BRITAIN'S man in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), Governor Ric Todd, has been effusive in his praise of Jamaican-owned Beaches resorts which is part of Gordon 'Butch' Stewart's Sandals Resorts International. Following are excerpts of his comments on Beaches in an interview with the Jamaica Observer:
I have always said, whether in public or in private conservations with Mr Stewart whom I have met several times, that I regard Beaches as an important element of the TCI economy, because it is the biggest single resort.
It probably brings in about a third of the air arrivals to Providenciales (biggest island and main commercial centre). It is, therefore, a major contributor to that critical airlift.
If you are going to have a tourist destination you need airlift. And the volume of people that Beaches is able to bring in helps to create the space and capacity for airlines and other businesses to benefit.
It's a very important business to the TCI. It is well established here. It attracts people from across America and, as everyone knows, when you are trying to build a country as a tourist destination, you need people to say 'TCI is a nice place'.
So, people come to Beaches, they come to TCI, they have a good experience, they tell their friends about it; it generates good business, which is why Beaches is an important employer.
It is also important — and I have said it to Mr Stewart — that as a big employer, as a big contributor to the economy, Beaches understands that it has a set of corporate, social responsibilities — which I know it takes very seriously — to be a good employer, to contribute to (the development of) the society.
And also to pay attention to things that people of the TCI are worried about. Among the things they are worried about are developing opportunities: employment opportunities in the short, medium and long terms for the people in the Islands. Again, I know that Beaches takes this responsibility seriously. So I have always been very positive about Beaches as a key element of the economy here.
They have plans to expand their operations here. I, as Interim Government and as governor working with the TCI Government (headed by Premier Dr Rufus Ewing), we are very happy to support Beaches in their development plans, subject of course to all the usual stuff you have to do.
We always welcome investment in TCI, and when a successful business invests more, that is a good thing.
— Desmond Allen