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The Great Hurricane

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August 25, 2022 – The 1780 Great Hurricane is one of the worst natural disasters in history for North Atlantic Hurricanes.  It kicked off in mid-June when a windstorm formed in the Caribbean and tore across St. Lucia and Puerto Rico.

In August, two more storms struck the Caribbean islands and New Orleans, killing dozens of people and wrecking all the ships moored in the mouth of the Mississippi River. The month of September was relatively quiet, but October 3 brought the infamous Savanna-la-Mar Hurricane, which flooded the coast of Jamaica in a deadly storm surge.

It is reported that a light rain began to fall after sunset and continued throughout the night, giving way to downpours and gusting winds by midmorning. By nightfall on October 10, the entire island was in the grip of punishing winds typical of a category five hurricane.

Since the Great Hurricane came long before the advent of modern storm tracking, the residents of the Caribbean had no warning of what was about to hit them.  In Barbados, witnesses noted that October 9 was a particularly pleasant day, distinguished only by a brilliant blood-red sky in the evening.

The Great Hurricane ravaged Barbados for most of late October 10 and early October 11. Sugar cane fields were flattened, and nearly all of the island’s buildings—including those made of stone—were blown away like houses of cards, leaving only pockmarked foundations behind.

Some 4,500 people lay dead on Barbados, but the island was only the first target in the Great Hurricane’s assault. On October 11, the storm turned northwest and passed over the island of Saint Vincent, where it ripped apart over 500 houses. Nearby Saint Lucia was hit even harder.

It finally died down after reaching the chilly waters of the North Atlantic sometime after October 18, but not before striking tiny Bermuda, where it caused mass devastation and wrecked several dozen ships.

It left much of the eastern Caribbean in utter ruin. The misery only mounted in mid-October, when another massive hurricane struck a Spanish fleet in the Gulf of Mexico and caused 2,000 fatalities. The storms crippled the Caribbean’s sugar trade, and despite an outpouring of charitable donations and government aid from Britain and elsewhere, it took several years before many of the islands recovered.

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Ms. Camilla Lightbourne joins Experience Turks and Caicos team  

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Ms. Camilla Lightbourne

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 22, 2024 – Experience Turks and Caicos is pleased to welcome Ms. Camilla Lightbourne to the post of Executive Assistant to the CEO effective February 06th, 2024.

Ms. Lightbourne is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree a DeVry University in Florida and previously worked as an Import Logistics Associate at Graceway Trading Ltd. Where she supported department goals and initiatives through the generation of reports and a Business Account Executive at Digicel where she managed daily and monthly reports and helped resolve customer issues.

In welcoming Ms. Lightbourne to the team, Ms. Racquel Brown, Change Manager and Interim CEO of Experience Turks and Caicos said Ms. Lightbourne’s appointment underscores the growth of the organisation.

“Experience Turks and Caicos is growing as an organisation to meet its mission and goal.  The Executive Assistant to the CEO is critical to support the CEO Office for the effective and efficient day-to-day administration to assist the CEO manage the scheduling and timely completion of Strategic Projects and Programmes.   I look forward to working with Ms. Lightbourne as the Change Manager/Interim CEO of Experience Turks and Caicos in this regard,” she said.

Ms. Lightbourne said she is pleased to be part of the Experience Turks and Caicos team.

“I am elated to join such a dynamic organisation and working with the CEO’s office where I will have an opportunity to implement many of the project management and organisational skills I have learned over the years. I am looking forward to making my mark on the future development of our country’s tourism product,” she said.

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Caribbean News

CTO Chairman Hails Success of Business Meetings in Saint-Martin

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February 22, 2024 – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) concluded its business meetings last week in Saint-Martin, marking a significant milestone in the collaborative efforts to strengthen and revitalize the Caribbean tourism sector. Under the direction of Chairman Kenneth Bryan, who also serves as Minister of Tourism and Ports for the Cayman Islands, the CTO has embarked on a transformative journey to reimagine its role and impact within the global tourism landscape.

“When I took over as chairman (in 2022), we decided to go through a reimagining exercise and you can start to see the changes already,” said Chairman Bryan, citing the appointment of Secretary-General and CEO Dona Regis-Prosper, the return of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Bermuda to the 25-member body, and the re-engagement of destinations such as Montserrat as examples of the progress made.

A highlight of the meetings was the presentation of a comprehensive plan for the year ahead by Regis-Prosper, the first woman appointed to the post in the organization’s history.

This year’s first series of business meetings focused on defining a strategic direction for the upcoming year and reviewing the organization’s accomplishments since Minister Bryan’s tenure began. “The discussions were fruitful and reflective of the vibrant spirit that characterizes our collective efforts,” stated Minister Bryan. “The CTO is moving towards a reimagined, revitalized and relevant future, with a clear focus on overcoming challenges through unity and shared vision,” he asserted.

A significant part of the meetings centered on the critical role of aviation in connecting the Caribbean. Chairman Bryan emphasized the commitment to enhancing regional connectivity and addressing the complexities of aviation logistics, highlighting a resolution to engage with key stakeholders, including the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and regional airlines, to advocate for increased seat capacity and facilitate more seamless travel within the Caribbean.

The group discussed the possibility of staging a Caribbean aviation conference: an assembly of airline and airport authority executives; hotel brands; tourism stakeholders; and government ministers with responsibility for tourism, civil aviation, regulatory and finance matters. “We need robust dialogue on the necessary changes to incentivize more connectivity within the region, so we’re going to put our foot down on the gas concerning this because it’s a serious concern for many members, particularly in the Eastern Caribbean.”

Reflecting on his tenure as chairman, Minister Bryan is encouraged by the progress made, particularly in stabilizing the organization’s fiscal position, increasing membership confidence, and positioning the CTO prominently in global tourism discussions. The CTO’s efforts have also focused on leveraging technology, artificial intelligence, and digital media to enhance the Caribbean’s appeal as the world’s leading warm-weather destination.

The CTO’s vision also encompasses a rebranding of the organization and a reinforcement of the foundational spirit of Caribbean kinship. “Our goal is to ensure that every member state feels tangible value from its involvement with the CTO, fostering a sense of belonging and collective achievement,” commented Minister Bryan.

He said CTO’s strategic direction, under the Secretary-General’s leadership, promises a dynamic and inclusive future for Caribbean tourism, one that emphasizes innovation, collaboration, and a deepened sense of regional camaraderie.

 

Photo Caption: Kenneth Bryan, Chairman of CTO’s Ministerial Council and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands (left), is pictured with CTO Secretary-General Dona Regis-Prosper; Bermuda Minister of Tourism Owen Darrell; and Rosa Harris, Chairman of CTO’s Board of Directors and Director of Tourism for the Cayman Islands.

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Caribbean News

DIGICEL BUSINESS’ HOSPITALITY SOLUTIONS IS REVOLUTIONISING THE GUEST EXPERIENCE

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February 22, 2024 – Digicel Business is proud to introduce its cutting-edge Hospitality Solutions, designed to transform the guest experience in hotels, resorts, and hospitality establishments worldwide. With a commitment to innovation and excellence, Digicel Business is empowering the hospitality industry to thrive in a digital age. In an era where guests expect seamless connectivity, personalized experiences, and efficient services, Digicel Business is at the forefront of delivering solutions that meet these evolving demands. Our Hospitality Solutions suite offers a range of services and technologies that will redefine the way guests interact with your establishment.

Key features of Digicel Business Hospitality Solutions include:

  1. Reliable & Secure Connectivity: Ensure lightning-fast, secure internet access throughout your property, enabling guests to stay connected effortlessly, whether for work or leisure.
  2. Enhanced Guest Experiences: Elevate customer satisfaction and loyalty with convenient and customized experiences, including Hospitality TV, Push to Talk radio, Access Control, Fixed Voice for your front desk and rooms & Video Surveillance.
  3. Efficient Operations: Increase operational performance and efficiency, reduce operational cost by reduction of manual processes. Focus on what you do best, while we take care of the rest.
  4. Security Solutions: Secure customers’ data with solutions that are easy to use but sophisticated enough to keep you secure. 5. Scalability: Our solutions are adaptable to properties of all sizes, from boutique hotels to sprawling resorts, ensuring a customized fit for your establishment. 6. Dedicated Support: Digicel Business provides support to ensure hotels and resorts can resolve any connectivity or technology-related issues promptly.

Lydia Tucker, Head of Digicel Business Turks & Caicos, commented: “The hospitality industry is undergoing a significant transformation, with digital technologies at the forefront of this evolution. At Digicel Business, we are committed to helping our partners in the hospitality sector embrace these changes and deliver unparalleled guest experiences. Our comprehensive suite of Hospitality Solutions is designed to enhance operational efficiency, increase guest satisfaction, and drive revenue growth.”

As the Caribbean and Central America‘s leading communications and technology solutions provider, Digicel Business continues to invest in cutting-edge solutions that empower businesses across various sectors

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