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Provo now No. 4 Island; Minister comments

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An investigation has been activated by the Tourism Minister, Porsha Smith into why Providenciales has fallen from being the No. 1 island in the world according to TripAdvisor to now being No. 4.

“Well I mean i’m human and it will cause me to ask the question why, and of course it will spike and investigation as to ensure that we are doing everything in our best efforts.”

Minister Smith is not expressing any anxiety about the drop by three spots though, she told Magnetic Media that the 2016 position for Provo is not worrying her.

“Whilst I don’t believe that our product has lost any of its flavor, I just feel that another three countries have viewed our best practices, and i’m gonna say viewed our best practices and they said we are gonna fight to get number one. I still believe that we are number one, I still as a Minister would like to encourage.”

Magnetic Media pressed her on whether she feels it is harassment or poor service or unclean environment or the cost of the destination which has impacted the standing of Provo.

“The persons working in the tourism and hospitality industry to continue with their best efforts because i think that they are our best resource for us in this country because they keep the market going.”

At No. 1 is Maui, Hawaii; Santorini, Greece is No. 2; Jamaica jumps to No. 3 on the Best Island in the World list and rounding out the top five is Bali, in Indonesia.

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UK Passengers to Turks and Caicos Islands Increase as March Sets New Record for Air Arrival

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#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2024 – Experience Turks and Caicos is pleased to report a notable increase in air arrivals from the United Kingdom to the Turks and Caicos Islands, signaling positive developments in our tourism landscape. While the United States continues to lead as our primary tourism source, we are encouraged by the uptick in visitors from the United Kingdom during the initial months of this year.

From January to March 2024, the Turks and Caicos Islands welcomed 3,946* arrivals from the UK and Europe, representing a substantial 105.4% increase compared to the same period in 2023. This rise can largely be attributed to the commencement of Virgin Atlantic’s non-stop flight from Heathrow, London to Providenciales, which commenced operations on November 4th, 2023.

The introduction of twice-weekly flights by both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways has enhanced accessibility, opening up new avenues for exploration within the European market. Data shows growth in arrivals from European nations such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Projections based on ticket purchases indicate that from January to August 2024, we anticipate a total of 8,130 passengers from the UK, reflecting a substantial 54 percent increase year over year. Additionally, France is expected to contribute 761 visitors (a 13 percent increase), followed by Italy with 513 passengers and Germany with 436 passengers, each representing a notable 55 percent increase year over year.

Expressing satisfaction at this development, the Honourable Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism, said: “The increase in UK and European arrivals reflects our concerted efforts to diversify our tourism offerings and expand our reach. We welcome visitors from the UK and beyond to experience the beauty of our islands and the warmth of our hospitality.”

The surge in arrivals from the UK and Europe has contributed to a record-breaking March, with 77,559 air arrivals overall, marking a 15.57% increase over March 2023. Year to date, the islands have welcomed 204,237 air arrivals, demonstrating steady growth.

Complementing the increase in arrivals has been an increase in online search activity from most key markets. There is strong evidence to suggest that these searches are converting into bookings, based on the current and forecasted air passenger arrivals. For US-based travelers, according to Google Flights, the Turks and Caicos Islands is the most searched destination for couples and family vacations and in the top five for solo travelers for Summer 2024.

Arrivals to the Turks and Caicos Islands is projected to remain strong with a 24% year-on-year increase* through August, signaling that the Turks and Caicos Islands tourism industry will remain active throughout the year.

Cruise numbers for March 2024 were the highest for the year so far with 98, 161* passengers, a decrease of 1.88% from March 2023 which saw 100, 047 passengers arriving at the Grand Turk Cruise Centre.

As we navigate these encouraging trends, Experience Turks and Caicos remain steadfast in our commitment to sustainable tourism development and the preservation of our natural and cultural heritage.

*These are provisional figures *Data courtesy Amadeus Destination Insights Report 202

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Crown Land acreage to grow according to ISU progress report

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2024 – Slow but steady is how the ISU is carrying out its mandate to reclaim the 544 acres of illegally occupied land in the Turks and Caicos, revealing that 2.4 percent is now cleared and back under the control of its rightful owners; that 2.4% represents 13.15 acres of the initial 544.46.

In an April 11 newsletter discussing its 2023 year in review, the ISU revealed that at the completion of its mandate, almost half the land would go back to the hands of non-Crown landowners as the Unit is undertaking removals on private land, having been beseeched by the landowners who were dealing with squatters

It is expected that of the 544 acres of land, 11 percent will go back to the government 42 percent will go back to private landowners 45 percent was listed as ‘mixed’ and 2 percent had no clear owner.

Magnetic Media has asked if private owners are covering their own costs when it comes to clearing squatters from their properties.

It would come as no surprise to residents that the vast majority of informal settlements (37) were discovered in Providenciales, another nine were found in Grand Turk and a single settlement in North Caicos.

The Turks and Caicos has the unsavory distinction of being the only UK territory where shanty towns or informal settlements are so firmly established.

It’s not just irregular migrants desperate for a place to call home who are perpetuating the land crisis. Legitimate residents have been found in breach as well according to sources speaking to the news team.

According to the newly minted ISU, here is what will happen if you build on a lot without direction from the Planning Department.

You will be served an eviction notice if your structure is found to be illegally occupying Crown Land.  The ISU says then, you will have one month to secure other accommodation and leave.

If the structure is unoccupied after 28 days, reclamation procedures will commence.

If the structure is occupied, individuals will be evicted before reclamation, the ISU says.

The ISU anticipates that there will be claims against eviction orders and is advising people who wish to contest the notice, visit a Crown Land Unit office.

Those contests came in a flood following eviction notices in November 2023 and the Crown Land Unit is still trying to straighten them out with a promise that residents will be treated fairly.

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‘Incredible Environment’ for Real Estate continues for Turks and Caicos

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 18, 2024 – Tourism and real estate sales continue to boom in the Turks and Caicos Island (TCI), over other Caribbean territories, with sales numbers and pre-construction sales numbers reflecting an incredible environment.

There are hosts of opportunities for new development offerings, some currently under construction and some that are about to announce their plans. A number of the larger parcels of beachfront land in Providenciales will be reshaped into high-end, branded hotels, and residences to keep pace with the seemingly endless demand for investment and vacation properties.

In a report by the Turks & Caicos Sotheby’s International Realty, it states that “our superb tourism offerings continue to attract A-listers from around the globe as seen throughout the social media channels as well as buyers looking for a place to call home amongst the abundant turquoise blue ocean views throughout, the temperate climate, and tranquil laid-back Caribbean atmosphere,” the report said.

It added that the first quarter of this year witnessed another major groundbreaking celebration in Providenciales, by the same developers of The Ritz-Carlton Residences with The St Regis on Grace Bay, as well as the formal public sales launch by Grace Bay Resorts with The Point.

The two new luxury developments have already recorded over 70% (St Regis Tower I of three towers) and 65% (The Point) units sold/reserved. The Loren on Turtle Cove, which broke ground in June 2023, is showing a unit sales production of 52%, and Andaz Turks & Caicos after officially breaking ground last year, is reporting unit sales production at 65%. ARC at South Bank is 50% sold with construction to start in May of this year.

“This new condominium inventory is satiating the overdue demand with buyers who are willing to wait for up to three years for the completion of the resort properties. We are also gaining momentum on some of the boutique new developments, such as Villas at Blue Mountain, with multiple pre-sales which will soon start construction, and The Summit at Blue Mountain, which has strong momentum and is well under construction,” the report further added.

While the pre-construction sales in the Condominium Sector are high and not officially recorded within our TCREA MLS statistics, in this 1st Quarter, the re-sale condominium sales volume was $18M, 25%-65% lower in comparison to the past three years with the average price remaining high at $1.1M which resulted in a $/SF of $1,100 at the luxury end (+$1.5M).

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