#DominicanRepublic, March 12, 2022 – Led by Executive Chairman Adam Stewart and CEO Gebhard Rainer, members of the Sandals Resorts International (SRI) Executive Committee toured the Dominican Republic, meeting with government officials including being received by His Excellency Mr. Luis Rodolfo Abinader Corona, President of the Dominican Republic.
The exploratory visit was at the personal invitation of Her Excellency Angie Shakira Martínez Tejera, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic in Jamaica, who, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Dominican Republic and in partnership with Executive Director of ProDominicana, Mrs. Biviana Riveiro, were instrumental in coordinating and designing the agenda to showcase the different destinations and to discover tourism investment opportunities.
During the two-day visit, the SRI team visited various areas of the island including Punta Cana, Miches and Las Terrenas, among others. Although Stewart and other SRI executives had been to the Dominican Republic previously, this marked the first official visit by the Jamaica-based luxury all-inclusive resort company to the destination.
“We thoroughly enjoyed our brief but fruitful time in the Dominican Republic and wish to thank our hosts, especially President Abinader. When leadership at the highest levels makes time to discuss the power of tourism and investment opportunities that expand its reach, we know we’ve found a like-minded partner,” said Stewart.
According to Ambassador Martínez, plans for the visit had been underway for some time, and were of great importance to the Dominican Republic. “Like Jamaica, where Sandals hails from, the Dominican Republic is a revered Caribbean tourism destination and the [tourism] industry is critically important to our economy. It is a dream of ours to have the very prestigious Sandals brand present here. We are honored by the visit and excited by the possibility of our island nation becoming the first Spanish Caribbean territory to welcome the Sandals organization,” said Ambassador Martínez.
Sandals Resorts International is in the midst of a multi-year expansion and innovation plan aimed at strengthening tourism’s return to the Caribbean region. Earlier this year, SRI reopened Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas, and will soon unveil its first property in Curaçao on June 1st. Three new resorts are planned for Jamaica, and, in 2023, SRI will unveil a new resort under their Beaches Resorts brand in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Announced late last year, SRI’s investment of nearly US $200 million will result in 3,000 Caribbean-based jobs, reaffirming the company’s role as a leader and driver of tourism and economic growth across the region, and aligning with plans to double the size of the SRI portfolio in the next decade.
During their visit to the Dominican Republic, the delegation also greeted the Dominican Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Roberto Álvarez, and had an informative meeting with the Director General of the Public-Private Partnership of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Sigmund Freund.
“This was an excellent visit at a time when we are pursuing expansion goals aggressively. We look forward to the possibility of what’s to come,” said Stewart.
About Sandals Resorts International
Founded in 1981 by the late Jamaican entrepreneur Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Sandals Resorts International (SRI) is the parent company of some of travel’s most recognizable vacation brands. The company operates 24 properties throughout the Caribbean under four separate brands including: Sandals® Resorts, the Luxury Included® brand for adult couples with locations in Jamaica, Antigua, the Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia and a resort opening in Curaçao; Beaches® Resorts, the Luxury Included® concept designed for everyone but especially families, with properties in Turks & Caicos and Jamaica, and another opening in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; private island Fowl Cay Resort; and the private homes of Your Jamaican Villas. The company’s importance in the Caribbean basin, where tourism is the number one earner of foreign capital, cannot be underestimated. Family-owned and operated, Sandals Resorts International is the largest private employer in the region.
Press Release: Sandals Resorts International
Vessels sink with 900 barrels of fuel in Trinidad
By Shanieka Smith
#Trinidad, December 2, 2022 – The Ministry of Energy and Energy Resources in Trinidad reported on Wednesday that a ship carrying 900 barrels of diesel fuel had sunk in the Gulf of Paria. The six crew members on board were rescued and received medical assessment.
The statement revealed that the barge owned by Trinity Liftboat Services Limited was trying to demobilise Trinity Heritage Petroleum Company’s North Field when it capsized.
After receiving an SOS from a vessel in their North Field, Heritage sent out a response team. An investigation into the incident has started, however, the main focus is to redeem the barge without making any oil spills.
The owners of the sunken vessel said “there are no injuries recorded. (The vessel) now sits on the seafloor no longer posing a risk to any of Heritage Petroleum’s platforms or installations.” They said the captain made a good decision to abandon the ship so that the crew members could be rescued and transported back to base.
Digital coin created for Caribbean’s Dominica as island partners with Huobi
By Shanieka Smith
December 2, 2022 – The Commonwealth of Dominica has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, to issue its own national cryptocurrencies, Dominica Coin (DMC), and Digital Identity Documents (DID), already reports indicate a surge for the Huobi token.
This new collaboration with Dominica will bring the Caribbean one step closer to being a global cryptocurrency exchange centre. Huobi also announced its intention to move headquarters from Seychelles to the Caribbean.
It was explained, “The deal is noteworthy partly because of its connections to crypto billionaire Justin Sun, founder of the Tron blockchain where the Caribbean island’s new token will initially reside.”
Dominica Coin (DMC) and digital identity documents (DID) will be issued by Huobi Prime via the TRON network (a project dedicated to building the infrastructure for a truly decentralized Internet); both will serve as credentials for the future metaverse platform based in Dominica. DIDs can be used for cryptocurrency Know Your Customer verification, applying for loans, and opening bank accounts on the island.
The DMC is not yet ready for launch, but The HT token is up 15% over the last 24 hours to $7.12. It’s up 40% over the past seven days.
As one of the first Caribbean islands to adopt the citizenship-by-investment policy, the Dominican government is seeking to delve into the metaverse and Web3 technology as a means to boost the country’s development.
Imminent Worldwide Measles Threat; 25 Million CHILDREN miss First Dose
By Dana Malcolm
December 2, 2022 – Forty million children are at risk of Measles as what the World Health Organization is describing as an “imminent threat” takes shape. A joint report between the WHO and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control revealed that a record number of children missed their measles dose with 25 million children missing their first dose and 14.7 million children missing their second dose in 2021 alone.
Nine million cases of measles were recorded last year, twenty-two countries experienced large and disruptive outbreaks and 128,000 deaths occurred, the report says.
“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against COVID-19 were developed in record time and deployed in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programmes were badly disrupted, and millions of kids missed out on life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases like measles,” said Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
Measles is easily one of the most contagious viruses in the world and while many people think itchy spots when they think of the disease it can cause pneumonia, seizures and brain damage in about 30 percent of infected individuals.
Herd immunity will not work with this disease, say experts, unless 95 per cent of people or more are vaccinated; only 71 per cent of children in 2022 are fully vaccinated.
“Measles anywhere is a threat everywhere” the report said, emphasizing that no WHO region has achieved and sustained measles elimination.
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