Colors: Blue Color

Trinidad and Tobago is the Caribbean National Culinary Team of the Year.
The team won top honors in the finale of the 2018 Taste of the Caribbean culinary competition at the Hyatt Regency in Miami yesterday evening, after also winning the Bartender, Best Non Alcoholic Drink and Beef categories.
Trinidadians in winners' row included Shana Rajahram, who won the Caribbean Bartender Competition, and Tricia Gregoire, who captured the Certified Angus Beef-sponsored Beef Competition. The Best Non Alcoholic Drink award also went to T & T.
A dozen teams participated in the highly anticipated Taste of the Caribbean culinary competition in Miami from June 22 to 26.
Hosted by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos selected their best chefs and mixologists for this year's event.
Jamall Small from the Bahamas was crowned Caribbean Chef of the Year while teammate Hazen Rolle was named Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year. Rolle also received the Hans Schenk Commemorative Award for the Most Innovative Dish Utilizing Indigenous Ingredients.
Vadivel Raju from Turks and Caicos won the Caribbean Pastry Chef competition; Radiance Modeste of the British Virgin Islands topped the Seafood competition, while Rodney Corbin of Barbados won the Cemoi-sponsored Chocolate category.
Best Rum Drink went to Bonaire; St. Lucia topped the vodka drink category, and Best Mystery Bar Drink, sponsored by Angostura, went to Curaçao.
A combined team representing chefs from some of the Caribbean destinations that were impacted by last September's hurricanes also competed. The team, which included members from Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands, won the Tony Mack Spirit of the Competition award.
"CHTA applauds this year's Taste of the Caribbean participants, their national hotel and tourism associations, team managers and sponsors for another incredible demonstration of passion, purpose and performance," said Frank Comito, Director General and CEO of CHTA.  "These participants are the future of tourism and the teamwork and camaraderie on display augurs well for a united Caribbean."

Barbados hotelier Patricia Affonso-Dass has taken up office as the new President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).
Karolin Troubetzkoy, the regional trade association's outgoing president, handed over the gavel to Affonso-Dass in an emotional transition at CHTA's Annual General Meeting during which she was hailed for her personal contributions to the region during challenging times.
New President Affonso-Dass, Group General Manager at Ocean Hotels in Barbados, thanked Troubetzkoy for her selfless efforts leading the association, while Grenadian hotelier Sir Royston Hopkin congratulated her on her steady leadership. "I would just like to say a sincere thank you for a job well done. I am very proud of you."
Troubetzkoy expressed her appreciation for the good wishes of her colleagues. She will now serve both as Chair of CHTA as well as of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Educational Foundation (CHTAEF).
A true pan-Caribbean woman, Affonso-Dass, a graduate of Florida International University's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, was born in Roseau, Dominica and lived in Trinidad and Antigua before moving to Guyana where she grew up. She has made Barbados her home for the past 20 years.
Affonso-Dass has been the president of both the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana and the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association and runs the Ocean Hotels group, which is a family-owned company with three unique hotels on the south coast of Barbados: Ocean Two Resort & Residences, the four diamond oceanfront venue on Dover Beach; The Sea Breeze Beach Hotel, the all-inclusive hotel on Maxwell Coast Road; and The South Beach Hotel, the chic boutique hotel near Rockley Beach.
She will serve as president of the association for the next two years.

The Government of Vietnam has confirmed a further extension of its visa exemption programme for United Kingdom passport holders - valid for single-entry stays of up to 15 days - for three more years. First introduced in 2015, the policy also applies to French, German, Spanish and Italian nationals. This latest extension, until 30 July 2021, is the longest extension period yet.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, over six million people visited the country in the first five months of this year, representing a 27.6 per cent increase on last year's figures. In its Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2017 Vietnam report, the World Travel & Tourism Council has also forecast that Vietnam's annual tourism revenues will continue to grow by six per cent by 2027, to VND398,329 billion (USD17.9 billion).

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines operates the UK's only nonstop scheduled services to Vietnam, with daily Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flights from Heathrow T4 to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, offering SkyTrax 4-star rated service across three cabin classes.  The flights are carefully scheduled to offer convenient overnight journeys in both directions, and offer excellent onward connections domestically within Vietnam, to Indo-China and to 30 destinations in Asia and onward to Australia.

Ten-time world champion and five-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft will take to the London Stadium track at this summer’s iconic Müller Anniversary Games on 21-22 July 2018.

Many of Cockroft’s career highlights have taken place inside the stadium, last year winning a hat-trick of world titles to become the most decorated British para athlete in the history of the world championships.

It was also the location of her unforgettable breakthrough onto the global stage in 2012, winning two gold medals at that memorable Paralympic Games in the capital.

This will be Cockroft’s fifth appearance at the Müller Anniversary Games, taking part in the very first staging of the legacy event in 2013. She will take on the T34 100m at the 2018 edition, alongside compatriot Kare Adenegan who was announced a couple of weeks ago.

She delivered an electric display to set a world record over 100m in the Stadium last year on her way to world gold – the time a rapid 17.18 – so she has an impressive recent record in the capital.

Upon being announced as the latest world-class athlete addition to the event, Cockroft said: “I’m honestly so excited to be racing at the Müller Anniversary Games for a fifth time this summer – the event is always amazing and is one I’ve been a part of year on year since London 2012, but every time I get the chance to compete again is just as exciting as the first.”

A flash of inspiration when the deputy vice-chancellor of Birmingham City University tuned in to an American reality TV show called Pawn Stars has resulted in a replica of a 227-year-old coin produced in Birmingham being presented to President Trump.

Professor Julian Beer, president of the British American Business Council (BABC), was watching the programme which chronicles the daily activities of a Los Angeles pawn shop when it featured a rare coin, called the Large Eagle Washington Cent.

He was captivated by its history and Birmingham’s involvement and decided to have 400 reproduced by the University’s School of Jewellery for delegates attending the BABC transatlantic conference in Birmingham today.

The first two commemorative pewter coins minted were presented to US Ambassador Robert “Woody” Johnson during the conference gala dinner at Birmingham Town Hall with one for him to pass on to President Trump.

All other delegates attending the conference at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire during the day were also presented with the coin as a memento.

Professor Beer said: “I had just taken on the BABC presidency and was thinking about a forthcoming trade mission to Chicago coinciding with the BABC Conference last year.

“I also thought about the significance of trade between the Midlands and North America and the historical relationship between us. Whilst idling, I was watching an American show which often uncovered American historical artefacts and that’s when I saw the coin – the Washington Eagle Cent.

“The guy behind the counter who was examining the coin mentioned that it had never been legal tender and that it was rare but he would have to get an expert opinion. The expert, to paraphrase, said that it had been made and shipped over by an ‘enterprising bunch of Brummies’.

“They had designed and made the coin and another smaller one in Birmingham when they heard that the newly independent America was looking to produce its own coinage.

“They had also used their distribution and supply network in America to get samples to Senators and Congressmen and one finally landed up with President Washington rejecting the coin as being too regal and that he wanted a national mint.

“However, when I heard this I was struck that if there was ever a story of entrepreneurialism which depicted the history of our trade relationship here in the Midlands with North America then this was a great example.

“We then set about trying to reproduce a limited edition as special gifts for our North American friends in Chicago but, could not pull it off in time. However, with us securing the 2018 Conference we thought it was a great time to do it as a unique reminder of our special relationship.”

Pawn Stars is shown on History, and produced by Leftfield Pictures. The series is filmed in Las Vegas featuring  the daily activities at the world famous gold and silver Pawn Shop, a 24-hour family business opened in 1989 and operated by patriarch Richard "Old Man" Harrison.

With 3D computer-aided-design (CAD) imaging, the University’s School of Jewellery  reproduced the Large Eagle Washington Cent coin to hand out to event attendees, exemplifying how Birmingham is often referred to as ‘the workshop of the world’ with a long history of leading trade and market innovation.

Four hundred editions of the coin have been produced and the very first specimen is set to be delivered to US President Trump. The second edition was presented to Ambassador Johnson at tonight’s dinner.

Following CAD imaging of the original coin and importing images into ArtCam software to enhance shapes, a master pattern was created and used to create a mould using high temperature rubber. The coins were then cast in pewter by the AE Williams family, who are based in Digbeth and have been making the alloy since 1779.

Historically, A.E. Williams has produced traditional domestic pewter ware, but more recently has also produced pieces for palaces and stately homes, as well as for television productions including BBC’s Poldark and HBO’s Game of Thrones.

The original Large Eagle Washington Cent was one of two coins commissioned in 1791 by Birmingham firm W and Alexander Walker. Designed by one of the world’s finest engravers at the time, John Gregory Hancock, the federal coins – with the bust of President George Washington on the obverse and an American eagle on the reverse – were produced at Obadiah Westwood’s mint in the city.

Although both the Small and Large Eagle Washington Cent coins were well made, they never became a circulated currency after Washington favoured a national mint to control coin production.

A post-Brexit free trade agreement between the UK and the United States could take years to thrash out, a leading American economist has warned.

Speaking ahead of today’s British American Business Council (BABC) transatlantic conference in Birmingham, Joe Brusuelas, the chief economist for RSM in the US, called for a reality check following suggestions of a quick-fire trade deal between the two countries.

Mr Brusuelas, who will address delegates at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire this morning, says differing opinions on agriculture, telecommunications and the role of technology could be sticking points during negotiations.

He said: “When thinking about what a UK-US free trade agreement would look like, the first thing you might want to think about is how long will it take to negotiate.

“Nigel Farage said 48 hours, Liam Fox would say just a matter of weeks or months. We need to have a reality check on that – this is going to take years.

“What I’d suggest businesses do is look at the US-Australian free trade negotiations which went on for a long time and left some hard feelings.

“So this isn’t something that is going to be immediate palliative for smaller to medium enterprises here in the UK or the Midlands.”

“What would be the negotiating points around which an FTA would revolve?

“From a US point of view, the US is going to want access in terms of agriculture, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, technology and financial services.

“Financial services has some low-hanging fruit that could jumpstart negotiations and get them going.

“One would be remiss if they didn’t acknowledge the difficulties in agriculture and telecoms. “And then, of course, there is the role of technology and the issue of privacy.

“There are very clear differences of orientation in opinion with respect to technology and privacy and the role it is going to play in the new economy that will then develop.

“We often talk about the US and UK being two countries separated by a common language. “If we end up in an FTA it is going to be two countries separated by a common language with many colourful accents.”

Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean was nominated in seven categories at the glamorous Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) Media Awards held last Thursday in the Grand Ballroom of the New Yorker hotel, New York City. The glitzy dinner and fashion event was held in honour of the work produced in 2017 of the Caribbean Tourism Industry.

First up as a finalist was Istra Bell, a talented Grenadian blogger who wrote about her amazing day being a cocoa farmer at the Crayfish Bay Estate in St. Mark’s during the 2017 Grenada Chocolate Fest. She emerged second in the category for best Caribbean blog.

Jesse Serwer came next with his riveting story about the real life action on the famous two mile Grand Anse beach where locals and visitors alike mix and mingle. His piece earned him the coveted award for ‘Best Feature Article in a U.S.-based Consumer Newspaper’ for his story captioned ‘Grenada’s Grand Anse Beach May be the Most Authentic Caribbean Beach.’

Also a finalist in the same category was US based journalist Mark Rogers wrote about, amongst other things, the delightful time he spent at the Spice Market Square in the picturesque capital city of St. George’s. After having an incredible time visiting the many chocolate companies in Grenada, Alexander Britell coined the island the ‘Caribbean Capital of Chocolate’ in his Caribbean Journal article. Grenada now has five chocolate factories that locally produce bean to bar organic chocolate. Britell was a finalist in the category, best feature in an online publication.

The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) was nominated for its lifestyle digital campaign “Free To Wonder” which captured images of people enjoying the many sights and attractions in the destination. The cool campaign video received over 122,000 views on Facebook alone and was shared several hundred times since it was released last June 2017. The over 300 lifestyle images were liked thousands of times on social media and conveyed an easy, relaxed atmosphere with stunning scenery.  Since then the GTA’s Social media platforms have grown by more than 10,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Journalist Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon was nominated for her Facebook live post “Get to Know Grenada” while talking with her fellow media colleague Brian Major about the many reasons to visit the destination. Additionally, Krista Simmons’ collection of videos depicting the experiential offerings in Grenada while visiting the world’s first ever Underwater Sculpture Park, enjoying the many varieties of chocolate and chasing the over fifteen waterfalls on island were featured heavily on social media.


GTA Director of Sales, USA, Christine Noel-Horsford was thrilled with the several mentions of destination Grenada as a desirable place to book a vacation and visit in the Caribbean.

CEO of the GTA Patricia Maher was delighted with the many nominations as she said “it confirms the many real stories and interesting content that our destination Pure Grenada has to offer its visitors”. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen stated “these wonderful stories showcase the warm and friendly people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique which make the islands so appealing and worth experiencing for your next travel plans.”

Bluewater, a world leader in clean drinking water technologies, today said human ingenuity and technology had the power to protect human health from the threat of micro plastics in a world that will see half a trillion plastic bottles produced a year by 2030.

“We all have a duty to protect planetary health and that’s why we’ve launched our Drinking Water Challenge together with our partners at 11th Hour Racing, a US non-profit promoting collaborative, systemic change benefitting the health of our ocean,” said Bluewater President Anders Jacobson. Speaking to over 100 politicians, scientists and others attending the Volvo Ocean Summit in Cardiff, he said people need to understand that “we are as much part of the solution today as we’ve been part of the problem.”

Earlier, marking World Environment Day, Anders Jacobson told the Ocean Summit that Bluewater had launched its Imagine H2O Urban Drinking Water Scarcity Challenge to encourage ‘waterpreneurs’ to come up with solutions to tackle drinking water issues in mega-cities, forecast to be home to around 90 percent of the world’s population.

Bluewater is implementing the Challenge with partner 11th Hour Racing, a U.S. non-profit promoting collaborative, systemic change benefitting the health of our ocean, with three winning start-ups to be honored at a special event held in Stockholm, Sweden, on August 27.

“Municipal water supply can contain contaminants such as lead, pharmaceutical residues or micro-plastics. Many ordinary citizens know this and seek alternatives such as bottled water, but the solution is wrong,” Mr. Jacobson told the Volvo Ocean Summit in Cardiff. He added: “We’ve created a vicious cycle where the use of single-use plastic bottles of water has been normalized for much of our water intake, creating a massive waste stream that further pollutes water supply.”

Mr. Jacobson said Bluewater was proud to be a supporter of the One Plastic Free Day initiative, organised by A Plastic Planet, which will see millions of people on World Environment Day boycott food and drink that makes use of single-use plastic packaging for 24 hours. He said Bluewater “backs the movement because it inspires people to make a choice for a more sustainable planet”.

During the summer of 2017, Bluewater water purifiers helped save the depleted water reserves of Sandhamn, an island nature reserve in the Baltic Sea that sees the year-round population of 90 people leap to 600,000 over the summer months. A Bluewater water station delivered, free of charge, thousands of liters of fresh water taken directly from the Baltic Sea to visitors to the island, an initiative that also removed the need for thirsty visitors to buy single-use plastic bottles.

“Sandhamn is a typical example of how the world’s supplies of fresh water can no longer be taken for granted. At Bluewater, we’re going to the source of the problem with extraordinary purifying systems that allow people to enjoy water as pure as nature intended, sourced from non-potable sources such as the brackish Baltic Sea, without the guilt of polluting the planet with single-use plastic or chemicals.”

Sandals Resorts, the iconic Caribbean brand and global leader in the luxury travel industry, has agreed a long-term contract to become the new principal partner and team sponsor of the WINDIES (the West Indies cricket team), following their support of last week's Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge at Lord's.

The new partnership is effective immediately and will cover all WINDIES teams from U-15s through to the WINDIES Men's and Women's teams. As part of the agreement Sandals will have their logo inscribed on all WINDIES playing and training clothing, as well as benefiting from activating WINDIES cricket in their marketing and social responsibility programmes. Sandals will also enjoy stadium branding at all home matches and broadcast sponsorship of all WINDIES matches shown on Sky Sports.

The announcement was confirmed on Tuesday 5th June by Johnny Grave, Chief Executive Officer of Cricket West Indies (CWI) as the WINDIES prepare for their three-Test series against Sri Lanka; which started on Wednesday 6th of June at the Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad.

“WINDIES cricket is the heartbeat of the Caribbean and we're thrilled to partner with such a prestigious international brand as Sandals which is also synonymous with promoting the best of the Caribbean to the world. Sandals shares our determination to strengthen and grow cricket across the region, as well as harnessing cricket's power to drive economic investment and tourism” said Grave.

Sandals Resorts International (SRI) Chairman and Founder, the Hon. Mr. Gordon 'Butch' Stewart OJ, CD, Hon. LL.D said, “Our relationship with West Indies cricket is not a new one, having sponsored tours to the UK in 1995, 2000 and 2004, and we have now deepened our support for the WINDIES with this sponsorship which will cover ALL upcoming tours including the World Cup until the end of 2020. We have absolutely loved our association with West Indies Cricket over the years, and we look forward with great enthusiasm to this latest partnership, which started with a win against the ICC World XI in the hurricane relief fundraising match at Lord's on May 31. We look forward to the WINDIES continuing its winning ways in the series against Sri Lanka, and the others to come.”

Mr. Stewart added, “Sandals believes in the collective power of our Caribbean people, which has been at the heart of our success as the World's Leading All-Inclusive Company for 22 consecutive years. Similarly, the WINDIES has been one of the most important institutions in fostering regional unity and pride. Sandals and West Indies cricket are two of the most successful indigenous brands to have come out of the Caribbean, which makes this partnership a natural fit, and we are proud to work alongside Cricket West Indies once more.”

The WINDIES Men's and Women's teams are the current ICC World T20 Champions.

The partnership is set to run until December 31, 2020.

For more information visit

There’s bound to be an epidemic of fear of missing out (FOMO) spreading across the country this summer, as Twitter and Instagram feeds become swamped with pictures of friends and family enjoying themselves on their summer holidays.

For those who are looking for somewhere different to explore, rather than sailing around St Tropez or getting away to the Galapagos, they need look no further. VisitScotland has revealed a list of the top places closer to home where you too can give your friends holiday envy, without even leaving the country, in a newly commissioned list of ‘Top 10 Scottish staycation spots to rival Instagram’s hotspots’.

Whether you’re interested in a walking holiday that trumps the Peruvian Andes, a beach to beat a sandy Greek Island coast, or some ‘scandi style architecture’ to admire, Scotland really does have something for everyone on Britain’s doorstep, but not many Brits have discovered them yet.

The list consists of 10 different locations right across Scotland – from Shetland to Dumfries and Galloway – that bear an uncanny resemblance to iconic international destinations. For travellers visiting any of these locations, their followers will be desperate to know which exotic spot they’re in and travellers can be all the more smug when it’s revealed it’s only a train ride away.

Scottish location

Abroad location

Glen Coe, Highlands Rainbow Mountain, Peru
Iona, Inner Hebrides Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia, Greece
Seilebost, Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides Chaweng, Koh Samui, Thailand
The Shore in Leith, Edinburgh Copenhagen, Denmark
Northern Lights, Shetland Northern Lights in Arctic Norway
The SECC, Glasgow Sydney Opera House, Australia
Ramsay Gardens, Edinburgh Vienna Old Town, Austria
Logan Botanic Garden, Dumfries & Galloway Mandore Gardens, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
The Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye Kirkjufellsfoss, Iceland
Smoo Cave, Durness Blue Cave, Croatia

Guests at St. Lucia's luxury resort Anse Chastanet are in for a special treat next month when Mango Madness returns from June 13 to 17, 2018.

The popular event celebrates the tropical fruit and offers mango-themed activities to entertain and educate visitors.

"We have mango trees in abundance across our organic Emerald Farm and will continue our annual celebration of this fascinating tropical fruit while we educate our guests and enhance their food and beverage experience at the resort," said Karolin Troubetzkoy, Executive Director of both Anse Chastanet and its sister resort Jade Mountain.

As part of the five-day festivities, there will be a live, interactive cooking class using mangos as the core ingredient. Participants will learn to cook with the flavorful fruit in the Chef de Cuisine's special cooking class. "There we will reveal the secrets of preserving the exotic flavor of mango while creating traditional chutney," said Troubetzkoy.

As always, the popular Jungle Grill on Anse Mamin Beach will be available to delight visitors. In keeping with the theme of the week, the grill will deliver an infusion of mango flavors in salads, fresh fish and homemade burgers.

Guests will also be invited to feast on a mango breakfast of exotic fruit, artisan cheeses and freshly brewed St. Lucian coffee and cocoa tea.

For the evening pleasure, there will be a five-course mango dinner including a wine pairing that is just right for each dish.

In addition to cooking classes, experienced bartenders will reveal their secrets and teach mango mixology, featuring the Caribbean's favorite spirit - rum.

African culture, arts, music and fashion as a tribute to what Africa has provided to the world were showcased yesterday to mark Africa Day.

The event, which coincided with the launch of FetAfrik, took place at the International Conference Centre (ICCS) under the theme ‘Winning the fight against Corruption: A sustainable path to Africa’s transformation’.

Schools along with other individuals were present to showcase African culture at yesterday’s spectacle which consisted of a mixture of poems, performances and art.

Among the audience were Designated Minister Macsuzy Mondon, who is also responsible for culture; Speaker of the National Assembly Nicholas Prea; French Ambassador Lionel Majeste Larrouy; Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles Jennifer Sullivan; Secretary of State (for poverty alleviation) Dick Esparon; elected member of the National Assembly for Port Glaud Egbert Aglae; chief executive (CEO) of the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation Berard Dupres; CEO of the Creative Industries and National Events Agency (Cinea) Galen Bresson; as well as students from both primary and secondary schools from around Seychelles.

The ceremony kicked off with a poem entitled ‘Sesel mon zil krepi’ by Stephanie Joubert, a member of Bling Bling poetry association.

This was followed by a performance by the International School of Seychelles’ choir.

The ‘Lavann’ group from Beau Vallon gave a performance of African style dancing, fully equipped with the clothing and body paint which is famously worn according to African culture and traditions.

In his opening address, Mr Bresson said that Africa Day or better known in Seychelles as FetAfrik is an opportunity for us as a nation to reflect and celebrate our African heritage.

“Too often the media portrays mostly the doom and gloom of African countries, but if they were to look deeper one would see that Africa, though we may not accept it, was the cradle of civilisation once upon a time. I take this opportunity to call upon every Seychellois to be proud of who we are,” said Mr Bresson, who also thanked all the people who formed part of the activity.

Elia Damassy, who is also a member of Bling Bling Poetry recited the second poem of the event entitled ‘Machine a Fric’, speaking out on both the downfall and uprising of Africa.

As the performances ended, the audience had a chance to view an exhibition showcasing African culture while being entertained by performances from Kershia accompanied by the Mozaik Band.

The resounding mandate that Barbados' first female prime minister earned from the electorate is a vote of confidence for women in leadership throughout the Caribbean, says Karolin Troubetzkoy, President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), as she congratulated incoming Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley on her, and her party's, recent 30-0 victory at the polls.
Troubetzkoy, who on International Women's Day this year called for an acceleration of gender parity to help Caribbean women advance and unleash their potential, applauded the Barbadian public for its record of advancing women to the forefront of leadership.
"From the late Dame Nita Barrow to Dames Billie Miller and Sandra Mason, and now Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Barbados has a proud history of investing in and placing confidence in women in decision-making positions," said Troubetzkoy, who added that the Caribbean should be proud of this latest development.
St. Lucia-based Troubetzkoy, who has been a vocal advocate for women in leadership, will be succeeded as CHTA President by Patricia Affonso-Dass of Barbados, at CHTA's fourth Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), at the Hyatt Regency Miami from June 22 to 24.
One of CHIEF's general sessions, "Advancing a Culture of Inclusion", will examine how gender balance benefits the bottom line. "From a business perspective, policies and procedures, trainings and overall corporate culture need to be in place to allow for a more gender-balanced workplace," said Frank Comito, CHTA's Director General and CEO, who promised that delegates will hear from women on the front lines of hospitality who have risen through the industry and are now leading the progress towards a culture of inclusion.
Confirmed speakers for this session include Troubetzkoy; Joyce Destang, Owner of Bay Gardens Resorts in St. Lucia; Marie McKenzie, Vice President, Global Ports and Caribbean Government Relations, Carnival Corporation; and Lisa Rickards, CEO at Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Jamaica.
Professional development and a vibrant speed-networking session will feature again this year at CHIEF, which will also host Taste of the Caribbean, where the region's best chefs and their teams will compete. Taste of the Caribbean also offers insight and experience for food and beverage participants, who can learn the latest trends and techniques emerging from Caribbean kitchens.

The Camping and Caravanning Club has partnered with The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) to light up the Great Ridge in the Peak District National Park to raise awareness of the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million appeal and launch National Camping and Caravanning Week (NCCW), the Club’s annual celebration of camping, caravanning, motorhoming and the great outdoors.

As part of the Club’s commitment to help improve access to the countryside for its almost 750,000 members, it has teamed up with the BMC on the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million appeal, which aims to raise £1 million to repair paths in the UK’s 15 National Parks and is backed by Cotswold Outdoor and Snow+Rock.

And with more than half of campers in the West Midlands enjoying walking more than any other activity when on holiday and 95% reporting positive benefits from walking on their health and wellbeing, the latest Club research paints a rosy picture for walking in the region.

Julia Bradbury, Club President and TV presenter, said: “I have a passion for the outdoors and exploring the UK’s best walks – and it’s great to hear that fellow campers do too!

“I’m really impressed that nearly half of campers in the West Midlands told us they get out for a three to four mile walk at least once a month. If that sounds a bit much though, a short stroll just a few minutes from loads of our campsites will often be enough to catch some stunning views, especially at dawn and dusk.”

Robert Louden MBE, Director General at The Camping and Caravanning Club, said: “Walking and hiking are hugely popular with campers as activities to enjoy with family and friends.

“The Club was one of the original founding members of the BMC and we are extremely pleased to be supporting the Mend Our Mountains appeal, which is doing vital work to ensure we both protect our countryside and provide good, sustainable access to it. We’d like to thank our many volunteers and supporters involved with the Great Ridge Light Night, and also our many partners including our head torch sponsors, Robens and Vango.”

The Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million appeal features two projects in the Peak District National Park: the Great Ridge and Cut Gate. To donate and learn more visit

Club research also revealed that 55% of campers in the West Midlands say sturdy walking boots and waterproof jackets are their essential pieces of walking kit.

Zimbabwe has applied to re-join the Commonwealth. The proposal came in a letter dated 15 May to Secretary-General Patricia Scotland from Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The Secretary-General was delighted to receive the letter.  “I whole-heartedly echo the sentiments of Heads of Government who have said twice, in 2009 and subsequently in 2011, that they very much look forward to Zimbabwe’s return when the conditions are right. Zimbabwe’s eventual return to the Commonwealth, following a successful membership application, would be a momentous occasion, given our shared rich history,” she said.

Zimbabwe joined the Commonwealth on its independence in 1980 and withdrew from the organisation in 2003.

To re-join, Zimbabwe must demonstrate that it complies with the fundamental values set out in the Commonwealth Charter, including democracy and rule of law plus protection of human rights such as freedom of expression.

The membership process requires an informal assessment to be undertaken by representatives of the Secretary-General, followed by consultations with other Commonwealth countries.

Zimbabwe has also invited the Commonwealth to observe its forthcoming elections in July. The Secretariat is now mobilising a team of observers to do so – and their observations will form part of the Secretary-General’s informal assessment.

“I urge the government, opposition parties, the election management body, civil society, and all stakeholders, to play their part in ensuring a credible, peaceful and inclusive process that restores citizens’ confidence, trust and hope in the development and democratic trajectory of their country,” stated Secretary-General Scotland.

The Severn Trent region has been basking in sunshine for the last few days and, with the sunny weather set to continue, the company is asking customers to just think a little bit more about how they use water.

Everyone has a part to play when it comes to saving water and it can be the smallest changes right now that can make the biggest difference in the future.

Doug Clarke, Severn Trent’s water efficiency manager, says: “There are so many things that our customers can do to help save water in their daily lives – and if they’re on a water meter it’ll help save them money too.

“Some of our simplest tips relate to your morning routine - always turn off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth and keep an eye on how long you’re in the shower, the shorter it is, the more you can save.

“A short, cool shower is also much better than running a bath and has the added bonus of helping to reduce the cost of your energy bill too.”

It’s been more than 20 years since Severn Trent last had a hosepipe ban in place and, while the company is confident it has enough supply to meet demand, it's still encouraging customers to save what they can.

Doug continues: “It’s never a bad thing to save a little water, and it’s just little things that can make a difference. Consider using your leftover washing up water in the garden, or invest in a water butt to catch rainwater that you can use to water your plants and flowers through the summer.

“On top of that we have some great water saving devices, including shower timers and plant water saving gel, available to order for free on our website.

“Our water resources are in a healthy position and looking good for the summer ahead so we’re just asking our customers not to be complacent and to think about all the different ways they can save water. I’m sure everyone wants the warm weather to continue but, if it does, we just need to get into some good habits now.”