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Turks & Caicos now has a Destination Marketing & Management Company, Bylaws signed

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By Shanieka Smith and Deandrea Hamilton

Editorial Staff

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 21, 2023 – Dubbed, a momentous occasion, the signing ceremony which launched most definitively the Turks and Caicos Destination Management Organization (DMMO) was held April 14.

The concept announced to the nation by Premier Washington Misick during his debut as a second term, democratically elected leader of the country back in 2021, had been met with mixed views including a petition, circulating this week to ‘Say No to the DMO’.  However, no matter what side of the issue one sits on, this past Friday seems to have cemented the future of tourism as being first and foremost in the hands of this historically established entity which makes the TCI Tourist Board redundant.

It also births the Tourism Regulatory Authority and while both remain somewhat mysterious in terms of their actual function and remit, the remarks from officials reflected a team excited about the country’s leading industry.

Speaking at the DMMO signing ceremony held at the Office of the Premier in Providenciales, Josephine Connolly, TCI Tourism Minister said she is certain the Destination Management & Marketing Organization “will bring about positive changes” for the benefit of TCI.

She explained, years of research and planning have gone into this transition, which would not have been completed without help from her team at the Tourist Board.

The ceremony, which included lawyers of Graham Thompson Attorneys and a room filled with tourism and travel stakeholders, as well as members of the TCI Cabinet and business community, was held to accept and sign the bylaws for the Turks and Caicos Destination Marketing and Management Company.

This announcement makes more clear the actual name of the new engine, which has been called the DMO, the DMMO and its marketing and management titles swapped around as residents come to grips with what will be a striking change.

But Premier Misick has long held that he is intent on being maverick and and one who is keen on building institutions.  In the case of tourism marketing and management for the Turks and Caicos Islands, he is erecting two of them.

Premier Misick agreed that “a lot of thought” was put into the transformation and assured the public that their best interests were held at heart.

“I know that change is uncomfortable and progress is not easily accepted, but I would say to those persons who have their doubts that they should wait and see because I think like everything else over time, TCIG is going to benefit tremendously,” Premier Misick added.

Indeed, the transition is not without resistance as on February 10 after the DMMO activation timeline was announced, leader of the Opposition, Edwin Astwood, said the transition is a betrayal of trust. The remark came after 17 employees from the Tourist Board were made redundant in a notice in February.  The actual redundancy does not, however, take effect until June.

“This current PNP government, led by Premier Misick and his Cabinet ministers, has demonstrated an apathetic and uncaring attitude towards our people, the workers of the Tourist Board as it relates to their current and future employment status,” Astwood said.

Former Minister of Tourism, Hon Ralph Higgs, and former management staff member Pauline Saunders are also in disagreement and have urged the Premier to readjust his course.

Connolly later released a statement on February 13 disproving these claims. She revealed that each employee was interviewed and given the opportunity to apply for a position at the DMMO or leave. “Each member of staff was given a fair and generous remuneration package,” she added.

The DMMO replacing the Tourist Board will help to bring more tourist dollars into the country by creating an attractive and unforgettable experience for visitors, according to the PNP Administration. Connolly said residents will also be able to benefit from this transition through increased opportunities and economic growth.

Present at the signing ceremony were C. Washington Misick, Premier; Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism; Trevor Musgrove, President of TCHTA; Wesley V. Clerveaux, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education; Shaun Malcolm, Minister of Health; Ronald Saunders, President of TCI Chamber of Commerce; Delton Jones, Director of Ports Authority; Devereaux Malcolm, Deputy CEO TCI Airports Authority; Selvyn Hawkins, Chairman TCI Airports Authority; Shawna Lewis, Deputy Director of Ports Authority; Stacey Cox, CEO TCHTA; Karen Whitt, Board Member TCHTA; Shavonda Lewis, TCI Tourist Board Member; Eunece Morris, Secretary TCI Chamber of Commerce and Christopher Wells, Graham Thompson Attorneys law firm.

Caribbean News

Government Progressing with Plans to Build Seven STEM and STEAM Schools

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#MontegoBay, July 3, 2024 – The Government is progressing with plans to construct six Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Schools and one Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Academy.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says arrangements to build the STEAM school, being cited in Montego Bay, are “proceeding.”

“The land is acquired and the budget is in place from the Ministry of Finance [and the Public Service]. By the end of the year the Ministry of Education [and Youth] can give a timeframe on it,” he stated.

Regarding construction of the STEM Schools, Dr. Chang advised that  “we will be opening the first one in Portmore [St. Catherine] very soon.”

He was speaking during the University of Technology (UTech) Western Campus’ recent STEM Summer camp launch at the institution’s campus in Montego Bay, St. James.

The camp, being held in western Jamaica for the first time, will see some 100 youth from communities in Hanover, Trelawny and St. James engaging in several STEM-related activities.

For his part, Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) President, Oral Heaven, said Jamaica has been declared a ‘STEM island’, adding that the camp serves as testament to the country’s growing prominence in the global STEM landscape.

“This designation opens the door for so many things, through multinational STEM investments [and] real money for our people, positioning Jamaica as a hub of innovation and technological advancement,” he outlined.

Dr. Chang pointed out that there is “a legacy of STEM activity” in the west, noting that the Government is committed to expanding opportunities in the sector.

“It is imperative, therefore, that we attract some of these investments to Montego Bay”, adding that, “we must focus on the positives and potential solutions that STEM can offer.”

The STEM Summer Camp will be held in two phases for junior and senior participants under the theme: ‘Think, Collaborate and Innovate to Grow and Be Resilient’.

Junior participants will attend from July 8-19, and the older youth between July 15 and 26.

 

Contact: Serena Grant

Release: JIS

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TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS: NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL POST MEETING STATEMENT

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Monday, 1 July 2024: Her Excellency Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and the Hon. Premier Charles Washington Misick, co-chaired a meeting of the Turks and Caicos Islands National Security Council (NSC) on Thursday, 27th June 2024 at the Office of the Premier in Providenciales.

Also in attendance, the Hon. Deputy Premier, the Hon. Attorney General, the Commissioner of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF), the Permanent Secretary National Security Secretariat (NSS), the Head of the Governor’s Office and the NSS Threat Lead.

Apologies were received from the H.E the Deputy Governor and the Hon. Minister for Immigration and Border Services.

Members were briefed by:

  • The Commissioner of Police on the current overview of policing operations and crime, including on the three (3) separate shooting incidents that resulted in four (4) fatalities in Providenciales between 21- 23 June 2024. These incidents are currently under investigation. NSC was also updated on two (2) ongoing safeguarding matters. The RTCIPF are actively pursuing persons of interest. Council discussed strategic approaches to strengthen Offender Management. Council was also updated on the multiagency response and successful rescue to the emergency ‘crash landing’ of a small aircraft inbound to the Howard Hamilton International Airport due to engine failure.
  • Members of the TCI/UK Joint Maritime Security Delivery Board on progress of the UK-funded project to install coastal surveillance radars and various wider maritime security enhancement initiatives which will significantly increase TCI’s Maritime Domain Awareness. The primary function of the TCI/UK Delivery Board is to oversee the current projects and to explore options for strengthening multi-agency collaboration along with identifying opportunities for training and capacity building.
  • Mark Fenhalls KC on his recently completed review of case progression with the criminal justice system. The review was commissioned by the NSC and supported by the UK Ministry of Justice. The focus of the review was to assess the current backlog of cases – particularly, serious violent crime and explore potential considerations to drive justice outcomes in a more expedient manner. Recommendations included wider adaptation of technology and case management systems, cross-training, increasing capacity and infrastructure development. The NSC commissioned an action plan against the recommendations to be taken forward in liaison with criminal justice partners.

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FINALISATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM PROPOSALS

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Turks and Caicos

 

  1. Today Her Excellency the Governor convened a meeting with the Honourable Premier, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition, the Honourable Attorney General, Sir Jeffrey Jowell KC and the FCDO’s Deputy Director Adam Pile to finalise the package of constitutional reform so it may be submitted to the Privy Council in July. Also in attendance was Her Excellency the Deputy Governor.
  2. The bipartisan constitutional talks with the UK Government in Grand Turk (October 2023) agreed to move to a fully elected House of Assembly*, with four additional elected members replacing the members appointed by the Governor, Premier and Leader of the Opposition. In the wider package of constitutional reform, all other major issues have been agreed in further meetings and correspondence, bar the timing of a transition to a fully elected House of Assembly*.

Scope of work of the Electoral District Boundary Commission

  1. The Electoral District Boundary Commission was stood up in February to review in the first instance the boundaries of the electoral districts into which the islands are divided in line with s.61 of the Constitution. The Governor, in line with the agreement of the UK Government, has asked that they then assess options for the composition of the four additional elected seats. This work will need to be put out to public consultation and submitted to the House of Assembly, after which further work will be required to implement the approved changes.
  2. In order to deliver constitutional reform for the Turks and Caicos Islands this summer, the agreed package of reforms now need to be submitted to the UK Government so it may be made by His Majesty The King in the Privy Council in July.

Transition to an all-elected House of Assembly*

  1. Given this timing, it was noted that there are two options for the transition to an all-elected House of Assembly*:
  1. A transitionary phase that provides for an all-elected House of Assembly* at the forthcoming election with four additional ‘all island’ candidates for the next term, following which the further work of the Electoral District Boundary Commission will inform the composition of the four additional seats going forward; or
  2. Retain the status quo of four appointed members at the forthcoming election and wait to move to an all-elected House* until the subsequent election, following the work of the Electoral District Boundary Commission which will inform the composition of the four additional seats.
  1. Agreement was not reached at the meeting on which option to pursue.
  1. The Honourable Premier continues in his view that the transition to an all-elected House* should take place at the forthcoming election with the four additional elected seats contested on an ‘all island’ basis. This would be a transitionary phase, until the subsequent election where the work of the Electoral District Boundary Commission will inform what additional constituencies may be implemented.
  2. The Honourable Leader of the Opposition has confirmed his view that the transition to an all-elected House of Assembly* should not take place at the forthcoming election, that the status quo should be retained with four appointed members; and the move to an all-elected House of Assembly should only take place at the subsequent election, where the work of the Electoral District Boundary Commission will inform what additional constituencies may be implemented.
  1. In light of the need to provide a clear position to the UK Government, a motion will be tabled for debate in the House of Assembly to allow a full debate on when a fully elected legislature should be introduced.
  • other than the Attorney General

 

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