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TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS CONTINUE TO ENJOY BUMPER GROWTH IN 2023

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PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS (October 8, 2023)Visitor arrivals to the Turks and Caicos Islands continue to grow immensely in 2023.

Addressing international and local journalists at a media briefing on Monday at the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s (CTO) State of Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC), Minister of Tourism, the Hon Josephine Connolly said arrival numbers have matched pre-pandemic levels in 2022 and are on track to do the same this year with both cruise passenger and airline arrivals.

The islands welcomed 321,423 arrivals via air from January to June 2023 with the United States market leading with 291,070 arrivals. There were 28,709 arrivals from Canada, 4,437 from the United Kingdom and 27,207 from the Caribbean and other territories.

Though there was a 13.37% decline in arrivals from 2019 (502,000) to 2021 (434,863), the Turks and Caicos Islands rebounded in 2022 with 621,913 arrivals, a 43% increase over 2021.

In cruise arrivals, the Turks and Caicos Islands welcomed 491,806 visitors from January to June 2023. This is a 51.72% increase over the same period in 2022 which saw 324,161 arrivals.

The total arrivals in 2022 were 734,448 compared to 26,573 in 2021. There were 1.1 million arrivals in 2019 with 532,173 arrivals from January to June that year.

Airlift was boosted with non-stop service from major gateways in the US (Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, New York, New Jersey, Dulles), Canada (Toronto and Montreal), the Caribbean (The Bahamas, Cuba, Dominica Rep, Haiti and Jamaica) and the United Kingdom (London Heathrow).

Minister Connolly announced that on November 4, 2023, Virgin Atlantic will commence their Inaugural Service, to Providenciales from London Heathrow.

As she looked forward to a successful year for the tourism industry which comprises over 85% of the country’s GDP, Minister Connolly said the new marketing and product development strategy goes beyond Providenciales, to build awareness about all the islands, the people, each island’s unique natural assets, distinct natural beauty and charm.  

She said the creation of Experience Turks and Caicos is to promote all of the islands and the development of tours and attractions to assist islanders to benefit from tourism through culture/heritage tours, local culinary offers and adventure tours, land and water-based activities.

Before the beginning of SOTIC, the media were given tours to Middle and North Caicos where they explored Mudjin and Bambarra beaches, got a taste of Turks and Caicos cuisine at Miss B’s and sampled cane juice and homemade jams at Isaac Farms.

The media, representing publications such as Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, TravelPulse, Insider Report, Travel Press, Travel Courier, Travel Influencer, and Travel Noire, will experience tours to Salt Cay, Grand Turk and South Caicos during the course of the week.

They will also enjoy street food delights, custom-themed drinks, and live entertainment by Provision Band at the popular Thursday night Fish Fry.

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PDM Party announces date for Official Launch of All Island Candidates

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#TurksandCaicos, March 3, 2024 – National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Movement, Ezra Taylor on Friday March 1 announced that “During this crucial time in our country, our people need leadership that will address the needs of our country. The People’s Democratic Movement is ready willing and able under the proven, caring, and trusted leadership of the Hon. Edwin Astwood, assisted by a dynamic group of candidates, who together, will forge a future where Turks and Caicos Islanders will feel safe, and be true beneficiaries of the resources of our economy.”

The PDM informed: after an extensive exercise conducted by the People’s Democratic Movement and much anticipation by the electorate, we are pleased to announce to the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands that an official launch of our All-Island candidates will take place on March 22, 2024, at 7:30pm, venue to be announced.

Secondly, the official launch of our constituency candidates will take place during the month of April 2024. The people of the Turks and Caicos Islands will be able to witness the launch of our candidates via The People’s Democratic Movement’s various social media platforms, and in person

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Another Poor Judgment by Premier Misick, says Sean Astwood

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#TurksandCaicos, March 3, 2024 – Sean Astwood, former Deputy Premier says with the firing of E. Jay Saunders, the Deputy Premier and MoF, current Premier Charles Washington Misick has put himself in another compromising position.

With an ongoing investigation before the Integrity Commission alleging a serious conflict of interest for a Gaming Amendment Bill, brought to the HOA by the Premier, when Gaming Commission fell under the Former Minister of Finance, the choice of the Premier to make himself the Minister of Gaming is troubling. The Gaming Commission falls under the Ministry of Finance and will undoubtedly receive directives from its Minister who now, conveniently, is the Premier.

I am extremely concerned as to what directives the Premier will be issuing to staff of the Gaming Commission that could potentially interfere with the ongoing Integrity Commission investigation. With seven other ministers as a part of his ministerial team and the ability to appoint a new minister to replace his former deputy, the Premier should have used better judgment and select a different ministry to oversee or continue to oversee none at all, as he has been doing for the past three years. It is now even more important for the Integrity Commission and the Governor to pay closer attention to the Gaming Commission and conduct a full review of that body since its inception to date.

This cannot be an oversight by a Premier who has been involved in politics for decades. The consistent poor judgement by this current Premier is both disappointing and disturbing and should have every voter wondering if he truly came for this “wuk” or did he just comeback for something else, as many believe.

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“Move on” from the PNP says PDM National Chairman Taylor 

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 3, 2024 – “There is obviously a great deal of internal conflicts going on within the PNP party,” says Ezra Taylor, PDM Party National Chairman in a new open letter following leadership challenges and changes affecting the Progressive National Party, PNP in the aftermath of a spirited National General Council (NGC) meeting.

In the February 27 letter, Taylor speculated on why there were so many hands vying for top spot of the PNP.

“There can be no doubt after this past weekend that there are large and different factions within the PNP party that are dissatisfied with the Hon. Misick’s leadership and are seeking a change in direction and leadership is a straight up power struggle. Three different members of his party challenged him inclusive of the most recent past Campaign Chairman and his current deputy leader.  This is an indictment on his leadership or the lack thereof,” Taylor maintained.

The PDM executive maintained that it does not bode well for Misick’s chances at the polls in upcoming elections.

“A challenge with such large support this close to the general elections also indicates that there are many members and supporters of the PNP who do not believe that Hon Misick can take the PNP successfully through the next general elections.”

Taylor echoed sentiments shared by other residents speculating that the leadership challenge was just a symptom of much larger cracks in the party.

“How will they function / govern moving forward with the hatred and mistrust that they all are feeling for each other?  With the challenges facing our people and our country, we the people cannot allow this Washington Misick led government to be re-elected,” Taylor maintained.

He also had his own suggestions  about what could have caused the rift,

“The challenge may indicate underlying tensions or disagreements within the party, some say over leadership styles others say over certain actions Premier Misick has taken like the Write off for Provo Water Company that seemingly was the major issue between Premier Misick and Hon. Akierra Missick that resulted in her abrupt firing as a Minister.  Now to more recently the move to quickly passing the Gaming Bills in the Deputy Premier’s absence noting that those bills fell directly under the remit of the Hon Saunders.  We are also understanding that there are also serious tensions in the PNP’s camp over the airport deal and who will be the one/s eventually benefiting from it.  Speculation is that this tension has been the main reason the process has been moving so slowly.”

None of these reasons have been substantiated publicly.

Taylor maintains that ‘for the perseveration of our people and country we must move on from this Government.’

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