#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
Jamaica Rum Festival Endorsed
#Jamaica, June 27, 2022 – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, endorsed this year’s fourth staging of the Jamaica Rum Festival at the Aqueduct in Rose Hall, St. James, on Saturday (June 25).
Ms. Grange, who officially opened the event, noted that rum, and spirits in general, has deep cultural significance in Jamaica, spanning centuries.
“From the cane fields, where our enslaved ancestors worked, through to today, where we have the best rum in the world… we have a lot to be proud of,” she added.
For his part, Tourism Director, Donovan White, commended the organisers of the festival, which attracted a significant number of patrons, including visitors from overseas. He said the Ministry of Tourism, through the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), was pleased to be a partner in the event that showcased top quality products by local rum purveyors.
Minister Grange, representatives from the Tourism Ministry’s agencies, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, were presented with limited edition Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum.
Contact; Okoye Henry
Education Ministry Recommits to Expanding Uniformed Groups in Schools
#Jamaica, June 27, 2022 – The Ministry of Education and Youth remains committed to increasing the number of uniformed groups in schools. This is in keeping with its thrust to fulfill this mission under the Safety and Security in Schools Programme, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, has said. She further noted that “it is a part of our series of measures to improve discipline among students.”
Mrs. Williams was speaking during the Council of Voluntary Social Services’ (CVSS) uniformed groups church service on Sunday (June 26). The service was held at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Cross Roads, Kingston.
Mrs. Williams remarks came against the background of what she said were “heightened concerns” in recent months over incidents of violence in schools across Jamaica and calls for a more concerted effort to provide civic and character education for students. She noted that several initiatives within the Ministry to address these concerns were being expanded, among them support for uniformed groups in schools.
“The Ministry has been supporting uniformed youth groups in the development of a Three-Year Strategic Plan and [Memoranda of Understanding] with individual groups which will, at one and the same time, advance the missions of the groups and the mandate of the Ministry to these groups,” Mrs. Williams added.
The Minister pointed out that these cohorts, including Girl Guides, Brownies, Boys Brigade, Cub Scouts, Cadets and Pathfinders, “have played an invaluable role in shaping the character and awakening the social conscience of our young people for decades.”
“It has been well-established that students who participate in clubs are more out-going as they are engaged in activities that support socialisation with their peers. These students tend to be more comfortable in group settings where communication and team-work are necessary. This is a valuable asset as it will also benefit these students outside of the school setting,” she stated.
Additionally, she said they provide opportunities for informal learning and life experiences.
“Uniformed youth groups represent a cohort of the nation’s youth that is organised around a set of core values, such as honour, discipline, service, loyalty, commitment, integrity, perseverance, industry and spiritual fortitude,” the Minister emphasised.
She noted that while most are based in schools, units may also be organised at church and community levels.
“Indeed, we know that the church has been a main source through which many new members are recruited. There is a challenge, however, and that is, over the past few years, there has not been as robust an interest in these groups as in previous decades,” Mrs. Williams indicated.
She said it was acknowledged that the society’s youth now have many more interests and distractions, “but we should still try to encourage them to see the value in participating in groups such as these”, while citing an “urgent need” for volunteer adult leaders.
The Minister also noted that older and more traditional groups, such as Boys Scouts and Girl Guides, are international in scope and maintain linkages with the worldwide movements.
“Support from these fraternal organisations has, however, diminished over the years, and local organisations must find the resources to sustain operations and pay the required affiliation fees. So once again, it is important that we, in the local community, pitch in to provide the needed support,” she added.
In this regard, the Minister commended members of the uniformed groups and CVSS for ongoing efforts to forge long-term alliances that facilitate mutual support and joint action.
Further, she said, for representing the concerns of the social sector, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, at the regional and international levels.
“We, as a collective, continue to dedicate ourselves to creating a supportive and safe environment for our students to learn and experience as much as possible to become productive members of society,” Mrs. Williams stated.
Contact: Douglas McIntosh
Anguilla Economic Affairs Minister Quits; calling it a conscience move
By Shanieka Smith
#Anquilla, June 27, 2022 – After penning a three-page resignation letter to Premier Ellis Lorenzo Webster, the Minister of Economic Development, Commerce, Information Technology and Natural Resources, Kyle Hodge has officially resigned from the Anguilla Progressive Movement (APM).
“I am submitting this letter of resignation because my conscience and commitments to the people of Anguilla no longer permit me to serve as a member of the Anguilla Progressive Movement and minister of government in your administration,” he wrote.
Included in his letter are his reasons for resigning and that entails his concerns on Goods and Services Tax (GST) which is scheduled to come into Force on July 1, the lack of organised leadership, and the lack of party structure.
“I believe that my dissenting vote on the Good and Services Tax (GST) marked the initial fraying of our relationship; since then we have not been on the same page. There is a mutual lack of trust and understanding and most importantly, our goals for the Anguillan people have fully diverged and there is little common ground,” said the resigned minister.
He also shared his concern regarding the approach and tone of the government towards Anguillans.
“Politics in Anguilla must change and it actually started when the people demanded more of use and I am very comfortable with that demand. You deserve nothing less,” said Hodge in a Facebook post. He also thanked the people who have supported him in his decision to resign.
Hodge added that he will continue to serve the people who elected him since he will still be a member of the House of Assembly.
He said, “my resignation today does not mean GST disappears, so let us continue to unite our efforts to either make it more palatable or find other ways to collect the revenue that is needed to run the country. I wish the entire government a healthy and prosperous term in office. I also take this time to commend you for the relief package granted to the people of Anguilla as we deal with hyperinflation in Anguilla.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as Minister of Economic Development, Investment, Commerce, Natural Resources and Information Technology. I wish you the very best politically and otherwise.”
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