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TCHTA Delegation Attends CHTA Marketplace 41 in Barbados



#TurksandCaicos, May 19, 2023 – The Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) made a fantastic showing at the CHTA Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Barbados.

Set in the capital city of Bridgetown, Marketplace 41 was a thrilling convergence of the region’s vibrant tourism product on full display for travel buyers from all over the world.

This year, the Turks & Caicos delegation included TCHTA executives and members, Honourable Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism, and team members from the Ministry of Tourism and Tourist Board.

Caribbean Travel Marketplace, produced by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), is a highly anticipated regional event and is no typical tradeshow. The 3-day showcase includes a Travel Forum, Media presentations, and a bustling showroom floor. The region’s tourism sector is positioned to share its vast offerings to global buyers, and hear from leaders on the state of the industry and the CHTA’s goals for the growth of the regional product.

As the region’s most significant and largest marketing event, Marketplace remains an important date on the calendar for many TCHTA member properties. H20 Life.Style.Resort, Ocean Club Resorts, Royal West Indies, Sailrock Resort, Seven Stars, The Palms, The Sands, and The Shore Club were among those in the busy showroom at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

First-time attendee, Julie Boulet of H20, shared, “As a new boutique hotel, it was important for us to be a part of this event and present our beautiful product to the industry”. Julie continued, “Marketplace was a wonderful experience and a great opportunity to meet amazing people from the hospitality industry and grow our network. We are in communication with many different companies, and already working on partnerships.” When asked if H20 would attend the event in the future, Julie confirmed, “It was our first, but it will certainly not be our last!”

Marketplace 41, hosted by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc and the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, saw many unforgettable inclusions – an address by beloved Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, and their first-ever drone show being high on the list.

“One could hear a pin drop as the Prime Minister addressed the room,” said Stacy Cox, TCHTA CEO. “Her words and admonishments were poignant and ideal for where we are in tourism as a region today.” Cox said Mottley presented the tourism leaders with a solemn charge, “‘Will we be shapers or takers?’ This is what she asked everyone in the room to give introspection to,” Cox recounted. “She encouraged us not to settle for business as usual, but to use the advancements available to focus on the sustainability that our countries will need in order to lessen their external dependencies for the benefit of the people, and the generations to follow.”

Another critical segment of Marketplace is the robust press contingent the event attracts. Media from Barbados and the Caribbean, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Latin America were in attendance this year.

Honourable Josephine Connolly introduced journalists to the newly-launched “Experience Turks & Caicos” Destination Marketing and Management Organization (DMMO), now poised to take the country’s brand to the next level.  Flanked by Permanent Secretary Wesley Clerveaux and TCHTA CEO Stacy Cox, the Minister wowed the packed room as she described the vision of connecting the global travel community with the intimate side of the Turks & Caicos experience.

By all accounts, attendants have left Marketplace 41 energized and poised for a strong year ahead. “What a spectacular weekend this was!” shared Karen Whitt, CHTA Marketplace Chair and TCHTA Marketing Chair. “Industry suppliers and buyers are all very excited. As usual, Turks & Caicos is the buzz, and I’m happy that our presence is felt every year. With the important negotiations and connections that are made at CHTA Marketplace, it would be a disadvantage if Brand TCI was not represented”.

When asked about the overall experience with this year’s host country, Whitt said, “Phenomenal. Just phenomenal! We must congratulate the BTMI and BHTA teams for a well-planned and beautifully executed event. So many unforgettable moments prove the Caribbean is heads above the rest in tourism. The culture and warmth of the people were on display in Barbados, and we cannot thank them enough for hosting.”

Whitt shared that TCHTA member and leading airline interCaribbean Airways was a first-time Platinum Sponsor for the prestigious event. “interCaribbean is celebrated regionally for their remarkable accomplishments. It was wonderful to see them displayed everywhere as a platinum sponsor this year. The country should certainly be proud.”

Jamaica was announced as the host country for CHTA Marketplace 42 which takes place in Spring 2024.

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Caribbean News

CANARI outlines climate priorities ahead of Cop28



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) informed that the Caribbean Climate Justice Alliance, in preparation for the upcoming annual COP28 in 2023, launched its “Caribbean Climate Justice and Resilience Agenda,” outlining the priorities for climate justice and resilience in vulnerable Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS).


In a press release, CANARI highlighted that the agenda recognizes the major threat of climate change to the region as well as aims to louden the voices of the at-risk groups “on the frontlines of the climate crisis and catalyze actions for climate justice and local resilience in the Caribbean SIDS.”


The priorities stated under the agenda are:


  1. Curbing emissions to limit global temperature

increase to 1.5 ̊C


  1. Scaling up locally-led solutions for adaptation and

loss and damage


  1. Improving access to and delivery of climate finance

for frontline communities, small and micro enterprises, and civil society organizations as part of a ‘whole of society’ approach


  1. Scaling up just, nature-based solutions for resilience


  1. Supporting a just transition for pro-poor, inclusive,

sustainable and resilient development


  1. Promoting gender equity and social inclusion

approaches to climate action


  1. Promoting youth and intergenerational equity as

core to the climate response


  1. Integrating a rights-based and earth-centered

approach in addressing all these priorities and ensuring climate justice


The at-risk groups referred to in the release include small-scale farmers and fisherfolk, rural women producers, income-poor people, elderly and disabled people, Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, migrants, and LGBTQIA+ people.


Being cognizant of the severity of the effects of climate change on the Caribbean, CANARI referred to the fact that the very existence of the region is on the line.


“If greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated and global temperature exceeds 1.5 ̊C, the impacts of rising sea levels, more intense hurricanes, rainfall variability, ocean acidification, and other changes threaten the very existence of our way of life in the Caribbean and other SIDS that have contributed the least to global emissions.”


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Ministry of Fisheries Announces Ground-breaking Spiny Lobster Artificial Habitat Program



Initiative Aims to Boost Spiny Lobster Stock Levels and Enhance Fishermen’s Livelihood


#TurksandCaicos November 25, 2023 – In response to the significant challenges faced by fishermen in the aftermath of the 2018 hurricanes, the Ministry of Fisheries is pleased to announce an innovative pilot program, the Spiny Lobster Artificial Habitat Program. The initiative is designed to address the decline in spiny lobster catch levels caused by the destruction of natural habitats, consequently impacting the economic viability of lobster fishing for local communities.

Background: Challenges and Economic Impact

The Caicos Banks, renowned for their rich marine biodiversity, suffered severe habitat loss due to the accumulation of sands in the cracks and crevices of the seafloor after the 2018 hurricanes. This depletion of natural habitats has led to a direct correlation with the decline in spiny lobster catch levels over the years. Compounded by the rise in fuel prices and the overall cost of living, lobster fishing has become a less lucrative endeavour, with the economic cost per day soaring from $307 in 2010 to $493 in 2022.

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the Ministry of Fisheries has undertaken a comprehensive study to devise strategic solutions that not only replenish lobster habitats but also ensure the sustainability of the industry for future generations.

The Spiny Lobster Artificial Habitat Program: A Holistic Approach

As part of the ministry’s commitment to supporting local fishermen and fostering sustainable practices, a pilot program is underway to construct 150-200 artificial habitats on the Caicos Bank. The following key components outline the comprehensive strategy of the program:

The Spiny Lobster Artificial Habitat Program, spearheaded by the Ministry of Fisheries, is not just a strategic move to revitalize spiny lobster populations but a dedicated effort to enhance the livelihoods of fishermen and their families. The program’s multi-faceted approach, encompassing financial incentives, community involvement, and ecological conservation, aims to bring about tangible and lasting improvements to the lives of those who depend on the sea for their sustenance.

Artificial habitat serves to provide lobsters with shelter and thus increasing their survival from natural predators[1]

The infusion of financial incentives into the Spiny Lobster Artificial Habitat Program serves as a lifeline for fishermen, providing them with a supplementary income during traditionally challenging periods, such as the Christmas/Winter Season. By compensating registered fishermen for their labour in constructing artificial habitats, the program offers not only a short-term economic boost but also establishes a foundation for long-term sustainability.

While the tourism industry has undeniably played a pivotal role in the economic development of the islands, the benefits have not always trickled down to all sectors of society. Fishing communities, such as South Caicos, have stood on the periphery of the economic boom, facing challenges that threaten their traditional way of life. The Spiny Lobster Artificial Habitat Program represents a conscientious effort by the government to bridge this gap and ensure that every Turks and Caicos Islander shares in the prosperity of the nation.

In expressing her commitment to the well-being of fishing communities, the Hon. Josephine Connolly, Minister with Responsibilities for Maritime and Fisheries Management, remarked, “Our islands have witnessed remarkable economic growth, particularly in the tourism sector. However, it is crucial that we do not leave behind the communities that have sustained themselves through generations of fishing. The Spiny Lobster Artificial Habitat Program is not just a conservation initiative; it is a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and ensuring that the economic prosperity of the islands reaches every corner and every family.”

Minister Connolly further emphasized the importance of sustainable development, stating, “We recognize the delicate balance between economic growth and environmental preservation. This program is designed not just to increase lobster stocks but to empower our fishermen to thrive in harmony with our marine ecosystems. It is a step towards a future where our traditional ways of life coexist with progress, and where no one is left behind.”

As the Spiny Lobster Artificial Habitat Program takes its initial steps, the Ministry of Fisheries remains steadfast in its commitment to a holistic vision for sustainable growth. The success of this program is not merely measured in lobster catch levels but in the improved well-being of fishermen, the resilience of fishing communities, and the equitable distribution of economic benefits across the islands. The Ministry invites all stakeholders, from fishermen to environmental advocates, to join hands in creating a future where prosperity is synonymous with sustainability. The long term vision of this project that is that these artificial habitats will increase spiny lobster stock levels, enhancing profitability for fishermen and indirectly improving their livelihoods.

While this initiative is currently in its pilot phase, its success hinges on the collaborative efforts of the fishing community, stakeholders, and the Ministry of Fisheries. As part of the broader project, “Sustainable Livelihood for Fishermen,” the artificial habitat program signifies a commitment to a holistic approach that balances ecological conservation with economic prosperity.

The success of the Spiny Lobster Artificial Habitat Program relies on the collective commitment of the fishing community, government agencies, and environmental organizations. The Ministry of Fisheries encourages public support and anticipates expanding the initiative with a larger number of 4,000 artificial habitats in the coming years.

The Ministry will be hosting a public meeting with all commercial fishermen in Providenciales at the Felix Morley community Center on Wednesday 30 November 2023 starting at 6:00 pm to present more information on the proposed lobster casitas and how fishermen can play a role and to hear more about the Ministry’s plans to ensure sustainable livelihood of fishermen and their families.

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Bahamas News

PLP holds onto West End & Bimini; Kingsley Smith tops nearest opponent by 914 votes



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, November 25, 2023 – The PLP retained their hold of the West Grand Bahama and Bimini constituency in the House of Assembly following the by-election on Wednesday.

Kingsley Smith, the PLP’s candidate,  won the election with 2,150 votes.  Ricardo Grant, the FNM’s candidate, followed in second place with 1,236 votes and Lincoln Bain, the leader of the COI in third with 229 votes. The other candidates, Daquan Swain and Terneille Burrows received a combined 32 votes.

Philip Davis, The Bahamas’ prime minister in speaking on the win said, “I want to thank the people of West Grand Bahama and Bimini who once again show their support for the PLP and for administration. I want to thank them for that vote of confidence for us to continue with what we started. We are so very grateful to you for engaging with us, listening to us and continuing to give us your support.”

Davis continued to express thanks to his party’s candidate, Smith.

“A huge thank you to our candidate Kingsley Smith as he steps to carry the button for the people of West Grand Bahama and Bimini.  Kingsley Smith was our man and our choice and we congratulate him on sprinting successfully through a campaign which none of us expected. Congratulations Kingsley on a job well done.”

Smith, commenting on his win said, “let me first say that I want to thank the almighty God for having me in this position I am in today. When the opportunity arise, I went and I thanked and I asked God to lead me on this process.”

He continued to thank the residents of West Grand Bahama and Bimini as well as his family, friends and government officials who supported him.

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