after forced closures caused by the pandemic, Sandals Resorts International, in an aggressive and strategic marketing thrust, has welcomed nearly 200 influencers, celebrities and travel media to its resorts all across the Caribbean and hosted several major radio remotes, creating close to 300,000,000 global media impressions.

The increase in media and influencer visits is a key component of the company’s reinvigorated marketing strategy as it leads the recovery of the region’s tourism industry and aims to inform the world that Sandals Resorts and the Caribbean islands are open for business. So far in 2021, Sandals South Coast has hosted two separate radio remotes reaching approximately 5,000,000 radio listeners and resulting in over 50 million impressions. Radio remotes see international radio stations broadcasting live from Sandals and Beaches Resorts to their listeners back home. This element of the company’s strategy began as early as September 2020 at Sandals Grande Saint Lucian with broadcast reaching 19 key markets in the United States.

On the heels of these successful radio remotes, Beaches Turks and Caicos is set to host its own radio remote in May with additional remotes tentatively slated for Barbados, Grenada and The Bahamas. In addition to US radio stations, the company also intends to invite stations from the United Kingdom to Grenada and/or Barbados later in the year.

Adam Stewart, Sandals’ Executive Chairman, shed light on the company’s marketing efforts. He shared, “Our company has always been an innovator in marketing and promotions. We’re one of the most well-known hospitality brands across the world and that’s due to our well-oiled marketing machinery. We’ve been doing radio remotes for many years and we know the reach is significant. Now more than ever it is important that we harness the power of these activities and our radio remotes have proven instrumental in reaching our audience and letting them know that the Caribbean is open for business.”

Of the company’s decision to ramp up its influencer marketing campaigns, Stewart said, “The power of influencer marketing and online marketing is undeniable, especially now when our audience is spending most of their time online. We have been working strategically with a number of influencers with a combined global audience of several million in addition to top-tier publications with millions of readers around the globe. As a result, the Caribbean is trending. Millions of eyes are on the region and in many of our islands where tourism is the largest economic driver, this attention is well-needed and much-appreciated.” 

The power of the brand has also seen the company enjoy powerful organic publicity through a number of celebrities who have openly shared their positive Sandals and Beaches experiences through their social media platforms.

With vaccinations trending upwards in source markets and across the region, Stewart is confident that the region is poised for a record comeback.  He shared, “We are already seeing our bookings increase at a steady pace and we expect hotel occupancy of 65 to 80 per cent in June and July. I am very optimistic, not just for the recovery of our own brand, but for the recovery of the region’s tourism sector, all the industries that rely on tourism and of course for the thousands of Caribbean nationals who earn a living through tourism.”  

To date, Sandals has reopened 15 of its resorts across the region including those in Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia, Grenada, The Turks and Caicos Islands and Sandals Emerald Bay in the Bahamas with its Barbados resorts set to reopen in a few weeks. Approximately 80 per cent of the company’s group-wide team is back at work with team members who were at reduced pay now returned to full salary and job opportunities across the region being offered to those whose resorts remain closed.

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Statement From Hon. Fred Mitchell, MP Minister of Foreign Affairs On the Passing of Colin Powell

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#TheBahamas, October 18, 2021 – I learned this morning  of the death of Colin Powell, the American general and diplomat. I worked with him as Foreign Minister in my first term, particularly on issues related to Haiti.

Yesterday in the CARICOM meeting, I recalled while discussing Haiti his role in the crisis of that time. I recall his life, times and work as generally thoughtful and considered. He was also an example of Caribbean success in America, one to emulate. He was the son of Jamaican parents. He was an example of success as a Black man in America. I am saddened by his passing.

On behalf of the Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis, the government and people of The Bahamas, and in my own behalf, I extend condolences to the United States of America and his family.

 

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Commonwealth of The Bahamas

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CARPHA Team undertakes Assessment of Guyana’s National Surveillance System for Non-communicable Diseases

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October 14, 2021 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) conducted a technical mission to Guyana from September 22nd – 25th, 2021 to undertake site visits as a part of an ongoing assessment of six (6) Member States’ systems for the national surveillance of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors. This activity was implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Guyana through an Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – funded project.

The aim of the assessment s to provide evidence in support of the development of a Regional Surveillance System for NCDs, a priority under the regional health framework Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (2016-2025).

During the mission, the CARPHA technical team reviewed the capacity of existing surveillance mechanisms in Guyana to collect, analyse and report on the NCDs and risk factor indicators proposed for the regional surveillance system. These indicators were recommended by a multi-stakeholder meeting series convened in 2020 under the AFD project, which reviewed global, regional, and sub-regional mandates, targets and practices in surveillance for the prevention and control of NCDs.

The CARPHA Team along with senior officials from the Ministry of Health conducted visits to two (2) health centres, the National Cancer Registry, Ministry of Health Surveillance, and Statistics Unit.  The results from the overall assessment will be presented to the Ministry of Health Guyana and will also be reviewed alongside results from similar assessments in Anguilla, Aruba, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname to inform the finalisation of the regional surveillance system design through a regional stakeholder meeting.

The regional NCDs surveillance system would facilitate the reporting and availability of data to inform policy development, planning, and tracking of progress towards meeting for targets NCDs at Regional and National levels.

Through funding from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), CARPHA is leading the Region in Strengthening Strategic Intelligence and Partnership Approaches to prevent and control NCDs and Strengthen Regional Health Security in the Caribbean. This project, signed in 2019 with a value of €1,500,000.00, demonstrates the commitment of the Government of France and the French people to supporting the public health priorities of the Caribbean Community through CARPHA.

More information on the Project can be found at: https://www.carpha.org/Projects/Ongoing-Projects/Strengthening-Strategic-Intelligence-and-Partnership-Approaches-To-Prevent-and-Control-NCDs-and-Strengthen-Regional-Health-Security-In-The-Caribbean

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World Sight Day: Love Your Eyes

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Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.  14 October, 2021.  In the Caribbean, the leading causes of blindness are glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy (a complication of diabetes).  According to the Vision Atlas, 6.2 million persons in the Caribbean were reported to have vision loss, with an estimated 260,000 persons reported to be blind in 2020.

Information gathered from eighteen (18) Caribbean countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) with a population of 44 million, showed that the crude prevalence of blindness was 0.60%, and the prevalence of all vision loss was 13.20%. Many of the persons affected were females at 52%.

Global statistics reveal that for 2020, a total of 596 million persons had distance vision impairment worldwide, of this number 43 million were blind.  Projections for 2050, indicate that an estimated 885 million persons may be affected by distance vision impairment with 61 million expected to experience  blindness.

CARPHA’s vision for the Caribbean is a region where the health and wellness of the people are promoted and protected from disease, injury and disability, thereby enabling human development in keeping with the belief that the health of the Region is the wealth of the Region.

Although there are no projects that directly address vision impairment, CARPHA in collaboration with its public health partners is implementing initiatives to address risk factors such as unhealthy diets, use of harmful substances and poor physical activities. This in turn, will help reduce the risk of disability due to complications associated with poor blood sugar and blood pressure management.

Efforts to improve the standards of care for diabetes through the implementation of the CARPHA Guidelines on the Management of Diabetes in Primary Care in the Caribbean, and training of health care workers from the CARPHA Member States will also contribute to the prevention of vision impairment and blindness due to diabetes.

Access to eye care services can reduce visual impairment.  CARPHA urges Member States to strengthen health systems to improve eye health services with emphasis on reaching the vulnerable and those most in need.  Governments should commit to integrating eye care into the universal health care system.

World Sight Day is celebrated annually on the second Thursday in October.  The focus of the day is to bring awareness to blindness and vision impairment as a major public health issue and blindness prevention.

The 2021 commemoration observed on 14th October, seeks to encourage persons to think about the ‘importance of their own eye health.’

Our eyes are working hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been indoors, in front of our screens, and probably missed our eye test appointments. Now more than ever, we need to protect and prioritize our eyesight. There are simple things you can do for yourself to prevent the development of serious eye issues:

  • Take screen breaks for at least five minutes every hour
  • Spend time outside.  Increased outdoor time can reduce the risk of myopia (near-sightedness)[3]
  • Get an eye test. A complete eye exam can detect eye conditions such as glaucoma before it has an effect on your sight. The earlier an eye condition is identified, the easier it is to treat.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and engage in physical activity. These are crucial steps in maintaining a healthy weight, controlling obesity, and preventing diseases such as diabetes, all of which can impact eye health.
  • If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes checked every year

Your sight cannot be taken for granted.  It is time to LOVE YOUR EYES!

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