#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.
Press Release: Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Bahamas
February 3, 2023 – ILM Bahamas Centre held its Certificate Presentation Ceremony for Cohort 7. The cohort consisted of fourteen (14) Senior Immigration Officers from the Department of Immigration. This Cohort was a hybrid of in-person and online learning. Four of the Immigration Officers were from the Family Islands (Grand Bahama, Abaco, Berry Islands and Eleuthera).
Present at the ceremony were: The Hon. Keith Bell, Minister of Labour and Immigration, Madam Justice J. Denise Lewis-Johnson, Permanent Secretary Ms. Ceceila Strachan, Executive Chair of NTA Ms. Agatha Marcelle, Executive Director of NTA Mr. Terry Murray, Director of Immigration Mrs. Keturah Ferguson, Deputy Director of Immigration Mr. Dwight Beneby, Ms. Esther McKinney Office Manager at the Department of Immigration.
The guest speaker at the ceremony was Dr. Donald M. McCartney a Leadership and Management Consultant with Motivation Incorporated Bahamas and the United States. He was a former senior public servant. He was also a First Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service with responsibility for the Northern Bahamas. He was also a former educator and professor at various colleges in the United States.
In his address to ILM Cohort 7, Dr. McCartney spoke about having the courage to lead and that leadership goes beyond SELF. It’s not about you or your ego but rather more about contributing to nation building. He said, “We must be prepared to take the bold steps that would not lead us into the abyss of despair but on the road that leads us to lift up our heads to the rising sun and press onward to the mountaintop experience, which will lead us to become the proud and productive people we were destine to be.” He also expanded on the four fundamental virtues: COURAGE, TEMPERANCE, JUSTICE AND WISDOM. Additionally, he expanded on the focus and influence of courage, on the ego and discipline.
The Hon. Keith Bell, Minister of Labour and Immigration brought brief remarks on the occasion. Some of the highlights of his speech were that Immigration is one of the highest revenue earners, challenges within the Department of Immigration such as lack of autonomy from the Public Service as compared to the other armed forces. He also talked about that the fact that the top tier is going to be retired within two years and this would be an opportunity for many of the graduates of this Cohort 7 to gain upward mobility.
He also stated that there needs to be a complete overhaul of the Immigration Act, and a review of the Asylum Bill. Furthermore, he discussed the inevitable need for the relocation of the Department of Immigration from its current location. Lastly, he stated that we must tread a delicate balance between enforcing the law and being humane, in regards to shanty towns.
It is noteworthy that the ILM Centre at the National Training Agency recently obtained a Centre upgrade. The ILM Centre Bahamas now hold the statue of Direct Claim Status with City and Guilds of London. Additionally, the Centre is now registered with the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of the Bahamas (NAECOB) for all of its current course offerings. The ILM Department is lead Miss Pamela Gomez as the ILM Centre Coordinator. Registration is now open for Level 2 Certificate in Leadership and Team Skill and Level 3 Certificate in Leadership and Management. Our mission statement is, “Helping people, organizations, and economies develop their skills for growth.”
For more information, contact the ILM Centre Bahamas located in the Gladstone Road Business Centre by calling 461-6021 or 461-6008.
Sugar and salt tax campaigns gaining steam
By Dana Malcolm
February 7, 2023 – A global battle on sugar and salt is ramping up as the United States joins The Bahamas and Barbados in creating proposals for historic sugar and salt laws.
The country’s Agricultural Department for the first time in history, proposed a cap on the amount of sugar to be allowed in school meals.
The World Health Organization has found that North America and the Caribbean have the highest rates of childhood diabetes in the world and based on the International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas we also have the second highest prevalence of Diabetes overall for all global regions at 14 percent or 51 million people with a projected 24 percent increase in just 22 years.
Barbados, the United States, Canada, Haiti, Mexico, Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis are all suffering from incredibly high rates of diabetes.
Barbados and The Bahamas announced sugar taxes last month; the hope is to reduce the importation and sale of sugar and salt rich foods.
Advocates across the Caribbean including Jamaica, Trinidad, and others have been campaigning for sugar taxes in their own countries with support from the public.
Now the proposed nutritional rules for the United States would set firm boundaries on how much salt and sugar can legally be added to meals, setting a new standard as most food imports for countries like The Bahamas are from the US.
The plan for the US is expected to be rolled out by 2025.
The rules, are unapologetically an attempt to cut down incidences of diabetes and other diseases fueled by unhealthy diets, according to media reports.
For now, the quantities on sugar and salt additives is an idea waiting wider consultation.
Texas bans TikTok from government agencies
By Dana Malcolm
#USA, February 7, 2023 – Chinese owned TikTok has officially been banned from Government devices in another US State following the passing of a new law banning the social media app on Federal devices in December. Texas Governor Greg Abott made the decision for his state following Virginia, Maryland, Alabama and Utah.
In a statement posted to his website Abbott said “The security risks associated with the use of TikTok on devices used to conduct the important business of our state must not be underestimated or ignored.”
He also claimed the app was harvesting significant amounts of data from users’ phones, maintaining the ban was necessary to protect Texas’ sensitive information from threats.
The ban on downloading and use will apply to both state and personal devices with internet connectivity that are used to conduct state business including cell phones, laptops, tablets and desktops.
It also prohibits residents from conducting state business with devices that have TikTok or other ‘prohibited technology’ enabled on them and bans any device with this technology from entry and use in sensitive areas, locations or meetings. The ban must be in effect by February 15 in all state agencies. There was no indication it would affect devices, personal or otherwise, not used to conduct state business.
The ban comes amidst increased tensions between the country and the Republic of China over a spy balloon that was sent into US airspace by China and then shot down by the US.
FIND US ON FACEBOOK
Caribbean News6 days ago
CARICOM condemns violence against police in Haiti
Bahamas News2 days ago
New Director of PAHO Sworn In
Caribbean News6 days ago
Murder Convicted, Malik Cox loses appeal at Privy Council
Caribbean News2 days ago
TCI to become full members of CARICOM
Government6 days ago
US launches partnership to sponsor Caribbean refugees
Caribbean News5 days ago
Guyana secures cryotherapy machines to help fight cervical cancer
Caribbean News19 hours ago
Minister and Government’s Plan for TCI Tourism is a Pipe Dream:
Caribbean News5 days ago
Barbados to Host 41st Caribbean Travel Marketplace this Spring