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Caribbean Creative Sector Set For Mass Reopening Post COVID

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If the pandemic has shown us anything in recent months, it’s the value we all place on new experiences and connections, not just online, have never been higher. With that in mind, it’s no surprise to see the demand on the rise within the creative travel sector, especially to 5-star locations like the Caribbean. Artists and attendees alike are eager for a sunny change of scenery and with permits being granted for filming and performing, those who can travel, are flocking to the Tropics.

One of the first tangible in-person events to occur was the Turks and Caicos International Film Festival in November 2021. There were appearances from musician Nile Rodgers, actor Brian Cox, and director John Landis.

Key quote

Festival Director Colin Burrows said on the feat: “Once again Turks and Caicos has wowed the world”. We are used to compliments for our beaches and waters but our guests from around the world also were blown away by the warmth of the people they met here. As with our previous festivals, important conversations were begun that will have a substantial impact on the future of the islands as a home for the world’s creative industries”.

Festival Chairman, Karen Whitt, added “After two long years, it was truly a magical moment when we officially opened the wildly successful 2021 Turks and Caicos International Film Festival on November 11th. It was an exciting time for attendees, volunteers, patrons, sponsors, VIPs, artists, and the entire community as we worked together in support of the arts to bring focus to our theme ‘oceans and environment’ through provocative stories, activities, and films.

As Chairman of this year’s festival, it is with great pride that we applaud the numerous volunteers and sponsors who worked tirelessly to create a world-class event that resulted in another year of success on a grand scale. We extend particular thanks to the Ministry of Tourism, a partner of the festival from the start in 2019, and whose support is paramount to our success.”

Reopening

Some of the region’s largest music festivals were shut down during the pandemic and are now coming back to life this year including Crop Over in Barbados, St Lucia Carnival, and Jazz ‘n Creole in Dominica.

The fifteen member states of the Caribbean Community (CAR

AR
ICOM) have made it an aim to strategically manage and develop the creative industries across the island so that there is diversity and resiliency. Training in key sectors is seen as an important development with worldwide filming significantly ramping up the region wants to be prepared for the increased wave.

With much of the usual celebrity haunts being inaccessible during the pandemic, those with the means, have sought out new locales that can cater to their needs. Islands like Providenciales have reaped the rewards as of late by attracting groups who fly private, expect first-class service and offer facilities to keep those within their “bubble” safe. One such locale has been Paradiso Del Mar, dubbed ‘PM’ by past guests, in the exclusive neighbourhood of Turtle Tail.

Locations

This newly built villa boasts over 30,000 sq ft of indoor/outdoor living space and a private beach on the south shore. With 10 beds (including staff or pilot quarters) and 12 baths, it can comfortably accommodate large groups + an entourage. Often the draw off the top is the amenities, but at PM the aim is for guests to get the best of both worlds with 5-star accommodation, fiber optic internet and Wi-Fi, multiple dining bar areas with breathtaking views around the property, endless activities, security, and privacy away from the crowds.

The villa’s guest list is as closely guarded as the grounds, but with some of the top athletes, actors, musicians and models becoming PM regulars one quick look on Instagram will highlight some of their guests. Naturally, people want to take advantage of their time on the island and for that, the team at PM are able to organise your own private chefs, butlers, concierge, DJs, jet skis, fishing trips, yoga instructors, personal trainers, on-site spa service, even a cocktail making class if you need to brush up on your margarita mix.

A spokesperson for the villa said, “We offer a 5-star service that includes staff and round the clock customer service, so we were very used to going the extra mile for our guests. We’ve attracted some big names since we officially opened our doors in August 2021.”

“We truly believe that providing our guests with a safe and exclusive experience has helped us overcome many of the challenges COVID-19 brought. Our guests have access to their own private beach and accommodations including a top-tier on-site chef and a restaurant-like feel experience in their backyard giving them a place to enjoy without any fear or stress.”

The villa management team are proud to offer on-site rapid Covid testing for guests that require a negative test when leaving the island. Clients are able to have their tests poolside before being chauffeured to the airport to make the travelling experience as convenient as possible.

They added: “With the relaxing of restrictions, the islands have begun experiencing a sharp incline in visitors which is having a positive impact not just on us but the industry as a whole. Plus many of the festivals restarting we expect to surpass our previous expectations and expand our offering to include new rentals also.”

Public health conditions across the region have allowed a return of cruise ship visits and official countdowns across several islands to their location-specific carnival.

However, most will be smaller versions juxtaposed to the massive events of the past with governments aiming to use the festivities to increase vaccination rates, with a thought to potentially scale up carnivals further.

With this year set to be a pioneering season post-pandemic, it will be interesting to see what key differences in creative sector events and production filming there are and how they will impact the island going forward as the demand for 5-star villa properties continues to rise as select individuals seek out safe destinations with personalized service for their next vacation getaway.



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