Antigua and Barbuda has recorded a seven percent increase in tourist arrivals in July as the country continues to record “a steady rebound”in visitor arrivals in the wake of the pandemic that had force the closure of borders.
Th Ministry of Tourism said during the month of July, Antigua and Barbuda welcomed 24,673 visitors to the destination, an increase of 24,405 for the corresponding period last year and the 2019, 23,031.
“For the second year, we are experiencing a healthy summer season confidence grows and travelers make the decision to take that long awaited vacation or previously delayed trip,” said Minister of Tourism, Charles Hernandez.
“In July, we saw a notable increase in group travel that contributed significantly to our growth, with one group from the US, bringing in approximately 500 visitor traveling to enjoy our summer event. We are optimistic we will maintain this strong position of growth into August,” tourism officials said.
Arrivals stood at 5,650 in comparison to 5,3078.
Police have launched an investigation into the murder of Bahamian Olympic sprinter, Shavez Hart who was shot dead last week on the island of Abaco.
According to reports, a group of men got into a physical altercation in the parking lot of a local night club early last Saturday night following which one of the men left and returned with a gun.
The gunman then reportedly shot Hart in the chest.
The Olympian, who would have celebrated his 30th birthday last week, was taken to the local clinic where he was pronounced dead.
The eight-time Bahamas national sprint champion was a graduate of St. George’s High School in Grand Bahamas and went on to compete for South Plains Junior College before transferring to Texas.
He went on to win medals for the Bahamas in the 100 meters and in the men’s 4×100 and 4x400m relay teams at various international meetings, including the CARIFTA GAMES, Pan Am Under-20 Championships, CAC Championships, World Indoor Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
He also represented The Bahamas in the 100m and 200m at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Barbados Attorney General Dale Marshall has called on Barbadians to adopt a ‘zero tolerance” for guns and anyone dealing with these illegal firearm.
Speaking during a news conference last week, Marshall urged citizens to take a tough stance, particularly in the aftermath of four shooting deaths in three days, taking the number of homicides for the year to 28.
Marshall expressed the view that a whole-country approach must be adopted to deal with the crime situation, as was done earlier to successfully fight the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition, he stated every Barbadian has a role to play in this fight.
He noted that the statistics in relation to other crimes are down.
Stating that the recent homicides were not random shootings, the attorney general said spate of instability was being caused by two or three groups that were engaging in feuding and recriminations.
He said the country has not descended into any state of anarchy.
The AG gave the assurance that the island remain a safe place, with citizens being safe in their homes and communities.
The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) said it was supporting an initiative to implement climate-adaptive aquaponics farming and strengthen micro small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in five Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries.
The region’s premier financial institution said it was expanding its collaboration with INMED Partnerships for Children/INMED Caribbean to enhance the capacity of small-scale farmers in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia and the Bahamas.
It said the innovative solutions are specially needed, as regional economies face a variety of climate-driven events.
Global disruptions in the supply chain are delaying the delivery of foodstuff and supplies and small-scale farmers depend on to sustain their livelihoods.
Through this initiative, the bank is proactively building climate-resilient with an adaptive agriculture model.
The Guyana government says the country is expected to earn US$1 billion from the energy sector this year.
This is according to the mid-year report from the Ministry of Finance.
The profit is expected from 15 lifts as its entitlement from the ExxonMobil-led consortium due to the Russian-Ukraine war.
The report states Guyana is forecast to still receive 13 lifts of profit oil from the Stabroek Block this year, but the country was poised to cash in on higher world oil prices as a result of the conflict.
“With the price of crude ballooning after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Natural Resource Fund (NRF) deposits are now projected to be 32.5 per cent higher than the US$957.6 million projected at the time of preparing Budget 2022,” states the report.
The report explains, that in the first half of this year, Guyana received US$307 million as revenue from its share of profit oil and US$37.1 million in royalties.
According to Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh, the growth experienced in the local economy can be directly credited to government policies.
A contingent of 30 Haitian soldiers recently left the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to undergo a training program in Ecuador and Mexico.
According to Haiti’s Minister of Defense, Enold Joseph the soldiers, of all ranks in engineering corps of the armed forces of Haiti, left the country recently on board a Mexican plane for Temamatala, one of 125 municipalities in Mexico.
The ministry said the soldiers will follow an intensive course allowing them to become instructors and mentors in order to actively participate in the training of the next class of Fad’ h soldiers.
The training confirmed the Haitian-Mexican Military co-operation reactivated following the bilateral meeting between the minister of defense of Haiti and his Mexican counterpart, on the sidelines of the Catholic Conference of Ministers of Defense of the Americas that was being held in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia earlier this year.
St. Lucia says it is implementing a project with funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), that will position the island’s honey specific overseas markets through the development of a cluster model.
Export St. Lucia said with the funding from the IDB’s Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF), it is implementing the Bee City Honey Cluster Project.
Bee City seeks to increase the competitiveness of stakeholders within the sector, build the capacity of local stakeholders in the bee keeping industry and encourage the entrance of new members to drive and expand apiculture.
Consultant Melvin Edwards has been engaged to develop a three-year strategic plan for the operations of beekeeper groups participating in the project.
Export St. Lucia’s Chief Executive Officer, Sunita Daniel said the project aims to remove any constraints which hinder the local honey industry.
— Compiled by Azad Ali