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USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice – Best Caribbean Beaches “#2 Bambarra Beach”

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Spotlight On Tourism

 

PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS (January 12th, 2024) – Bambarra Beach in Middle Caicos, joins Grace Bay Beach as an award-winning beach with USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice, #2 Best Beach in the Caribbean, today! This is a tremendous win and award for the people of Middle Caicos and the Turks and Caicos Islands Archipelago and supports the strategic direction of Experience Turks and Caicos to promote the Turks and Caicos Islands as a premiere multi-island destination, with each island having its unique flavour and immersive experiences.

Middle Caicos is the heartland of Turks and Caicos Islands’ culture, where traditional straw craft and fanner grass basketry, native sloop building, and model sailboat carving/racing is practiced. The island has three small friendly villages, Conch Bar, Bambarra, and Lorimers with a population of around 200 people.  Middle Caicos is known for its natural beauty and majestic coastline like no other island in the Archipelago.

As the name suggests, Middle Caicos is in the center of the Caicos Islands archipelago.  A causeway connects the island to the adjacent North Caicos, which makes island hopping an ease and charm.  Bambarra Beach fronts the small historical settlement of Bambarra, which has stood since the days of the Colonial Plantations in the late 1700s.

A day trip or twin island vacation to Middle Caicos includes captivating “Off the Beaten Track” experiences such as catching sight of the magnificent Pink Flamingos from the Flamingo Pond Overlook or taking a short hike above Mudjin Harbour Beach to capture the majestic view from atop the open-face cave that provides scenic shelter below on the white-sand beach. At the nearby Mudjin Grill, the onsite restaurant for the secluded Dragon Cay Resort, you can savour local culinary delights while watching the gentle ocean swells and inhaling the relaxing sea breeze.

On your way to or back from Middle Caicos is North Caicos, the lushest of all the islands thanks to the abundant rainfall, you can enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences such as exploring Conch Bar Caves, one of the largest dry cave systems in the Caribbean, Indian Caves, a large single gallery cave system or Wade’s Green Plantation.

Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Josephine Connolly, expressed her delight at Bambarra Beach’s recognition, emphasising the strategic marketing and promotion of Experience Turks and Caicos.  “We have been promoting the Turks and Caicos Islands as a multi-island destination, encouraging visitors to explore beyond Providenciales. The recognition of Bambarra Beach is the first of many more accolades to come for our multi-island destination as we continue to market and promote awareness the diversity and natural beauty of our multi-island destination and enhance our product across the Archipelago for visitors to explore and create unforgettable experiences,” she said.

“This award underscores the charm of Bambarra Beach and complements the charm of Grace Bay Beach accolades which include, World Travel Awards Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination since 2015, Trip Advisor Travelers Choice Awards Best of the Best Beaches 2023, Conde Nast Traveler, 21 Most Beautiful Islands in the Caribbean and World Travel Awards Most Romantic Award since 2019,” Minister Connolly added.

With the recent opening of Ocean Breeze Resort, a boutique hotel in North Caicos, visitors have another reason to enjoy twin island vacations or holidays now between Providenciales and North Caicos.

Experience Turks and Caicos remain committed to its robust marketing endeavours, strategically positioning the Turks and Caicos Islands as the ultimate multi-island destination. Our primary objective is to elevate visitation and spend across the entire archipelago. With our marketing efforts geared towards the affluent and luxury lifestyle multi-generational demographic, our target market embraces a luxurious lifestyle and seeks vacation options tailored to their discerning tastes. Through our diverse product offerings, we provide a unique experience of barefoot luxury, enriching their vacation with unparalleled value.

The Minister of Tourism, the Ministry and Experience Turks and Caicos would like to congratulate our other USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice awardees are:

  • Best All-Inclusive Caribbean Resort

#2 Ambergris Cay and #8 Beaches Turks and Caicos

  • Best Caribbean Beach Bar

#8 Da Conch Shack

  • Best Caribbean Golf Course

#1Royal Turks and Caicos Golf Club

  • Best Caribbean Resort

#1The Sands at Grace Bay

  • Best Restaurant in the Caribbean

#1 Hemingway’s on the Beach

 

From the Source Markets

TripAdvisor Spotlights Best Dive and Marine Life Spots in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

 

PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS (January 3rd, 2024) – The Turks and Caicos Islands’ distinction as a captivating multi-island destination is featured by TripAdvisor  “First-timer’s Guide to Diving in Turks and Caicos – Uncover the Best Scuba Shops, Dive Sites, and Marine Life Spots,” by Kaila Yu, a seasoned luxury travel and culture journalist.

The informative piece spotlights stress-free diving in Providenciales, the crystal-clear waters of West Caicos, the bustling marine life in South Caicos, whale sightings in Salt Cay, and tailored activities for cruise visitors in Grand Turk. Each segment features firsthand recommendations from visitors who have immersed themselves in the unique offerings of each island.  Trip Advisor reaches 30,541,830 unique visitors per month and is the world’s largest travel guidance platform, helping hundreds of millions of people become better travellers, from planning to booking to taking a trip.

Commenting on the feature article, Ms. Racquel Brown, Change Manager and Interim CEO of Experience Turks and Caicos said this article is significant we continue to build awareness about the Turks and Caicos Islands beyond Providenciales, as a multi-island destination, myriad experiences.

“TheTurks and Caicos Islands is a multi-island destination with islands that truly offer visitors unique experiences. Experience Turks and Caicos is committed to ensuring everyone benefits from the tourism industry by increasing visitation to all the islands and spend on island. We have been working assiduously with travel journalists to promote awareness of our islands, beyond the barefoot luxury of Providenciales to visit and experience snorkeling in South Caicos or the beauty of Bambarra Beach on Middle Caicos, recently announced as the second-Best Beach in the Caribbean by USA Today’s 10Best contest. We have unique offers for our visitors including dive, soft adventure, natural and historical sites. Increasing the promotion and marketing of Dive as a niche market and Grand Turk, home to the third Largest Barrier Reef in the World is a key marketing strategy for 2024 and beyond,” she said.

For travellers interested in experiencing these remarkable destinations, flights with InterCaribbean or Caicos Airways are available to Grand Turk, South Caicos, and Salt Cay. Additionally, ferries provide transportation to North Caicos, and visitors can book tours or rent cars for travel from North to Middle Caicos. Private ferries can be arranged for exploration of West and East Caicos.

Read the article HERE.

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Turks & Caicos Premier salutes Sandals for country’s economic growth  

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~SCU and TCICC using industry knowledge to train and develop ~

 

Montego Bay, Jamaica – Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Hon. Charles Washington Misick, has saluted Sandals and Beaches Resorts for the major economic impact they have had on the islands, alluding to the significant growth in the Gross Domestic Product since the opening of the Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages and Spa (BTC) in 1997. He spoke to the major investment the luxury all-inclusive chain provided through the work of former chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart, and the continued support by now Executive Chairman, Adam Stewart.

In his keynote address at a recent ceremony for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Sandals Corporate University (SCU) and the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College (TCICC), Honourable Misick shared, “I used to meet Butch in Miami at Coconut Grove where we had many conversations about him potentially acquiring the hotel for the chain. He did so the following year, 1997. Fast forward to today, BTC has become a staple and one of the reasons why we’ve been able to do so much in these islands.”

Additionally, he lauded the continued work of the brand to empower the labor force, under the leadership of SRI’s Executive Chairman, Adam Stewart. He explained, “the partnership between SCU and TCICC was conceived with the vision of strengthening the local workforce. In under four months, we’ve made remarkable progress. By elevating educational standards and creating job opportunities, we’re not just enhancing the Human Development Index (HDI) for the Turks and Caicos Islands, we’re building a more efficient economy. The focus is on improving education, improving quality of life, but also, as a small country, we would like to be able to expose our young people to what is happening in the other corners of the Caribbean, and the world.”

The MoU signing is the second of its kind for the SCU in the region, following a recent agreement with the UWI Global Campus. Held at the Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages and Spa, the ceremony was also attended by Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Rachel Taylor, Minister of Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Maritime, Gaming and Disaster Management, the Hon. Josephine Connolly, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart, President/CEO of TCICC, Dr. Candice Williams along with other dignitaries and leaders from both SCU and TCICC.

Hon. Taylor praised the partnership, adding that it represents, “a visionary initiative aimed at harnessing our collective strengths to bolster a sector that is vital to our economy. As we formalise this agreement, we are planting seeds for a future that holds unparalleled opportunities for our students, educators, and the hospitality industry at large.”

In his remarks, Adam Stewart affirmed the significant role of the SCU in the region, encouraging team members to embrace it as a catalyst for personal growth and self-improvement. He also commended the partnership with SCU and TCICC, noting SCU’s commitment to providing internships annually is just a fraction of the exciting opportunities available through this collaboration. He shared, “people are at the centre of what we do.  The best thing you could do for the people of the Caribbean, is to provide opportunities for education. The quintessential saying of ‘teach an individual to fish as opposed to giving them a fish’, provides them with careers, exposure and builds their confidence to be able to be the best version of themselves. In turn, they can achieve their own independent economic goals and dreams.  So what we’re doing is just one more commitment to the Turks and Caicos Islands, to the people of the Caribbean, to say everything that we’ve learned we’re sharing with you. We are fully committed at Sandals Resorts International and will remain an absolute investor in this country.”

In her address on behalf of TCICC, Dr. Candice Williams noted, “as we embark on this partnership with the SCU, we recognise its transformative potential for our students and our country. Through collaboration, innovation, and shared expertise, we will enhance the quality of education and training and create pathways for our students to excel in their careers and become leaders in the industry.”

The SCU will also work with the TCICC to identify subject matter experts from Sandals and Beaches Resorts to give guest lectures, provide input into the curriculum being developed for the TCICC’s hospitality and tourism management programmes and provide opportunities to promote enrolment of Sandals and Beaches team members in relevant programmes offered at the TCICC.

Additionally, the SCU will endeavour to facilitate the placement of up to 100 interns from TCICC within Sandals and Beaches Resorts per year for work experience and a formal Internship programme for students at various levels. Lastly, the SCU will, where possible, provide the opportunity for TCICC students international certifications through their partnerships with accrediting bodies in all aspects of hospitality management and technical related areas.

 

Photo Captions

Header – (From left, back row) Mr. James McAnally, managing director, Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages and Spa, Dr. Deloris Stapleton-Harris, vice president – academic, vocational and student affairs, TCICC, Mr. Shawn DaCosta, chief operations officer, SRI, Dr. Luz Longsworth, senior corporate director, SCU, the Hon. Rachel Taylor, minister of education, youth, sports and culture, the Hon. Jamel Robinson, deputy premier, TCI, the Hon. Josephine Connolly, minister of tourism, environment, heritage, maritime, gaming and disaster management, Dr. Candice Williams, president/CEO, TCICC, Mrs. Cherylann Jones, permanent secretary, TCI, Dr. Barbara Ambrister, chair, board of governors, TCICC, (front left) Mr. Adam Stewart, executive chairman, SRI, HE. Dileena Daniel-Selvaratnam, governor, TCI, the Hon. Charles Misick, premier, TCI, all share smiles ahead the signing of a MoU between the Sandals Corporate University and the Turks and Caicos Community College.

Insert – Captured after the signing the Memorandum of Understanding are the Hon. Charles Misick, premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands alongside Mr. Adam Stewart, executive chairman of Sandals Resorts International. This two-year agreement will assist the TCICC in strengthening its Hospitality and Tourism Programme to build local capacity and develop leadership in the industry from within the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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Bob Marley – One Love Actor Endorses Black River Film Festival

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#MontegoBay, May 27, 2024 – The inaugural staging of the Black River Film Festival (BRFF), set for June 28 to 30, is being welcomed by local actor, Cornelius Orlando Grant, who sees the potential of the event in unearthing local talent and attracting investment from the international film industry.

Addressing a recent JIS Think Tank held at the agency’s Montego Bay Regional Office, Mr. Grant, who stars as gangster Bucky Marshall in the Bob Marley – One Love biopic, said the BRFF could leverage the interest and attention being generated towards Jamaica and its film industry following the premiere of the movie.

“Look at it this way, the Prince (Harry) came to the premiere and his presence attracted extra attention to [the film industry]. The Bob Marley movie is creating and breaking more records… . Just recently it opened in Japan [where]… reggae music and Bob Marley have a big fan base. Furthermore, people in the [diaspora] that I spoke to are saying that when they view the movie, it brought them vibes of home,” he noted.

Mr. Grant said that with Jamaica being positioned as the hub of the Caribbean film industry and with the increasing number of young persons emerging as content creators, “I think now is the time that we can capitalise on this. The Black River Film Festival is doing just that because it is not only incorporating new content creators but also showing students new career possibilities”.

Young content creators, 14 to 18 years old, who wish to enter or are already practitioners in the field of filmmaking will benefit from masterclass sessions during the Festival.

Mr. Grant will be among the speakers during these sessions.

The Ministry of Education, Region 5 will be partnering with the Festival producers at a workshop to be held at St. Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) in Santa Cruz on June 28.

 

Photo Caption: Jamaican actor, Cornelus Orlando Grant, gives his support to the Black River Film Festival (BRFF), while addressing a recent Think Tank at the Jamaica Information Service Montego Bay Regional Office in St. James.

Okoye Henry Photo

 

Contact: Sharon Earle

Release: JIS

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Bahamas News

PM Davis: Artificial Intelligence Micro-Course Graduation is ‘something very special’

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NASSAU, The Bahamas – During his Official Remarks at the University of The Bahamas-Partanna-King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Artificial Intelligence (AI) Intensive Micro-Course Graduation Ceremony, on May 22, 2024, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis said that he believed that those involved had accomplished “something very special.”

“I see this as the start of what will hopefully be an ongoing initiative, as we embrace the power of strategic partnerships and innovative ideas that can empower our people for success,” he said, during the ceremony held at Choices Restaurant on UB Main Campus.

Among those present included UB Acting President Janyne Hodder; UB Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs Dr. Maria Woodside-Oriakhi; Dean of the UB College of Business Dr. Marlo Murphy-Braynen; UB Chair of the School of Business Daniel Thompson; Dr. Dematee Mohan of the Office of the Prime Minister; and Director-General of Bahamas Information Services Elcott Coleby.

A number of podium guests also assisted in presenting five micro-course graduates with scholarships to KAUST.

Prime Minister Davis stated that the world was currently going through an era of “rapid, and, I dare say, epic change.”

“They are calling it the triple transition, which includes climate change, demographic change, as well as digital change,” he noted.  “The Bahamas is experiencing each of these changes in profound ways.”

He added: “Climate change represents the biggest threat we have ever, ever faced, as well as the biggest opportunity to re-align our society with our values to make the world cleaner, healthier, more prosperous, and more just.  And then there is digital transformation, which requires tremendous investments in infrastructure, and, of course, education in digital skills so that our workforce can remain competitive in this new era.”

Prime Minister Davis pointed out that the impact of that global transition was so broad that embracing those changes as opportunities required the integration of climate resilience and digital innovation into every aspect of The Bahamas’ national development models.

“That is why I am so proud of what we have accomplished today,” he said.  “We have opened the eyes of these young Bahamian scholars to the vast world of digital transformation through AI and machine learning.”

“We have placed this great potential at their fingertips so that they can go on to be, not just consumers of digital technology, but also digital producers, disruptors, and innovators,” Prime Minister Davis added.

He pointed out that they lived in a time when AI had become commonplace. Universities, Prime Minister Davis added, were grappling with the ethical implications of natural language algorithms, like Chat GPT, which produced essays with just a few prompts.

“Programmers and writers are using open-source AI apps to become more efficient and productive,” he said.  “We are seeing the widespread application of AI in every sector that is redefining how we work.”

“The AI revolution has already made waves here in The Bahamas,” Prime Minister Davis added.  “Local businesses are using AI to collect data and empower their marketing initiatives.”

He continued:  “My administration has pioneered the use of AI at the Ministry of Tourism, where AI chatbots are facilitating more efficient customer service and AI algorithms are helping us to identify and target likely visitors.  Even the Water and Sewerage Corporation has begun using AI to detect leaks.

“But this is just the beginning.”

Prime Minister Davis said that AI was still in its infancy. In the near future, he added, AI will take over repetitive, everyday tasks in fields as vast as engineering, programming, law, accounting, marketing, and healthcare administration.

“We also anticipate using AI in our current efforts to fight climate change and make our nation more climate resilient,” Prime Minister Davis noted.  “With these changes, some current jobs may become obsolete, but new jobs within data science and AI will emerge.”

“We will need a robust supply of well-trained, well-educated professionals to ensure that The Bahamas continues to keep pace with global economic developments,” he added.  “And we want those professionals to be Bahamians.

“Today, we have taken steps toward building that future-focused workforce with 20 bright young scholars here at UB.”

Prime Minister Davis thanked KAUST, with special mention to Director Albarakati and Professor Khan for “partnering with us on this groundbreaking initiative.”

“I hope this is the beginning of a fruitful partnership that will enrich our students and allow for the exchange of knowledge between faculty to strengthen our institutions,” he said.

Prime Minister Davis also thanked Partanna, and its CEO, His Excellency, Ambassador Rick Fox, for helping to make the partnership happen through its funding and support.

“Thank you, as well, for your continued commitment to the environment through your groundbreaking carbon-negative concrete that will transform the global construction industry,” Prime Minister Davis said.

“Ambassador Fox, you are truly a proud son of our soil, and you continue to inspire us all,” he added.

Prime Minister thanked the faculty and staff at the University of The Bahamas for “their support in making this happen.”

“They often say if you can make it at UB, you can make it anywhere,” he pointed out.  “This saying has proven true, not just because of the academic integrity and rigour of UB’s programmes, but because of UB’s willingness to embrace change and opportunity.”

He added:  “Thank you to UB’s dynamic leadership team, President Hodder, UB’s Chair Mrs. Maynard Gibson, the Dean of the College of Business, Dr. Marlo Murphy Braynen, Dr. (Woodside-) Oriakhi and your team for making this possible.  Most importantly, thank you to the students who enrolled and committed to completing this course as an investment in your future and your future prospects.”

For those students who go on to continue their studies in AI, either at King Abdullah University or through other avenues, Prime Minister encouraged them to continue exploring their interests and talents.

“Continue adding in-demand skills to your repertoire and continue being trailblazers in your respective fields,” he said.  “Congratulations to all of you.”

“We will need bright, young leaders to take on the challenges that lay ahead of us,” Prime Minister Davis added.  “Based on what I am seeing today, I am confident that the future is in good, good hands.

“God bless you all and may He continue to bless our nation.”

PHOTO CAPTION

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis takes part in the University of The Bahamas-Partanna-King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Artificial Intelligence (AI) Intensive Micro-Course Graduation Ceremony, on May 22, 2024, held at Choices Restaurant on UB Main Campus.  Among those present included UB Acting President Janyne Hodder; UB Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Maria Woodside-Oriakhi; Dean of the UB College of Business Dr. Marlo Murphy-Braynen; UB Chair of the School of Business Daniel Thompson; Dr. Dematee Mohan of the Office of the Prime Minister; and Director-General of Bahamas Information Services Elcott Coleby.  A number of podium guests also assisted in presenting five micro-course graduates with scholarships to KAUST.  (BIS Photos/Eric Rose)

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