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Tourism report calls for strong direction; exposes lack of planning

Providenciales, 24 Nov 2015 – The KPMG National Tourism report is released and reveals that the Caribbean is the most dependent region in the world on Tourism and out of the 185 countries the world over, the Turks and Caicos is the nation third most dependent upon the industry.

KPMG calls the tourism tale of the Turks and Caicos a success story; air arrivals have doubled in the past 12 years and cruise ship arrivals shot from 0 to nearly a million in just seven. We see that residents believe tourism provides the best career opportunities and that nearly all visitors enjoy their vacation experience here; 96% are satisfied and 98% would recommend the destination.

The downside though is the TCI has stumbled into its tourism success and that to date there is no national development plan, no tourism market development strategy and the country, believe or not, has no tourism marketing plan.

The KPMG report says the TCI Tourist Board possesses something they call the ‘Z-Factor’; and if you think it is positive thing, think again. The ‘Z-Factor’ points to consistent under-funding of the Tourist Board; the potential to have enduring success has been railroaded by unsustainable extremes.

The Tourist Board has gone from receiving as much as $14.6 million between 2006 and 2009 per fiscal year, to now getting just $2.2 million dollars for this budget year.

Add to this, The Turks and Caicos is not proactive when it comes to inward investment and this reactive posture has seen resources wasted on incomplete projects.

KPMG was contracted last year for the comprehensive review of tourism and among its recommendations was the introduction of 15 programs to be implemented this year and it includes preparing a three year tourist board budget.

There is more to come from the 106 page report presented last week at the National Tourism Symposium by Managing Director, Gary Brough.

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