#TurksandCaicos, May 12, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos Tourist Board hosted its 17th annual Turks and Caicos Conference (TACC) from May 5 to 6, 2021. The event which is the signature tourism conference for the destination was presented with a hybrid of virtual and in-person events for the first time.
This year’s conference had 117 registrants which included wholesalers, airline representatives, hoteliers and local government officials. The Turks and Caicos Conference is typically a three-day event which sees major industry representatives assemble in the islands to receive updates on the destination, network and conduct meetings. In order to comply with current public health protocols, this year’s conference format was revised to a two-day event inclusive of an Opening Ceremony at Amanyara on May 5th and the main conference session at Beaches Resort on May 6th. Additionally, interactive virtual events were hosted courtesy of Grace Bay Resorts and The Hartling Group.
During the Opening Ceremony at Amanyara, the attendees were addressed by the Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands Hon. Charles Washington Misick, Minister of Tourism Hon. Josephine Connolly, Chairman of the Board of Directors Beverly Howell, Director of Tourism Pamela Ewing and President of the TCHTA Trevor Musgrove.
The main conference session at Beaches Resort saw several dignitaries in attendance including Her Excellency Deputy Governor Anya Williams, Deputy Premier Hon. Erwin Jay Saunders, Minister of Tourism Hon. Connolly, Junior Minister of Tourism Hon. Stubbs and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Mrs. Cherylann Jones.
The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Rediscover Turks & Caicos: Resilience, Innovation and Sustainability’. The guest speakers included Senior VP of Investor Services at Invest Turks & Caicos Angela Musgrove, National Trust Executive Director Winema Saunders-Penn, TCHTA President Trevor Musgrove, and an industry presentation by Director of Tourism Pamela Ewing.
The keynote speech was delivered by Turks and Caicos Islands Deputy Governor Her Excellency Anya Williams who provided an overview on the growth of tourism over the years, the impact of the recent pandemic, and the way forward toward a full recovery of the economy and tourism industry.
In the address, which focused on the resilience of the destination and highlighted the strategy to re-opening the tourism industry, she stated, “As we were the only overseas territory to do so at the time, there were lots of fears, but recognizing that tourism is the major source of revenue to our economy, we had to balance health and safety with the need to ensure that persons were able to maintain some form of livelihood and that businesses were able to earn some source of direct income.
The Turks and Caicos currently offers one of the safest travel experiences to its guests. Our COVID-19 position here in the islands has significantly improved where at the moment we only have 33 active cases and a localized positivity rate of just over 3%, which we hope to further improve. The positivity rate amongst guests tested prior to their return to their home destination sits at below 1% which means that the large majority of the guests that come to our islands are able to enjoy their visits here without the significant fear of contracting the virus on island.
The pandemic is not over, but we are certainly working towards our exit strategy and 2021 has brought with it, new hopes, a refined focus and renewed strategy.”
This year’s wholesaler segment provided hoteliers with industry updates featuring presentations from Apple Leisure Group, American Airlines and Classic Vacations which are among the top producing wholesalers for the destination.
The Turks and Caicos Tourist Board is committed to its mandate to promote the ‘Beautiful by Nature’ islands as well as continue to build and strengthen strategic industry partnerships through events such as TACC.
Tourist Board representatives anticipate that TACC will return to the shores of the Turks and Caicos Islands with its traditional format in 2022.
Washington MISICK challenged, and holds onto Leadership of the PNP
#TurksandCaicos, February 24, 2024 – Magnetic Media can report that WASHINGTON MISICK has emerged and remains LEADER of the governing Progressive National Party.The run for party leader was a risky maneuver by Saunders, son of former PNP Party leader and Chief Minister Norman Saunders. Delegates cast votes, giving E Jay Saunders 58 votes and Washington Misick 88. The elder statesman convincingly retaining delegates’ confidence. It is also reported that, based on the PNP Constitution, Saunders needed 70% support from delegates in a preliminary run off. He was unable to secure that much backing. A constitutional motion to change the selection process of the deputy leader to a delegate vote reportedly failed. It is therefore unclear what the immediate future, politically is for Saunders whose party and government roles are hinged on Washington Misick’s prerogative to have him or someone else in these posts. However Misick is already promoting a strict focus on uniting the party following the NGC meeting held at the Shore Club.It has been a contentious battle today at the PNPs National General Congress (NGC) for party leadership with interest coming from: Jas Walkin, the party’s 2021 campaign manager who this week publicly withdrew his bid; Dameko Dean, former Wheeland candidate who had published an article revealing his quest to lead the PNP and E Jay Saunders who today unsuccessfully challenged MISICK for the role. Saunders has tried for leader before and has served as the party’s deputy leader, at the pleasure and selection of Washington Misick since June 2019.
TCI Community College staff struck and robbed, another chased in car by attackers
#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – Attacks against several of its staff members last week have forced the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College to reassess its security.
“The college is robustly ending in immediate steps to review and reinforce our campus security protocols,” said a February 16 letter to staff seen by Magnetic Media.
The letter puts the date of the incidents as February 15th at one of its Providenciales campuses.
In the first, a male member of staff was attacked and his car stolen after he left a meeting. When Magnetic Media queried police about the event, they released additional details of the robbery.
We were told around 9:15 pm, Thursday February 15, a 39-year-old male and his colleagues were leaving the TCI Community College Campus, Princess Drive, Providenciales, when a group of men surrounded his vehicle.
The man, noticing that one of the men had stopped at the rear of the vehicle, approached him to investigate and was struck on the head. In the immediate aftermath, the assailants escaped in the victim’s car, leaving the TCICC staff member injured at the scene.
The victim was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center by police officers, and up until news production time, the car had not yet been recovered.
Following this incident, the Community College also revealed that a car chase had taken place.
A female member of staff this time, was chased down by suspected criminals as she left the campus. The employee managed to outdrive the people pursuing her and arrive safely at her destination, but she was described as shaken.
Now both, police officers and campus administration are urging residents to remain vigilant, especially when heading into their cars at night.
Safety tips that can help residents avoid attack, robbery, injury, or worse include:
- Stay alert when heading to your vehicle; don’t be distracted by your phone; pay attention to your surroundings.
- if you see anything or anyone suspicious, do not investigate on your own; go back and get a security guard or similar personnel to assist.
- Have your keys ready in your hands before approaching your car, so you can enter the safety of your vehicle immediately.
The police have not yet arrested anyone for the robbery attack against the employee.
Royal TCI Police share CAREER DAY Highlights
#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – On Thursday, 8th February 2024, between 9 am – and 2 pm, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force attended a Career Day event at the Enid Capron Primary School, Five Cays, Providenciales.
Under the theme “Be aware, choose a career”, the RTCIPF showcased the many career options available in policing.
Members of the Community Policing Unit, Safeguarding and Public Protection, Anti-Gang and Drugs Unit, Marine Branch, Traffic Enforcement, Air Support Unit and Mechanical Department were present. Officers answered questions posed by the young, impressionable minds.
Insp Ensa Wilson lectured students on various topics, including: “Good Touch, Bad Touch”, alerting adults to inappropriate situations and the importance of calling 911.
Students were asked questions following the lecture and were given RTCIPF tokens.
Sgt. Kavin Mars, along with PC Fitzlewis McDonald and Kiyon Doughty of the Anti Gang and Drug Unit, freestyled “Don’t Huff, Don’t Puff, Don’t Do That Stuff” and warned students of the dangers –health and legal – of using drugs.
Superintendent (Community Policing and Divisions) Dwight Gardiner commended the school’s initiative and applauded the representation of officers present.
Supt. Gardiner said: “Career Days often highlight the importance of community policing and underscore law enforcement’s vital role in fostering trust, collaboration, and safety within neighbourhoods.
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