#MontegoBay, December 6, 2022 – Carnival Corporation Senior Vice-President for Government and Destinations Affairs, Marie McKenzie, says the company remains committed to maintaining Jamaica as a permanent destination on its cruise itinerary.
Ms. McKenzie notes that the island’s geographic proximity to the United States (US) makes it very appealing and attractive to visitors, adding that brand Jamaica has become so marketable that it is now difficult to identify any other comparable Caribbean destination.
She was speaking with JIS News following the just-concluded Invest Jamaica 2022 conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.
Ms. McKenzie said the fundamental strategy underlining the Carnival Cruise Line brand, which sources out of the US, is to position its vessels in home ports throughout that country, which allow at least 50 per cent of their guests “to drive and board a ship”.
“So, because of that, Jamaica is nicely positioned geographically for our itineraries. We find the island appealing in that sense. That makes it easy for us to really sell Jamaica. And as it relates to the future of Jamaica, I can tell you that we are not leaving Jamaica. We are looking at ways to further expand,” she added.
Ms. McKenzie indicated that Carnival intends to strengthen the partnership it forged with the Caribbean Maritime University in 2019.
She advised that the cruise company is actively working on hiring more Jamaicans “and not just in hotel jobs but also in some of our technical engineering jobs”.
“This is why we like to partner with the CMU… where we can find workers in different fields. So, when I think of the future of Jamaica… you are not only nicely placed on the map, but you are also an easy sell,” she added.
Meanwhile, Ms. McKenzie informed that some of Carnival’s biggest and finest fleets are already committed to making calls at Jamaica’s ports throughout the 2022/23 cruise-shipping season, adding that the company remains impressed with the substantial amount of infrastructural work that has been undertaken in the resort towns and which allows “for further development and product experiences”.
Carnival Cruise Line is an international company headquartered in Doral, Florida, USA. The entity is a subsidiary of Carnival and tops the list of the largest cruise lines, based on passengers carried annually. It operates from 14 US and two Australian homeports, and employs more than 40,000 team members representing 120 nationalities.
Since embarking on its first cruise in 1972, Carnival has been calling on Jamaica and, today, brings an average of nearly 400,000 guests to the island annually.
The company which operates 24 ships, as at November 2022, has one additional new build-on-order and a further two ships that will join its fleet in 2023 and 2024.
This, following a new joint venture deal forged between Carnival and Costa.
Contact: Garwin Davis
CDB Approves Millions for Regional Improvement such as Health, Education and Poverty
#RegionalDevelopment#CDB, February 28th, 2024 – Projects for the improvement of water, renewable energy, education, health as well as budgetary support for governments in the region, are being financed with an approved USD$461 million by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). Included in the approval are The Bahamas with USD$125 million and Saint Lucia with 43 million. Additionally, as announced in a release from the Bank, climate resilience and poverty reduction will also be prioritized through the funding.
Ali Addresses the Issue of Violent Music in the Region
#CaribbeanMusic#Violence#IrfaanAli, February 28th, 2024 – “As Leaders of this region, we have to take this situation very seriously, and ensure the lyrics of the region, is the lyrics of Bob Marley, the lyrics of positivity and the lyrics of positive living and positive change,” said the president of Guyana Irfaan Ali at the 46th CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting on February 25th, addressing the issue of violent music in the Caribbean region and the influence it has on people’s action.
He speaks against violent lyrics, adding that the region is more than capable of producing music that positively influences people.
According to the American Psychological Association, in reference to a study published in the journal of Personality and Social Psychology, violent lyrics are linked to increased negative emotions and thoughts that can lead to aggression.
Saunders “surprised” by move to Backbench; promises to address the nation this week
#TurksandCaicosIslands, February 28, 2023 – Surprise was one of the main emotions rolling off of E. Jay Sauders, All Island Elected Member, when he spoke to Magnetic Media Tuesday afternoon. The brief phone interview came only minutes after he confirmed to the media around 3 p.m. that he had been removed from his post as Deputy Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands by Washington Misick, TCI Premier.
“I am a bit surprised– I sit here at the pleasure of the Premier, the Premier acted in a certain way and it is his right to decide who he wants and doesn’t want in his cabinet and that’s the position that he took.”
The biggest question now is who will replace Saunders as the Premier’s right hand man, Magnetic Media spoke to a high-profile source around 3:30 pm who told us: “The Premier hasn’t made a decision in that regard as yet so there’s nothing yet to announce.”
It’s likely, the source told us, that the Premier will take on the Ministry of Finance himself, having had experience with that ministry in the past.
Sure enough minutes after that conversation a press release came from the Office of the Premier announcing that he is the new Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade; the statement also bid Saunders goodbye.
“I wish to thank Honourable Saunders for his service these past three years as my Deputy and for his stewardship in the ministries he served,” Misick said.
It comes as no surprise to residents however and a firestorm of comments followed the announcement,
“This is so wrong!!!” said one resident.
It was a sentiment fielded by Magnetic Media over a dozen times.
“He is running this country and this party with his silly feelings. And with Washy age, he need to relax himself.”
Another predicted, “This will hurt the PNP in the next election for sure, plus with the current conflict of interest matter pending with Washy and the Integrity Commission, this was not the best move at this time for him to be both Premier and Minister of Finance.”
The booting is the second high-profile shuffle in the Washington Misick-led PNP Administration following the removal of Akierra Missick, Elected Member for Leeward from her post as Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development in 2023.
That shakeup went totally without explanation, similarly, no explanation has come from the Premier’s office this time either, but it follows a leadership challenge at the party’s national convention just days prior.
Saunders had attempted to go against Misick for the head of the PNP party but could not get enough votes to push the challenge through.
As a former CEO of DigicelTCI, E. Saunders initially served as the Health and Human Services minister as the country clawed its way back to health after a brutal Coronavirus Pandemic. He was then appointed, by Misick, to the ministry for Finance, Investment and Trade, setting and achieving lofty goals including the achievement of a $400 million yearly revenue two years into his tenure and the removal of the Turks and Caicos from the EU Blacklist of non-compliant tax jurisdictions.
Now with one year left before a new general election is called, Saunders, in his own words, will join the rest of the backbench of politicians.
Also feeling the “stick” is reported to be Jas Walkin, the man Washington Misick appointed to lead his winning general election campaign in 2021. Walkin had put his name forward for party leader but hurriedly withdrew it. Reports of a suspension have been shared via social media with residents expressing disdain at the possibility.
The consensus from many, they’re not surprised and also not happy about the removal of Jas.
For now, Saunders is focused on moving,
“Depending on how quickly I can get through the packing up of my office, I’ll do a Public Address tomorrow, but no later than Wednesday,” he promised.
The demotion also means a significant pay cut for Saunders from the Deputy Premier’s $175,000 base salary and $60,000 in allowances to the $97,000 base salary and $10,200 in allowances which is paid out to Members of the House of Assembly, where he will continue to serve as an All Island Elected member.
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