Providenciales, 05 Jun 2015 – Houston’s inaugural flight landed on Saturday at the Provo International, but stealing the thunder of that new commute was the hundreds of visitors arriving almost simultaneously for their TCI vacations. As many as nine airliners were on the ground Saturday and it seemed the International Arrivals area was going to burst at its seams with so many visitors getting in to Providenciales at one time. Saturday is the busiest day for the country’s gateway – Providenciales International Airport – and as hundreds filed in to be processed by Immigration, collect their bags at the one baggage carousel and file through Customs – it seemed an awful mess, but Lavern Reynolds, Terminal and Marketing Manager with the TCI Airports Authority assured things were under control.
“I don’t think it is overwhelming. I think it is one of those things whereby we have to put all of our ducks in a row; we have other partners that we are working along with which is Customs, as well as Immigration and the airlines and the other entities within the airport itself. I think it’s wonderful for us to be able to keep busy and give them work pretty much, all year round. So I think it keeps us on our toes because you might get a bit relaxed in the off season and then you have to speed things up for the winter season; this way you keep yourself at a very busy pace, all year round.”
Ralph Higgs, Tourist Board Director, was pleased with the processing speed of TCI Border Control but said, there is some work to be done.
“Today is clearly a very busy day. A very impressive eight or nine jets are on their airport at the same time, I think that speaks to a lot of positive things but it also speaks to situations that we must internally address as quickly as we can. Sometimes success can present challenges and we are very cognizant of that, and we will continue grow as we try to mitigate the challenges that growth brings.”
There was reportedly a disgruntled guest who posted a long waiting time on the arrivals side in Provo on social media; but President of the Hotel & Tourism Association, Michel Nuetelings said there have been no complaints officially.
“It would be better if they were spaced out, but I think we the airport expansion things are a lot smoother than they used to be and I think everyone is putting in every single effort possible to make it work. Now you always have a few people who may complain about it but I think we know how to turn those around in our hotels and in the various services they get to, they know how to turn that around and make sure people leave here with a memorable experience.”
It was unknown what the average processing time per guest family is at the PIA. Later, hear what Minister of Tourism, Porsha Smith and other delegates had to say about that inaugural flight from Houston which touched down Saturday in Provo.