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Turks and Caicos Tourist Board Hosts Exclusive Group Press Trip

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#TurksandCaicos, August 20, 2921 -The Turks and Caicos Tourist Board, the exclusive tourism authority for the Turks and Caicos Islands hosts, group press trip with select journalists from major US and Canadian publications. This press trip, while one of many, is the first group trip hosted by the Tourist Board. It is a part of the broader strategy to market and promote destination Turks and Caicos.

The overall goal of the press trips hosted by the Tourism Board is not only to strengthen the destination’s relationship with the international media, which is essential to communicating positive messaging to the global audience about the Turks and Caicos, but it also a key strategy in the promotion of all Sister Islands, not only Providenciales which currently receives the majority of international media attention. The main criteria for all Turks and Caicos Tourist Board hosted press trips is that the attending journalists explore, research and provide media coverage for at least 2 or 3 Sister Islands in the destination, which ensures that all Sister Islands receive equal exposure and publicity, that will in turn increase visitor arrivals throughout the Turks and Caicos islands.

The current group press trip consisted of four journalists from major publications throughout the United States and Canada. Writers include Chloe Caldwell from UPROXX, who will be writing an Island-Hopping Guide for the Turks and Caicos. This is intended to be a general adventure guide for first-time visitors on how to make the most out of their time in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Kristi Eaton who represents both Travel Weekly and Travel + Leisure is visiting as well.

Her articles will focus on ecotourism and green hotels in the destination. In addition, we have Stephanie Keay who is from Haute Living, San Franciso, CA and focuses on the luxury travel element. She plans an extensive feature on Turks and Caicos for their December issue of the magazine. Lastly is Dobrina Zhekova who represents The Knot and Travel + Leisure Online. She will be providing coverage on luxury properties in the Turks and Caicos, including coverage on luxury private villas for rent and sale, as well as stories surrounding destination weddings and honeymoons. The current press trip is predicted to result in a cumulative of over 11 million impressions in the US and Canadian markets.

Key highlights on this group trip include:

  • Ocean Vibes catamaran excursion and visit to Little Water Cay
  • South Caicos boating adventure excursion, snorkeling at Starfish Gardens and Long Cay experience
  • A group tour of the Turks and Caicos National Museum
  • A Historical Island Tour of Grand Turk
  • Site Inspections of various properties on Providenciales, South Caicos and Grand Turk

Director of Tourism, Pamela Ewing commented “We are always excited when high-end travel writers visit the Turks and Caicos and provide coverage on the story that is the Turks and Caicos Islands. As we expand our product offering with the opening of the Ritz Carlton and the other properties that will be on-boarded in the next several months to a year, we want to ensure that the public, our clients and partners are kept updated. We are grateful that the lack of restrictions between islands allows these journalists to explore a number of other islands during their visit. We are sure that whenever they see anyone of our gems, they will agree that each island has its own special charm.”

The Tourism Board extends their thanks and gratitude to key partners, Grace Bay Resorts, Sailrock Resort, Osprey Beach Hotel and Sandbar Restaurant. The Tourism Board is equally thankful for all partners that contribute to the promotion of destination Turks and Caicos and hope to receive the continued support from all stakeholders and partners across the Sister Islands.

Director of Tourism, Pamela Ewing commented “We are always excited when high-end travel writers visit the Turks and Caicos and provide coverage on the story that is the Turks and Caicos Islands. As we expand our product offering with the opening of the Ritz Carlton and the other properties that will be on-boarded in the next several months to a year, we want to ensure that the public, our clients and partners are kept updated. We are grateful that the lack of restrictions between islands allows these journalists to explore a number of other islands during their visit. We are sure that whenever they see anyone of our gems, they will agree that each island has its own special charm.”

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Bahamas News

Over 68,000 STAYED HOME in Bahamas Elections; We have BEST and WORST for Voter Participation

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – The just-concluded General Election in Bahamas has presented a new shift in governance.  The former ruling part, Free National Movement, lost nearly all the electoral seats it secured in the 2017 general elections.  However, this seems a swap of the Progressive Liberal party’s score in the 2017 general elections in which the former ruling party (FNM) won nearly all the parliamentary seats.

68,000 STAYED AWAY

While the FNM secured 35 out of 39 seats in the 2017 ballot, leaving only four slots for the Opposition, the 2021 elections presented “new day” with the Opposition clinching 32 parliamentary seats, leaving the former ruling party FNM with only seven slots.

However, the election results showed a significant drop in voter turnout compared to the 2017 election results. Out of 194,494 registered voters in The Bahamas, only 126,414 voted, translating to 65 per cent voter turnout.

PREVIOUS ELECTION HIGHER

This was different from the previous election in which 160,407 out of 181,543 registered voters cast their ballots, translating to a remarkable 88.36 per cent voter turnout.

Being the first election in the island nation since the Covid-19 struck the Caribbean; the dismal voter turnout could be attributed to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in The Bahamas and the current countermeasures taken by individuals to avoid contracting the deadly virus.

It could also be voter apathy.

BEST IN SHOW

Despite coronavirus prevalence in the country, North Andros & Berry Islands, Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and Mangrove Cay & South Andros constituencies recorded an impressive voter turnout of 77.99 per cent, 76.11 per cent and 73.06 per cent respectively.

North Andros & Berry Islands had 2,126 out of 2,569 registered voters cast their ballots, followed by 1,255 out of 1,622 in Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and 1,706 out of 2,164 registered voters in Mangrove Cay & South Andros.

VERY LOW SHOW

The bottom three constituencies in terms of voter turnout include Bamboo Town, which had 3,436 out of 5,838 (58.63 per cent) registered voters cast their ballot, followed by Garden Hills with 3,033 out of 5,287 (57.09 per cent), and   Central & South Abaco falling at the bottom of the list with 1,844 out of 3,271 (55.96 per cent).

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COVID Works programme launched by Ministry of Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development

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#TurksandCaicos, September 21, 2021 – The Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development, the Honourable Akierra Mary Deanne Missick and the Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development team are pleased to announce the launch of the COVID WORKS Programme, that went live on September 1, 2021.

The Programme seeks to support many who have lost jobs and livelihoods, while providing labour intensive work for economic exchange opportunities for persons to be engaged.

Works are set out in three (3) levels and comprise a variety of categories example, cleaning, road works, demolition and general construction to name a few.

Level 1 – value $1,500 – $9,999

Level 2 – value $10,000 – $39,999

Level 3 – value $40,000 – $70,000

Turks and Caicos Islanders with valid business licenses are also being encouraged to submit proposals to the Public Works Department for consideration for works throughout the islands. 

Commenting on the launch of the programme, Hon. Missick said, “We are very much mindful of the impact that restrictions introduced by Government in an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, has had on the islands, many continue to experience financial hardship. Whilst, the hospitality and construction sectors in Providenciales have rebounded well, as an Administration, we cannot rest knowing that other industries are still limping along.

As a result, during the remainder of this financial year, the Turks & Caicos Islands Government has now launched the COVID Works Programme to provide an opportunity for Petty and Small Contractors to assist the Government in the enhancement of our communities, through programmed works, to the benefit of all of us as residents”.

The Minister went on to note, “This Programme is set to the tune of US$5,000,000.00, and works will be rolled out across the Islands in batches, as we have to ensure that we do not go beyond the allotted expenditure and that financial oversight and transparency are maintained.”

The initial batch of works for South Caicos, which comprised the following, was returned and evaluated on Monday, September 13, 2021 and included:

South Caicos 

Demolition- Queen’s Shed

Demolition- Distribution Concrete Tank

Demolition- Old Clinic Building

Demolition- DECR Building

Demolition- Library Building

Repair of Water Cistern

Works for Grand Turk included:

Grand Turk 

Demolition- Blood Bank Building

Demolition- Geriatric Ward Building

Demolition- Kitchen Building

Demolition- X-ray Building

All returning bids must be sent to the COVID Works email at tcigworks@gov.tc

Kindly note that as of Monday, September 20, 2021, the following works are planned to be released:

Grand Turk: 

Beach Cleaning (Eastern portion of Grand Turk)

Street Cleaning (All areas)

Providenciales:

Beach cleaning (Areas of Shore Club and Five Cays)

Street Cleaning (All areas)

A number of other works for Middle & North Caicos, as well as Salt Cay will be released shortly. This is a six month program that will spread throughout the TCI and we encourage persons to continue to register via tcigworks@gov.tc or the local Public Works Department and District Commissioners’ offices, to be eligible for this opportunity.

These works will continue on a monthly basis and the programme will come to an end in March 2022.

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Bahamas News

BAHAMAS: Nine new Cabinet ministers sworn-in

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#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis today introduced the first set of new Cabinet ministers with portfolios covering the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs, Education, Works and Public Utilities, Health and Wellness, Government Affairs, Agriculture, National Security and Legal Affairs.

The nine ministers were sworn-in on Monday 20 September 2021 by Governor-General the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith during ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Center.

“They are the initial members of a Cabinet which will reflect the breadth and depth of the competencies and characteristics of our team: experience combined with innovation; expertise combined with a willingness to see things anew; integrity and a strong sense of purpose,” said Prime Minister Davis.

“They are receiving these appointments because of their determination to get things done.”

Among the new Ministers sworn-in on Monday were:

  • Senator the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, Attorney General;
  • Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service;
  • Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education, and Technical and Vocational Training;
  • Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities;
  • Dr. Hon. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness;
  • Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Government Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate;
  • Hon. Clay Sweeting, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs;
  • Hon. Wayne Munroe, Minister of National Security; and
  • Hon. Jomo Campbell, Minister of State for Legal Affairs.

“I am confident that these first-appointed members of our Cabinet team are ready to deliver on the promise of a New Day for our Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Davis pledged to move with urgency to address the economic and health crises that are faced by The Bahamas.

Many thousands of Bahamians are out of work, people are losing too many loved ones to the COVID-19 virus and Bahamian schoolchildren are falling behind, said Prime Minister Davis.

“I want to be clear: we are not here to tinker at the edges of these problems,” said the Prime Minister.

“We are here to meet them head on.”

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