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The Beach and Coastal Vending Ordinance still looms large over our society in TCI



#TurksandCaicos, April 22, 2022 – Now that the dust has settled on the Beach and Coastal Vending Ordinance, what are some of the impacts and effects?

There have been reports of many beach entrepreneurs and vendors unable to maximize revenue due to their new location and feeling disenfranchised.

Law abiding Vendors in uniforms, particularly in Grand Turk, are being confined to their zones and are prohibited from walking up to Carnival grounds to locate and greet their guests, while others are allowed to roam freely across zones.

There have also been reports of business as usual with respect to random drug peddling, illegal sale of alcohol etc.

What have been even more concerning are the reports of indiscriminate targeting of select Vendors by the newly created positions of Beach patrol units. It appears the actions of a few have deviated from the true intent of the ordinance.

Some of the beach patrol units with good intentions appear to be ill informed, frustrated with the lack of adequate resources to carry out their duties and no clear focus of what needs to be accomplished.

Although some of us may view the ordinance from different lenses, I must say, there are some notable changes such as,

  1. There is a certain level of uniformity among Vendors in terms of chair and equipment placement that once blocked guests’ access and also created a safety hazard.
  2. Guests and Vendors alike now have access to restrooms at Local Village.
  3. Broken and dilapidated beach equipment which created such poor aesthetics has improved.
  4. There also appears to be less alterations taking place between beach vendors and hustlers.

Whilst some Vendors including myself are very grateful for the local village space which was designated for beach vendors and boat tour operators, some tours are being delayed due to poor signage and closed shops which gives the appearance of abandonment.

In the end, Carnival Corporation got exactly what they bargained for, no Vendors operating on public beaches in front of their property.

One would expect that based on these facts, it would prompt the policy makers to reconsider their initial assumptions that this bill was designed in the best interest of the people. With all due respect, I beg to differ.

Why is it so difficult to understand the citizens’ position on this bill? Why can’t the policy makers just admit that they might have gotten their assumptions wrong at the very start?

Albeit, I do not object the bill in its entirety, however, there was no need to create an entirely new bill since most of the ordinance already existed on the books, but lacked enforcement by the appropriate authorities.

In my opinion, I think it’s a mix of playing to a special interest group that has formed the decision of certain politicians over the past few years.

A virtue of reflection and re-analysis of this bill is what’s needed. This should include soliciting further input from relevant stakeholders on their positions, repealing of certain line items and making the necessary amendments.

By doing so, this will ensure the way the ordinance is written, it’s not stifling growth among our beach entrepreneurs or creating any barriers that will negatively impact legitimately operating businesses.

The complexity of the situation is, we must try to find a sensible middle ground in the best interest of all concerned.

Here is what we are fighting for:

  1. Stop letting big corporations define the rules of the game or dictate how and what is in the best interest of our country.
  2. Put proper docking facilities in place in Grand Turk to accommodate boat tour operators in loading zones. Until this is done, Beach patrol units should reframe from harassing operators when fueling boats or boarding guests.
  3. Repeal and amend the ordinance that confines Vendors to their zones, which prohibits legitimate business operators from locating and greeting their guests anywhere on public beach. In essence, this is borderline infringement on one’s rights to free speech and does not exemplify the concept of a free democratic society.
  4. Remove the clause which states that in order to acquire a Beach Vendors license, this has to be one’s main source of income.
  5. Provide proper training for the beach patrol units before placing them in such positions with overarching authority. They are not sworn law enforcement officers, operating outside of the RTCPF, and are not subject to the control of the Police Ordinance; That’s a problem.
  6. Requirement to have liability insurance should not be a mandate for all beach operators and should be limited to select business categories. For instance, who will set the minimum requirements? What if no company wants to take on the risk? This will again disenfranchise our people.
  7. Provide proper sanitation services to clean up the beach on a daily basis not just Local Village.
  8. Consolidation of certain fees to ease the burden on local operators.
  9. Make provisions in the ordinance to accommodate local land based tour and rental operators who primarily operate outside the cruise center main gate, but rely on greeting their guests on the public beach. These include golf cart rentals, tram tours, horseback riding, car rentals etc.

Make no mistake about it, despite the fact the bill has been passed, our continued voices are not futility in error, it’s a fight to preserve our rights, not only for ourselves but for the future of our next generation.

Therefore, we are counting on both political parties to bring this matter back to the HOA, either in the form of a bill or private members motion.


Ed Forbes,

Concerned citizen of Grand Turk

Caribbean News

Barbados to Host 41st Caribbean Travel Marketplace this Spring



By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer



#Barbados, February 2, 2023 – Barbados has been selected to host the 41st edition of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace. The event will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown from May 9 -11, and it is expected to build on the success of the 40th staging held in Puerto Rico last fall.

CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig, who made the announcement recently, said it’s the first time in the organization’s history that the association’s largest annual event, which brings together buyers and sellers of the region’s tourism products and services, will be staged in Barbados.

“CHTA has a very strong relationship with both public and private sector stakeholders in Barbados, and as we position the region’s top earner for robust growth this year, we are delighted to lock arms with our Bajan partners to drive business to the Caribbean,” she stated.

Noting that: “This year’s Marketplace will also provide unique access to the Eastern Caribbean for buyers and tour operators as the region places a strong focus on the revival of multi-destination travel.”

Minister of Tourism and International Transport of Barbados Ian Gooding-Edghill, said the Barbados tourism industry was undergoing a major renaissance in the post-COVID environment, and the timing could not be better to welcome Caribbean Travel Marketplace to local soil.

“We are honoured to host such a preeminent gathering of tourism stakeholders from around the world,”  Minister Gooding-Edghill said, noting that the meeting aligns with Barbados’ value offerings, which appeal, among others, to the very important MICE [Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions] market.

The launch of the first Caribbean Travel Forum & Awards, a highlight of the Puerto Rico meeting, will return for a second edition and will be held in Barbados on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, ahead of the official opening ceremony of Caribbean Travel Marketplace.

The Forum will also focus on the business of tourism, and business appointments will be conducted on Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11.

Over 150 delegates, including Ministers of Tourism and key private sector leaders, engaged in the Caribbean Travel Forum last year.

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Bahamas News

National Food Policy to be created in the Bahamas



By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer



#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – A new initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs in the Bahamas will see the creation of a National Food Policy geared towards ensuring food security on the island.

“This agricultural policy would encompass a holistic approach and incorporate regulations, legislation, and other aspects to assist the farmers who have not really gotten the attention they deserve for a long time,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, Hon. Clay Sweeting.

Other initiatives within the agriculture sector will also be implemented, such as the digitalization of applications and forms, which will make farming more efficient.

Clay said, “we have already digitalized for the most part the Department of Marine Resources and soon we will unveil new services such as dog licences, import permits, and other services needed for a successful agricultural sector.”

The construction of the Cultivation Centres (TCC) in Eleuthera and New Providence with produce exchange, food processing kitchens and farm stores will continue.

Sweeting said he hopes these initiatives will help to decrease the country’s yearly $1 billion food import bill.

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The Incredible Story of David Avido of Kenya, 24 Year old designing for the Grass Roots to the Stars



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer



#Africa, February 2, 2023 – One Kenyan designer began a sewing business out of the slums where he was born; now he dresses some of the Caribbean and Africa’s most famous faces.

Born the oldest son of a single mother and from Kibera Nairobi, David Avido Ochieng did not have an easy start. In Kibera, the largest urban slum in East Africa opportunities for international success are hard to come by and yet Avido can now say he has dressed the likes of former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Beyoncé, Chronixx, Romain Virgo, Tarrus Riley, Chris Martin, Ty Dolla Sign, Koffee and many more.

As explained on his website, David dropped out of school to work and support his family quite young. In just first form he was working on a construction site but he knew he wanted more from life. After quitting his job he danced and saved what he could and tried his best to complete his education.

He told Vogue magazine: “When I started dancing I used to save money in order to go back to high school, with the little that I could get from dancing and my mom’s money from doing work as a house help, we were able to raise 15,000 shillings and with that, I joined an adult school and skipped forms two, three and four.”

David picked up a sewing machine to make costumes and realized his talent.  By 2015, his brand LookslikeAvido was born. He completed a fashion & design diploma at Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts and began to sew incredible pieces right at home in Kibera.  Even as his brand is globally recognized, Kibera is where his workshop remains; David says, his homeland is his great inspiration.

“There is no barrier if you believe in your talent and take the next step. I want to encourage and create beauty, where people don’t expect.”

Talented and thoughtful Avido is well aware of the stereotypes surrounding him, his home and the black community globally.

“We know about injustice and violence, prejudice, racial and social discrimination – we experience it within Kenya and we experience it globally, as people look at us as the poor, the uneducated, the needy,” he said.

Featured in Vogue, CNN and other international publications, Avido remains connected to his origins in a tangible way and as his success grows his roots just go deeper. Twenty per cent of all sales of his jackets and other clothing items go directly back to Kibera; his website explains ​that all the tailoring, product photoshoots and collaborations ‘is all done here in Kibra.’

There is no fabric waste from his garments, instead, scraps are repurposed into masks and shopping bags for residents, all his tailors are local residents, a portion of profits are used to pay school fees and Avido and his team put in extra time to make school uniforms as well.

On his website, is a photo of him sitting around a sewing machine, his worktable resting on hard-packed earth with presumably a group of family and friends surrounding him, a source of pride. The introspective photograph could have been taken in Nairobi, Trinidad or Barbados, so nostalgic is the picture, the bench and the story of community success that it represents.

In a video posted to his YouTube, David sits at his new work desk, and beside him hangs a rack of clothes in the cramped space that serves as his kitchen as well.

“I’m the firstborn of Kibera,” He explains, “Every kid in Kibera is looking up to me— my main dream is to open up a place where I can inspire people to work.”

David has a dozen employees and is listed in Beyonce’s directory of black businesses; with an uncommon wisdom, the designer knows that his successes so far are not parking spaces but rather stepping stones as he faces his future announcing that the journey, for him, continues.

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