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Banner Year!  Record Tourism Numbers for Turks & Caicos



#TurksandCaicos, January 15, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos Tourist Board is pleased to announce that 2021 was one of the most successful years on record. This, not only owing to the destination being open for business as of July 2019, but due to the Tourist Board’s continued marketing the country as safe for travellers.

The Board was instrumental in welcoming two new carriers: Frontier Airlines out of Orlando, Florida and Sun Country Airlines from Minneapolis, Minnesota. This, in addition to helping to negotiate the return of Southwest Airlines from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. What is more, there was the resumption of service from Toronto with Air Canada and British Airways (BA) from London Heathrow. The Tourist Board also had marketing partnerships with BA and Air Canada, affording travellers in the UK, EU and Canada the opportunity to discover, book and fly to TCI!

The last quarter of the year, September to December 2021, saw an average increase in arrival numbers of approximately 122,289 for 2021, versus 116,338, an upsurge from 2019 numbers of the same period. These preliminary numbers reflect the continued advertising and promotions initiatives carried out in collaboration with our wholesaler partners, travel advisors, hotel partners and airlines.

The Board organized familiarization and press trips from the US and UK markets. These trips showcased the country, providing partners with in-depth knowledge on the destination and our various product offerings, with the view of promoting the TCI on to their clients and in their publications.

This past year marked record tourism in the Turks and Caicos Islands, along with record publicity for the destination across the United States, our leading market generator. The Turks and Caicos Tourism board developed and executed diverse multi-faceted public relations plans and strategies to expand upon the Islands cachet as a world-class luxury vacation destination, having with affordable options and offerings for all.

The Tourism Board has been aggressive with advertisement, that resulted in notable placements in the UK publications: Travel & Leisure, Food & Travel, Conde Nast Traveller and Travel Weekly magazines; and in the US: Travel + Leisure online, Conde Nast Traveler (print and online), Forbes online, USA Today, ELLE online, Harper’s Bazaar online, CNN Travel, CNBC Travel, The Washington Post online, Brides online, PEOPLE Magazine online, MSN, Time Out, Marie Claire online, JustLuxe, Departures, TripSavvy, TravelPulse, Travel Weekly, Caribbean Journal, and The Points Guy, among others.

The Tourism Board exhibited at trade shows and roadshows in the United States, United Kingdom and France. Showcases focused on luxury, cruising, diving and water sports, weddings, honeymoons, adventure and eco travel.

The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourism Board is proud to have won multiple awards from Caribbean Journal this year, chiefly: Providenciales being named the Best Island in the Caribbean to Visit in 2022; Luxury Destination of the Year; New Hotel of the Year won by The Ritz-Carlton Turks & Caicos; and Caribbean Tourism Director of the Year.

“The record number of traveller arrivals, advertisement placement, events and activities, accolades, in conjunction with our partner collaboration, is indicative of the work that the Tourist Board has been building upon and will continue to do,” said Pamela Ewing, Director of Tourism. “We have been steadfast, contentious and consistent in these trying times. We are cognizant of the travelling publics needs, and we strive to inform them not only of our destination, but keep them up-to-date on the various protocols with regard to entry and remaining safe.”

“2021 was indeed a banner year for us, and with hope, 2022 will be an even better year ahead, as we work toward not only increasing our arrival numbers, but bettering the product we have to offer”, added Miss Ewing.


Three Days to NIB Rate Increase for 2023



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer



#TurksandCaicos, March 29, 2023 – On April 1st, the second round of increases on contributions at the National Insurance Board will kick in for the Turks and Caicos workforce.  Announced last year, the increases were instituted to keep the NIB from running out of money by 2027 as it services a population that is living longer with contributions that had not been increased in 30 years.

As the Government’s new financial year begins, increases at NIB will mean a higher cost for doing business and a higher cost for running the Government.

The private sector is expected to pay contributions at a rate of 11 percent on your taxable income. The hike is up from last year’s 10 per cent; six percent of which is to be paid by the Employer and five percent is to be paid by the Employee.  For wages of $2000, this will mean a $200 improvement in income per month to the NIB.  As for the burn on residents’ pockets, based on a minimum wage of $1200 monthly salary, that’s at least $60 dollars a month and $720 per year.

Public sector rates will move to 10.15 percent up from 9.15 per cent with the worker paying 4.575 per cent and the Government paying 5.575 per cent; that’s $54 a month and $648 a year at minimum wage.

The NIB rate as of April 1, 2023, will jump to 9 percent for self-employed individuals; For self-employed individuals at minimum wage, that is $108 dollars a month or $1296 per year.

As taxable incomes increase so will the contribution.

The increases follow a 2019 Actuarial review, undertaken every three years, which unearthed that the NIB was facing a dismal future, possible collapse. Contribution rates were growing at a rate much slower than NIB expenses, which included beneficiary payouts.  On that trajectory, the NIB’s earnings would be eclipsed by its income by 2027, forcing the worker protection plan to draw down on money saved for economic shocks like Covid-19.

Unsurprisingly, this was deemed untenable, and an immediate increase was recommended.

Despite this scramble to boost earnings, the NIB has simultaneously increased payouts.  Payouts for pensions, funeral grants, maternity grants and more will all attract bigger sums.

These incremental increases on contributions and payouts were all consultant recommendations, informed statements from the Board.

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Bahamas News

Work of NAECOB critical in ensuring high standards in education, says Minister Hanna-Martin



By KATHRYN CAMPBELLBahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas, March 29, 2023 – Over 100 schools in New Providence, public and private, and some 30 plus schools in Freeport have been inspected by The National Accreditation and Equivalency Council (NAECOB) to ensure high quality standards for the delivery of education.
“We will cover every island, every cay in this country to make certain that the facilities that we send our children to are adequate, conducive for learning, safe and sound for education,” said Thelma Grimes, chairperson, NAECOB.
“We are going to head to Cat Island and all the others before June.This is our announced visit. They [schools] have a chance to get things fixed that are not finished and [afterwards] we will have the unannounced.”
The Council informed the media of its progress during a briefing Monday, March 20, 2023 at its headquarters, Tonique Williams-Darling Highway.
Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member explained that the council’s seven inspectors are tasked with visiting every site or virtual space operating the following: primary/secondary schools, private/secondary, post-secondary, recognized, training, allied health and business institutions among others.
 Mr. Newbold said inspections include an examination of:
 -Safety and security standards-Human security which begins at the entrance to the property’-Physical security: safety mechanisms including smoke detectors, fire alarms and extinguishers (service date verification, and evacuation plan)-Primary grounds, playground equipment, swing sets and slides-Curriculum-Information management system (student records, staff schedules, registration certificate with NAECOB, business license, photos of the national leaders etc.)
The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Institute thanked NAECOB for their efforts. She described their work as “critical” and a part of an overall national thrust to ensure that the quality of education in the country is at a high standard.“We’re the Ministry of Education and they’re our schools. We are accountable to NAECOB. They ensure that what is happening on the campuses throughout the nation meets the physical standards and the qualitative standards of education. You would have heard classroom size and teacher/student ratio. We may have challenges, and we do at the Ministry of Education but when these issues are brought to our attention we are obliged and compelled to seek resolution to ensure that the standards are met.
“This is a quality assurance measure for the Ministry itself and our schools to ensure that public and private and public schools meet these standards. We value that. Because the objective of the Ministry is to ensure that we meet the standards so that our young people who enter these institutions are afforded the best opportunity possible.
 “Education is a cultural value; a norm. We submit ourselves to the work of NAECOB to ensuring what happens is done at least to make the acceptable standards of the delivery of education in our schools,” she said.
Cassia Minnis, registration officer, said “registration” certifies that a local educational institution/provider has met the criteria to offer an educational service in The Bahamas as outlined in the Education Act. She said it is mandatory that all educational institutions/provider offering/proposing to offer an educational service in the Bahamas must be registered according to the NAECOB Act and the Education Act.
 She said NAECOB is aware of “small” schools operating within residential homes and warned that this is in contravention of the law.
She encouraged the public to view listings of all registered institutions on the website at
NAECOB is responsible for registering and accrediting primary schools, secondary schools, post-secondary schools, and any institution that offers training in The Bahamas.

BIS Photos/Mark Ford

Header: Seated at the table, from left: – Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary; Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin; Dominique McCartney Russell, Acting Director; Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer; Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson; Howard Newbold, Inspector, Council Member; Shena Williams, Council and Inspector; Dorothy Anderson, Inspector; T. Nicola McKay, Deputy Chairperson;  (seated behind) Willard Barr, Council and Inspector.

1st insert: Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson

2nd insert: Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member

3rd insert: The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training

4th insert: Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer

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Bahamas News

Bahamas Golden Jubilee Events Announced, Celebrations Across 33 Islands & Cays



#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – As the 50th anniversary of our nation’s independence approaches, Bahamians everywhere are teeming with excitement and expectancy around the year-long celebrations set by The National Independence Secretariat.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister joined H.E Leslia Miller Brice, Chair of The National Independence Secretariat to unveil the Calendar of Events for the 50th Independence celebrations.

The calendar comprises a host of events, initiatives and recommendations for celebrations throughout all 33 islands of The Bahamas.

At this jubilant occasion the PM stated, “Celebrating independence is about acknowledging the greatness around us, the greatness within us, and the greatness ahead of us.

We are Bahamians. That identity is special.”

View the newly released calendar of events here:…

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