#TurksandCaicos, December 5, 2022 – On Friday, November 18, the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board hosted a Tourism and Hospitality Career Fair at the Yellowman and Sons Auditorium in Grand Turk.
The Tourism Career Fair, which sought to showcase the various careers, and potential in the national tourism industry, invited fifth-form students from Grand Turk’s Helena Jones Robinson High School to hear presentations from the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board and the TCI’s Junior Minister of Tourism of 2022-23, Chelsea Been of H.J. Robinson High School, prior to having the opportunity to network with representatives from the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR), Beaches Turks and Caicos, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, the Turks and Caicos National Museum, Yummies Tasty Treats, the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, Antonio Clarke, CHUKKA, Exclusive Escapes Tours, the Grand Turk Cruise Center, Aunty Nann’s Homemade Delights, Invest Turks and Caicos Islands, as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board.
The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board’s Financial Controller, Diedra Been, who also attended the H.J. Robinson High School, provided the official welcome. In it, Been articulated that the options and opportunities in the industry are “essentially limitless” and that she always knew that she wanted to be an accountant, but had no idea that her interest would lead her to working within the tourism and hospitality industry.
“The goal of our Tourism and Hospitality Career Fair was to provide an opportunity for students to see that careers in tourism and hospitality go far beyond those that initially come to mind. Through the Career Fair, we displayed that no matter what one’s passion is, there is almost always an opportunity to be working within the tourism and hospitality industry”, said TCI Tourist Board’s Training Manager and Coordinator of TEAM, Blythe Clare. “We are extremely thankful for the attendance and attention of the students of the H.J. Robinson High School, as well as for the participation of the various business entities,” added Clare.
TCI’s 2022-23 Junior Minister of Tourism, Chelsea Been provided a captivating speech where she challenged her H.J. Robinson High School peers to “rediscover the Turks and Caicos Islands”. Been encouraged the audience to emphasize rediscovering our heritage, culture, and environment – which included, but was not limited to listening to stories from community elders, being intentional in learning and practicing our culture, as well as embracing our environment and sustainably managing it for the benefit of future generations.
Afterwards, Acting Director of Tourism, Mary Lightbourne gave a presentation on the tourism and hospitality industry – highlighting the multitude of career options available, how to get into the industry, as well as the relevant programs available at the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, which is now free for Turks and Caicos Islanders and British Overseas Territory Citizens. Layton Lewis, Marketing Officer for the TCI Tourist Board later delivered the vote of thanks.
“The Turks and Caicos Islands has one of the best tourism products in the world and it has provided for our citizens for decades. In order to maintain our rank amongst the best of the best, we need to invest into the future of our industry – beginning with our youth – which is what we sought to do through our Tourism and Hospitality Career Fair”, stated Acting Director of Tourism, Mary Lightbourne. “We look forward to continuing to invest into our youth and would like to thank everyone who was involved in making this year’s Tourism and Hospitality Career Fair such a success” added Lightbourne.
Following a month of activities and events under the theme, ‘Rediscover the Turks and Caicos Islands’, the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board will be concluding its Tourism Environmental Awareness Month events on Tuesday, November 29 with an Open House at the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College (TCICC), in collaboration with the TCICC’s tourism students.
The Bahamas Records a “Smashing Eight Million Plus” Tourist Arrivals
NASSAU, The Bahamas — Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. I. Chester Cooper announced that The Bahamas has recorded a smashing eight million plus tourist arrivals.
“In 2019, a historic year for Bahamas tourism, total visitor arrivals amounted to 7.2 million. Last year, total tourist numbers matched the 2019 record year total and today we are over eight million,” the Acting Prime Minister said during a press conference and brunch at Margaritaville Beach Resort Meeting Room Ballroom on Monday, December 4, 2023.
He pointed out that the Ministry still has not counted the months of November and December.
Acting Prime Minister Cooper said the explosive numbers places the country on the trajectory to continue the upward trend well into 2024.
“For the first 10 consecutive months, January to October, total air and sea arrivals were higher when compared to the same months in 2022 and in 2019 which was then, our banner year of tourism. We have now moved the goal post.”
He said, “In fact, foreign air and sea arrivals in October increased by 45.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2022 and surpassed 2019 levels by 32 per cent.”
The Acting Prime Minister explained that the US remains the top performing stopover market with the Latin American market gaining momentum in its steady return to pre-pandemic stopover levels, while increased visitor arrivals are coming from Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and as far as Australia.
He said foreign air arrivals for October year-to-date were up by 19.7 per cent for the same period last year and also surpassed 2019 levels.
Acting Prime Minister Cooper said cruise arrivals were up 54 per cent over 2022 levels and 43.2 per cent over 2019 levels.
“We estimate that direct visitor spending in the Bahamian economy as a result of these arrivals will far exceed $6 billion. That’s right, more than $6 billion of new money injected directly into the economy, and this is also up compared to 2019 and 2022.”
He also noted that the nation has seen increased airlift including first time routes.
“Last month, we welcomed the first ever direct non-stop flight by Jet Blue connecting passengers from Los Angeles to Nassau.
“In less than two weeks, Alaska Air will service four weekly flights from Los Angeles International Airport and three times weekly flights from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Nassau Lynden Pindling International Airport.”
The Acting Prime Minister said The Bahamas Government has launched a public private partnership airport infrastructural project for 14 Family Island airports to increase both domestic and international travel.
He explained that less than a year ago, the $2 million renovation was completed at Great Harbour Cay International Airport and a new terminal was opened in Ragged Island.
“More recently, a management agreement was signed by The Bahamas and Bimini Airport Development Partners Limited to renovate South Bimini Airport to the tune of $80 million.”
Acting Prime Minister Cooper said the $300 million Nassau Cruise Port renovation was completed and the port is now fully opened.
“The port already surpassed its previous record at the end of November and will host at least a projected 4.2 million cruise passengers by the end of the year, setting a new benchmark for Nassau cruise passenger arrivals.”
He also noted that the Ministry of Tourism has intensified its strategic marketing efforts and last year launched the successful “Bringing The Bahamas to You” campaign to more than 15 cities in the USA and Canada to recapture market share and generate new leads.
Deaths due to HIV/AIDS down 50 percent as World Aids Day marked Dec 1
December 5, 2023 – Deaths due to HIV/AIDS have been cut dramatically by fifty percent in the past thirteen years and on December 1, which is the annual commemoration of World AIDS Day, the World Health Organization called on communities to stand up to reduce the risks even further. The 2023 theme is “Let Communities Lead” as a testament to the notion, shared by the WHO, that “we can end AIDS with communities leading the way.”
In the past five decades, treatment surrounding AIDS has increased exponentially and stigma is decreasing. According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), AIDS-related deaths have been reduced by 69% since the peak in 2004 and by 51% since 2010. In 2022, around 630,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses worldwide, compared to 2.0 million people in 2004 and 1.3 million people in 2010.
“Much more than a celebration of the achievements of communities, it is a call to action to enable and support communities in their leadership role,” the WHO encourages.
The WHO is now focused on spreading awareness about the status of the pandemic and encouraging progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care around the world.
Locally, among the events planned in the Turks and Caicos Islands is the annual Surf and Turf Horse Racing night on Friday 8th December at Opus Wine Bar and Grill, residents are invited for an evening of food, luck, and chances. All proceeds go towards the Turks and Caicos AIDS Awareness Foundation and Edward Gartland Youth Center.
New Report offers concrete data; Rising seas will DROWN Caribbean Islands
December 5, 2023 – Five percent or more of a few cities are predicted to fall permanently below sea level by the end of the Century due to the worsening effects of climate change and Kingston, Jamaica is included.
The data points to a future that should be feared as it said “coastal flooding this century will put over 70 million people in the path of expanding floodplains,” and it added that “Latin America, the Caribbean, the Pacific and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are at the forefront, projected to lose significant land and critical infrastructure to permanent inundation.”
It further informs that coastal flooding has evidently increased over the past 20 years due to sea level rise, which now means that 14 million people globally live in coastal communities, faced with a 1 in 20 annual chance of flooding.
Referring to the fate of the Caribbean region, the data says that by 2100, much of the land in some Caribbean states are expected to be submerged.
“By 2100, climate change is expected to cause the submergence of a significant share of land (>5 percent) in the following Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Associate Members of United Nations Regional Commissions: Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Turks and Caicos, Tuvalu, and Seychelles,” it said.
Regarding Kingston, Jamaica’s not so bright future in the face of climate change, like many Caribbean states if measures aren’t decided on swiftly, the report highlights a “worse-case warming scenario,” pointing to the other cities that share the same fate.
“Without shoreline defenses, under a worst-case warming scenario by the end of the century, 5 percent or more of the following cities are projected to fall permanently below sea level:”
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In continuation, Climate Impact Lab in its release detailing the findings, features the words of Pedro Conceição, Director of UNDP’s Human Development Report Office, saying that this ongoing climate crisis, specifically the rising of sea levels given the context, will cause a setback in years of human development.
“The effects of rising sea levels will put at risk decades of human development progress in densely populated coastal zones which are home to one in seven people in the world,” he maintained.
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