Monthly Archives: September 2012

Cream of the Caribbean and Americas celebrate in Turks & Caicos

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Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination 2012: St Lucia. Accepting the award is Lorine Jules, Regional Marketing Manager, Northeast St. Lucia To, St. Lucia simply beautiful (US), from Mr Graham Cooke, President & Founder, WTA

St Lucia wins the coveted title of “Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination” as leading travel brands from across the Caribbean and Americas shared top honours at a World Travel Awards ceremony hosted at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa on 14 September 2012.A packed delegation of VIPs, senior tourism figures and international media travelled from more than 30 nations to attend WTA’s Caribbean & The Americas Ceremony 2012, which was supported by Turks & Caicos Tourist Board and Scotiabank.

It was an evening of travel triumph for nations across the Caribbean. St Lucia won the coveted title of “Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination”, Coco Reef Resort (Tobago) picked up “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel”, whilst Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island (British Virgin Islands) was voted “Caribbean Leading Private Island”.

Buccament Bay Spa & Resort (St Vincent) nudged ahead of The Hotel Chocolat (St Lucia), Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro (Dominican Republic), The Magdalena Grand Beach Resort (Tobago) and Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort (Dominican Republic) to win “Caribbean’s Leading New Hotel”.

Jamaica’s continuing rise up the global tourism order was acknowledged after it was named “Caribbean’s Leading Destination”.

In North America, Las Vegas saw off competition from New York, Miami, San Francisco, Montreal and Vancouver to win the coveted title of “North America’s Leading Destination”. New York won the “North America’s Leading City Break Destination” title, while American Airlines was voted “North America’s Leading Airline”.

Meanwhile, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) was voted “South America’s Leading Destination”, ahead of the likes of Easter Island (Chile), Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) and Machu Picchu (Peru).

Cancun (Mexico) came in ahead of Bay Islands (Honduras), San Jose (Costa Rica), Los Cabos (Mexico) and Granada (Nicaragua) to win the coveted title of “Mexico & Central America’s Leading Destination”. Copa Airlines was named “Mexico & Central America’s Leading Airline”.

The WTA awards programme, hailed as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ by the global media, highlights and rewards those travel brands that have made the greatest contribution to the industry over the past year.

Graham E. Cooke, President & Founder, WTA, underlined the depth and quality of the travel and tourism sector across the Caribbean and the Americas.

He says: “Our winners are also drawn from the breadth of the Caribbean and the Americas, reflecting the strength and depth of the travel and tourism sector in the regions. I am sure these organisations will fare strongly in our Grand Final, which takes place in New Delhi, India on 12 December 2012.”

“The ceremony has also served as a glittering spotlight for Turks & Caicos – a paradise nation that has welcomed a record number of tourist visitors over the past year. This is testament to its overwhelming natural attractions, its luxury hospitality facilities and its rich local heritage.”

Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, says: “We are honoured to receive the highest number of awards in Sandals Resorts’ history. We always strive for excellence, and continue to invest in our product so that each year we can be proud to say we are the Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand.”

Ralph Higgs, Director of Tourism, Turks & Caicos Tourist Board, says: “The Turks & Caicos Islands Tourist Board congratulates the winners and the nominees for this year’s World Travel Awards. With another 30 nations represented at these awards, we hope that each of you will take a piece of our islands home with you, etched in your memory forever. Congratulations again and we do hope to see you here in the future as we celebrate and acknowledge the brightest and best in the global hospitality industry.”

Rising Caribbean star and the reigning Miss Bahamas, Anastagia Pierre hosted the show with American actor and comedian Walt Willey. Some of the Caribbean’s finest vocalists, including Shawn Campbell and Elroy Simmons, performed to the packed audience.

Other WTA Grand Tour 2012 regional heats include Dubai (UAE), Algarve (Portugal), and Singapore. The winners of these legs will go head-to-head in WTA’s Grand Final, which takes place at The Oberoi, Gurgaon on 12th December 2012.

To see the full list of winners and to download hi-res images visit www.worldtravelawards.com.

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FCCA Prepares for the 19th Annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show

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Pembroke Pines, FL (September 28, 2012) -The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association is gearing up for the Caribbean’s largest cruise conference and trade show, the annual FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show, taking place in Curaçao, October 1-5, 2012.

FCCA members will converge in Curacao

Cruise industry partners from destinations’ public and private sectors will come together with cruise executives from the FCCA Member Lines to share ideas and discuss industry trends. These cruise executives will participate in round-table discussions, meetings and events catered to prompting the networking between the attendees and cruise executives.
These networking opportunities are valuable for anyone doing or wanting to do business with the cruise industry, and they are certainly plentiful during the schedule and format built around the delegate, ensuring that attendees have a chance for one-on-one meetings with the executives, workshops available that discuss important and relevant topics with hand-picked panels, and evening functions that help attendees unwind and meet executives in a more casual atmosphere.
There will also be a highlighted attention on the trade show floor to provide a steady flow of attendees to gain the attention of the cruise executives and industry partners. With expanded number of booths and special destination pavilion options, this is the perfect way to showcase destinations as a team – from ministries of tourism to port/tour operators and vendors who want to sell their products to the lines, all have a chance to showcase a destination that wants to display its entire product and make the greatest impact at the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show.
The Conference officially opens Tuesday, October 2nd at the World Trade Center Curaçao
For more information, please contact Terri Cannici at (954) 441-8881 or tcannici@f-cca.com.

SPC Lesmond Funeral Today

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SPC Lucan Lesmond

The funeral service of SPC 104 Lucan Lesmond will be held today Monday 17 September.

The body will be exposed from 11am at the Police Auditorium. The service will take place at the Cathedral from 2pm.

Lesmond’s wife, Donna Lynn is currently on remand, charged with his shooting death at his home in La Toc on September 2. The couple is said to have had a history of domestic violence.

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Drowning at Micoud

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Forty-eight-year old John Toussaint AKA Crackhead of Volet Micoud. reportedly drowned at the Micoud beach (New Extension to be exact). The body has not yet been recovered. This happened about 4:15pm on Sunday September 16.

St. Lucia Life Saving Assc. training. The Association has advocated for life guards on popular beaches

Visa Requirements for Canada

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St. Lucians  travelling to Canada must now apply for a temporary resident Visa in Trinidad  & Tobago! The process is as follows:

Each applicant,  including accompanying children must complete, date and sign their own Application  for a temporary resident visa (IMM 5257)

·          Each  applicant over the age of 18 years must complete their own Family Information  form (IMM 5645)

Each applicant must  provide 2 passport photographs taken in the past 6 months and print the name  and date on the back

·         Each  applicant must pay the non-refundable processing fee of CAD75.00 (single  entry) or CAD150.00 (multiple entry)

·          You  must show that you are a citizen or lawfully admitted to your country of  residence e.g. study permit, work permit

·          Each  applicant’s passport must have a minimum of 2 blank visa pages

·          Photographs  must be accompanied by a copy of the passport bio-data page (i.e. the page  with name, photo etc.)

·          Explain  the purpose of your trip –  details of your itinerary in Canada,  provisional travel arrangements (airline or hotel booking), Invitation  letter, Conference registration, Letter from employer

·          You  must have proof of sufficient funds to cover expenses for the duration of  your trip, copies of bank statements or bank book covering the past 6 months,  additional information such as pay slips, proof of property ownership,  pension etc.

*If  you are not paying or your own trip, indicate how your trip will be funded  e.g. parents’ bank statements, letter from employer covering costs etc.

** If you are  staying over 6 months you will require a medical examination

*** The embassy may  request a Police Certificate

MyKind Of Travel offers

·        Visa assistance

·        air fare to Trinidad

·        airfare to Canada

·        Courier visaapplication to Trinidad

The company, locatedin the Lamar Building on Bridge Street and Baywalk Mall Rodney Bay, may also becontacted at 453-2927 or 452-8495.

United and Strong on Canadian Visa Implementation

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United and Strong Inc. (U&S) expresses concern over the recent implementation of VISA requirements for nationals of Saint Lucia by the Canadian Immigration Department. U&S has been advocating for the rights and freedoms of the lesbian, gays, bisexual and transgendered individuals (LGBT) at the national, regional and international level, utilising existing mechanisms. We are therefore particularly concerned about the impact for the real cases involving the LGBT persons of Saint Lucia in Canada.

U&S has been monitoring and researching claims cases since 2010.  To some extent we understand this new requirement as a means of control to reduce the number of false refugee claims. However we are anxious to learn how the system will now work for persons who need assistance and protection.

In 2011 United and Strong Inc. met with a number of Canadian organisations with settlement programmes to learn more about their support services and how their system works. We also had the opportunity to meet with immigration lawyers in Canada to advise us on current situations and the process of law.

We have noted the influx of the fraudulent claims by heterosexuals or “straight persons”; of non-nationals using Saint Lucians’ documentation under the sexual orientation violation banner; as well as the increase of claims by persons under gender-based-violence and poverty. It is hard to accept the findings that learned individuals, lawyers and organisations here in Saint Lucia and Canada are encouraging and supporting these fraudulent behaviours.

Znited and Strong has supported a number of legitimate cases and has denied many cases. For the last year we have been in contact with the Canadian Immigration Refugee Board (IRB) directly on the cases that our organisation has actually supported. Unfortunately, United and Strong has not been made aware of all the cases that the organisation has reportedly supported.

It is rather unfortunate that Visa requirements were necessary to be imposed in order to control this fraudulent behaviour. However U&S appreciates the circumstances and will continue to seek every opportunity to work closely with Saint Lucia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry and Canadian Immigration to confirm the validity of cases and protect our nation’s
reputation.

—- ENDS —

P.O Box 772, Castries, St Lucia, West Indies.

unitedandstrongslu@yahoo.com

For the advancement of human rights for the LGBT community in Saint Lucia

IOM Training Workshop

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Governmental agencies and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that interact with vulnerable migrants or in the future would have the chance to, convened at the Bay Gardens Beach Resort for a five day training workshop on Monday 10 September, 2012.
The workshop operating under the theme, “Protecting Vulnerable Migrants” was facilitated by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) with the assistance of the Ministry of External Affairs International Trade and Civil Aviation.
IOM is the leading intergovernmental organisation in the field of migration. The organisation is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all persons.
Over the years, IOM has partnered with several Caribbean nations, including Saint Lucia. Saint Lucia however is not a member of the organisation. Program Manager and workshop facilitator Chissey Mueller, however noted that membership status is not contingent on partnership.
The opening remark at the workshop was delivered by Mrs. Glenda Polius, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Security. She stressed the need for collaborative effort among all stakeholders to deal with the issue of the migration of vulnerable migrants in Saint Lucia and by extension the Region.
Day one of the workshop focused on defining and understanding what is migration and contextualising it in a 21st century sense. The day’s session also focused on learning to identify a vulnerable migrant and what key steps should be taken to properly document them.
Migration in the Saint Lucian context was a focal point of the day as IOM hopes to improve on institutional responses to encounters with vulnerable migrant populations on island. The workshop is the ideal forum to discuss what institutional frameworks are currently in place in Saint Lucia, assess their effectiveness and make necessary recommendations.

Level 5, Baywalk Mall, Rodney Bay, Gros Islet     Saint Lucia, West Indies   Tel 😦 758) 468-4519/Fax: 452-7427