By Dana Malcolm
#Jamaica, May 27, 2022 – Sun, sand and sea are no longer enough and Jamaica should know; said to be the Caribbean country with the highest bookings into Summer and with its tourism leaders continuously blazing trails and making bold global statements about its destination.
Carolyn McDonald-Riley Director of the Tourism Linkages Network at Tuesday’s Invest Turks and Caicos Economic Conference stood resolutely at the third installment of the Invest Turks and Caicos Agency Economic Conference and announced, ‘Caribbean countries must shake it up if they want to remain some of the most sought after tourist destinations worldwide.’
McDonald-Riley explained that tourism is being largely pushed by the younger generation who were traveling more, spending more and traveling longer and wanted “new authentic and customized experiences.”
With the advent of social media, newer niche destinations which can offer that are gaining more and more traction.
“Travelers now are more interested in connecting with places and people. They desire more memorable experiences that are intrinsically personal, engage their senses and leave long lasting impressions. The observations imply that Caribbean destinations may now need to revisit the whole notion of competitiveness.”
She explained that destinations that failed to differentiate themselves from others by developing tourism products that allow them to expand their appeal would likely be left behind in the changing market. She insisted that in the Caribbean, “There is an urgent need among us to prioritize strategies that will allow us to achieve greater segmentation and product diversification.”
She explained five strategies that Jamaica had used between 2017 to 2022 in an effort to snag 5 million arrivals, in 5 years, to earn 5 billion dollars. They included identifying new markets, developing new products, developing new partnerships, new investments and embarking on human resource development.
She insisted that it was time for students to not just leave school with academic skills, but experience and certification insisting that building human capital is what is key to a successful tourism industry.
She also stressed that developing passion points, which only our respective people could offer and that interested tourists in one country specifically would expand the appeal of the respective destinations and get locals involved in the tourism value chain.
This explained the veteran tourism advisor would help with the high level of ‘leakage’ in the Caribbean.
Leakage is the revenue lost because of how much of the goods associated with tourism are imported McDonald-Riley explained, noting that the Caribbean has about 80 percent leakage.
“This means that for every dollar spent by foreign tourists 80 is lost to the importation of goods.”
Increasing the consumption of local goods is the way to lower this number and keep more money in the islands. She noted that agriculture and gastronomy were two surefire ways to do so, mentioning kite festivals and regattas as marketable events.
“The ability of the country to provide through local and indigenous processes determines the wealth gain from the industry, it could be the bed that they sleep in, do we manufacture it? The products that they use, the transport, this is an opportunity for us to earn a part of tourism.”
The event was held to a cozy but vested audience at the Beaches Turks and Caicos resort, and deemed a strategical success as it welcomed country leaders including Hon Washington Misick, TCI Premier and Anya Williams, TCI Deputy Governor.
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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