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PDM Deputy Leader: No to VAT, Silence on Crime, Where’s the Water and call for Financial relief



#TurksandCaicos, April 22, 2022 – I am very disappointed to see the lack of representation for Five Cays, following the shocking crime wave of last week. Many of you may know, I consider Five Cays home because that is the community I grew up in, so the disregard for the situation is just fully unacceptable.

Earlier this year I expressed deep concern for the way life was deteriorating in so many of the communities of the Turks and Caicos, and that crime was escalating. It is a trend that has sadly not stopped, it is getting worse. In my regular visits to areas like Five Cays, I am learning that people continue to feel deserted, and this latest shooting spree with no one from the government coming out to offer a word of comfort or hope, demonstrates that the representative elected for the work is so preoccupied with her Cabinet seat, that she seems to have forgotten about her Constituency seat.

I hear nothing being said about National Security – sad to say – the Five Cays constituency has the most crime happening in the country. It is on her watch that nothing is being said and it seems nothing is being done when young people are committing serious crime and people are dying or being seriously injured as a result of violence.

We all know that if the PDM were the government, when this crime spike broke loose, the current MP would have been all over it. Now that she has the power she asked for, we get silence. It’s a total no show on her job of taking care of Five Cays and Chalk Sound.

Chalk Sound is also an area I grew up in, and so to see, that these areas are being neglected is hurtful. While this government continues to promote their “Best life’ slogan around like all is well with the world, the people in this country are struggling under the weight of global inflation, run down infrastructure, slow government services, low or unchanged salaries and the fear of being the next victim of deadly crime.

On another note, Economists, Accountants, the Business Community and the Media have all reported that the reduction in CPF and government fuel tax will not change the costs to consumers, but the Government, who is aware of these reports, is silent on this issue. Not one word from the elected government in a month. This is disrespectful to our professional community.

A decision was made without proper and thorough consultation, so the taxes announced last month have so far been a waste of time and added paperwork which offers no real money savings that residents can feel. We know that you the people of this country are frustrated. You voted in people who said they would work, but the work must improve.

But, do not despair, the PDM will continue to speak out and agitate on your behalf. I will continue to keep this government aware of what you need or what you say, and how many of their policies are failing you.

I saw the Minister of Finance in one of his many boasts, highlighting what was not even a handful of businesspeople receiving grants through the MSME of Invest Turks and Caicos Agency. To me, to show off for two people receiving government funding proves the goals for this PNP Administration are far too conservative. We are an enterprising people; ready to build our own businesses and succeed. We need a government with big goals and big heart who are ready to equip us and help us achieve our goals. If we are going to be serious about changing the lives of people, and empowering people economically, then we need to be attracting crowds. The kinds of crowds which were attracted when you were giving out the stimulus.

Thousands came when you gave $1,000 and $500; so ask yourself, why then are they not coming when you are offering $10,000 or more in program benefits?

Let’s discuss Grand Turk for a moment. What credentials do the people of Grand Turk need in order for you to get them a reliable water supply? Year after year, we hear of issues about the water for Grand Turk including broken equipment and lack of security to protect it. What is it going to take for the Government to just give this matter the dedicated attention it deserves? Your priority list needs shuffling PNP. You’re thinking about vendors’ markets and how to accommodate more cruise passengers when Grand Turk can’t even supply water to a few thousand people.

Water is a fundamental, essential part of life and living, and doing business and providing health care. How do these officials rest at night knowing, thousands of people in Grand Turk are denied basic water? Once and for all, fix the water problem in our nation’s capital.

We are still in a pandemic which demands higher levels of good hygiene which means they need reliable water services. It is where the majority of tourists come in due to the cruise ships, the water cannot keep running out.

Back to finance. Mr. Finance Minister, the IMF is coming in here, looking for ways to make more money on the backs of the smallest earners, and government services are struggling to keep pace with the growing population demands. As for E Government – can we have a progress report on that? Yes, we can apply for a police record online, but it’s taking three months to get one in hand. Adding to these issues, you want to introduce a new tax, maybe a VAT tax.

The PDM is not in support of VAT.

Our people cannot handle a bigger tax burden. From where I stand, you are not getting the work done as much as our people need, and in the meaningful ways we need it. Your show and tell time is up, you cannot get tired now. Work

Caribbean News

CHTA President, Members Triumph at 2023 CMEx Leadership Awards



#Miami, Florida, December 10, 2023 – President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) Nicola Madden-Greig, OD, received the 2023 Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) Leadership Award in Miami over the weekend.

The Awards recognize excellence and innovation in Caribbean communication and hospitality, celebrating individuals who have made significant contributions to sustainable tourism, community engagement, and cultural preservation.

“As president of the CHTA, I want to see the Caribbean region not only grow but reach the stratosphere. I am honored to be among so many other persons who work so hard and tirelessly to see Caribbean tourism advance. I thank each and every one of you for your efforts, which has inspired me to continue to work hard to ensure that we reach our goals,” Madden-Greig told a packed audience at Loews Coral Gables on Saturday.

Grateful for the honor, Madden-Greig stated, “Thank you to the CMEx Awards for providing us the opportunity to recognize Caribbean hospitality leaders and communities. This recognition lets us spotlight the true value of hospitality, emphasizing its impact on the economy and beyond.”

Since assuming the Presidency of CHTA, Madden-Greig has taken a forward-looking approach and added both a Technology Taskforce to ensure the embedding of new technologies to drive efficiency and marketing, as well as the Caribbean Travel Forum, which engages private and public thought leaders to discuss the business of tourism.

During the awards, several CHTA members were also recognized with Leadership Awards for their efforts in shaping the region’s tourism landscape.

CHTA-member honorees included:

  • Beverly Nicholson-Doty, CEO of Figment Design, a CHTA Strategic Partner
  • Dona Regis-Prosper, Secretary-General & CEO of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and a CHTA Board Member
  • Ewald Biemans, Owner/CEO of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba and CHTA Board Member, whose company also received a Hall of Fame recognition at CHTA’s Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) earlier in the week
  • Joy Jibrilu, CEO of the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board
  • Stan Hartling, Chief Executive Officer and lead partner of The Hartling Group, Turks and Caicos Islands

“These accolades reflect the commitment of our president and our members to elevating the Caribbean tourism experience,” said Vanessa Ledesma, Acting CEO and Director General of CHTA. “Their achievements inspire us all as we continue to work together towards a vibrant and responsible future for Caribbean tourism.”

CMEx supports and develops the ability of the media, government, the travel and tourism industry, and communities to consider the importance of tourism in sustainable development, while lending a hand to the communities involved by sharing relevant expertise, financial and in-kind assistance.

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To protect new guests, Airbnb promotes safety benefits of booking through the platform



  • Trust for Airbnb is very important, therefore guests should always book their stays through the platform in order to obtain protection of Airbnb’s secured processes and safeguards.
  • Airbnb reminds users of the campaign launched with ALAI and Despegar in order to prevent scams during the Holidays.


Tuesday, December 10, 2023- Airbnb believes in building a community based on trust. This is why guests should always book and pay for their stays on-platform in order to be protected with the Safety tools that Airbnb has available. With this in mind, Airbnb also shares how new users have been using the platform to travel since last year.

New data shows that more people are using Airbnb Platform and the community has been growing since 2022.

To protect these new guests, as well as all-time guests, Airbnb recommends for guests to stay on Airbnb – don’t go off platform to communicate with another user or to pay for a booking. Here are five benefits of staying on-platform while booking stays especially around Holidays since people who are planning to book vacations might be targeted by scammers:

  1. Aircover: Once you book through Airbnb platform, your booking comes with AirCover. AirCover includes access to a 24-hour Safety Line with specially-trained safety agents who will assist you with your safety issues day or night.
  2. Protection of your information and account: Keeping your personal information secure is important. Our Privacy Policy explains what personal information we collect, how we use personal information, how personal information is shared, and privacy rights. Also, we highly recommend that guests always pay within the platform in order to keep their account and reservations secure.
  3. Direct Customer Service with Airbnb: If you only communicate, book, and pay on the Airbnb Platform, this will help ensure you’re protected by Airbnb’s secure processes, this will also give you direct access to contact our customer service in case of an emergency or issue that might arise during an active reservation. Our specialized agents will be able to support you 24/7.
  4. Direct Active Numbers for local Emergency Services: In the Safety Center when a user indicates they’re having a safety issue, Airbnb provides local emergency contact numbers.
  5. ID Verification: Identity verification is an important part of building that trust within our community. All booking guests and primary Hosts getting booked globally on Airbnb Platform are required to have undergone the verification process. Any primary Hosts who did not complete the verification process by the end of June 2023 had their calendars blocked, preventing them from accepting any more bookings. Similarly, guests who have not completed the verification process will not be able to book on Airbnb.

“As a platform that works to build trust within the community, Airbnb works constantly to improve their safety tools which are always available and included in each reservation”. Said Flavia Matos, Director of Public Policy in Airbnb for Latin America

With the safety of users in mind, in alliance with ALAI and Despegar, Airbnb recently launched a campaign to try and help consumers stay protected from third-party travel scams. The campaign  in LATAM aims to help people to understand how to book safely within the platform and prevent scams during vacations or Holidays. You can find out all the tips and recommendations to always book safely on digital platforms below. For Airbnb safety is very important. This is why we are constantly working to create new tools and give users information to keep the community safe.

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World Travel Awards reveals finest 2023 brands at Dubai’s Burj Al Arab



#Dubai, December 10, 2023 – The finest travel brands in the world have been unveiled at the World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2023. Tourism royalty convened at Dubai’s Burj Al Arab to find out who amongst them had been voted the best of the best. The red-carpet reception marked the climax of WTA’s landmark 30th anniversary of celebrating travel excellence.

The Maldives emerged as one of the evening’s stars, picking up the ultimate honour of ‘World’s Leading Destination’, with Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) voted ‘World’s Leading Tourist Board’.

The pristine beaches and reefs of the Philippines were recognised with awards for ‘World’s Leading Dive Destination’ and ‘World’s Leading Beach Destination’. Madeira’s wild beauty proved a winner with voters, as the Atlantic archipelago collected ‘World’s Leading Island Destination’. With its timeless elegance and world-class facilities, Cannes was named ‘World’s Leading Festival & Event Destination’.

The Caribbean enjoyed a strong showing, with the paradise island of Saint Lucia voted ‘World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’. Jamaica also reinforced its credentials as a tourism powerhouse by winning ‘World’s Leading Family Destination’ and ‘World’s Leading Cruise Destination’.

Qatar’s buoyant tourism sector led to a raft of awards. Following the success of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Doha was voted ‘World’s Leading Sports Tourism Destination’. It was also named ‘World’s Leading Business Travel Destination’. Qatar Tourism collected ‘World’s Leading Marketing Campaign’.

In the newcomer categories, Dubai’s iconic Atlantis The Royal lived up to its billing by claiming ‘World’s Leading New Resort’. Qatar’s new architectural masterpiece, Raffles Doha was voted ‘World’s Leading New Hotel’. The ascent of Saudi Arabia’s tourism economy was acknowledged with Red Sea International Airport taking ‘World’s Leading New Airport’.

The Burj Al Arab Jumeirah provided the perfect fitting for the ceremony. An icon of Arabian luxury, the hotel has played a significant role in putting Dubai on the global luxury tourism map.

Graham Cooke, Founder, WTA, says: “It has been a privilege to host our 30th anniversary celebrations at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai for an incredible evening that will last long in everyone’s memory. Our World winners represent the pinnacle of tourism excellence, and I congratulate each and every one for helping to raise the collective benchmark to even greater heights”.

The strength of Arabian aviation was highlighted with big wins for Qatar Airways (‘World’s Leading Airline’ and ‘World’s Leading Airline – Business Class’); Etihad Airways (‘World’s Leading Airline – Economy Class’ and ‘World’s Leading Airline – Customer Experience’); and Emirates (‘World’s Leading Airline – First Class’).

The opulent beachside retreat, Jumeirah Al Naseem, UAE claimed ‘World’s Leading Hotel’, whilst Sardinia’s Forte Village Resort took ‘World’s Leading Resort’.

Find more information and a full list of winners on the official WTA website.

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