MINISTRY OF TOURISM: Brand Turks and Caicos Is Still Strong

#TurksandCaicos, August 24, 2017 – Providenciales – Contrary to recent reports in the media, the Ministry responsible for Tourism/Turks and Caicos Tourist Board makes it categorically clear that there is no evidence to support that the recent incidents of crime correlated to a decrease in arrivals to the destination.   The Ministry urges the local media and our tourism stakeholders to verify any information before statements are made public as they can adversely affect the industry and our economy.

According to the second quarter arrival data released by the Tourist Board; overall visitor arrival by air and cruise ship increased by 17% or 350,328 when compared to the same period, April to June 2016.

Air arrivals to the destination recorded a slight 2% decrease or 2,655 less visitors through our airports when compared to the same period in 2016. The majority of these 2,655 visitors were from our two largest source markets, the United States and Canada.

The destination has already entered its off-peak season, which runs roughly from mid-April to mid-November.   It is important to note that over the past few years we worked to increase arrivals during this period, although they are not as high as in the traditional peak or winter season.

According to The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), travel to the Caribbean is expected to slow somewhat this year, following a mixed 2016 in which hotel performance was generally down, due to the increase in alternative accommodation arrangements such as Airbnb’s but arrivals from most key markets were up.    While the off-season is the time when potential visitors may find the best package deals, it is also the time when the Caribbean – including the Turks and Caicos Islands, is most likely to record a slight dip in American and Canadian visitors, as they can enjoy nearly similar weather conditions at home.

Several measurable factors may have affected the slight decline in air arrivals; these include, but are not limited to:  The Trump Effect – Americans are choosing to ‘Make America Great Again’ by opting for staycations over international travel.   Travelzoo’s spring 2017 Travel Trends Survey (Feb. 2017), finds that nearly 60% of Americans will travel domestically for their primary vacation this year.    Additionally, according to a recent survey by Skift, (an industry intelligence platform that provides information to sectors of travel), 42% of Americans are not taking a vacation this summer.    American travelers are also showing an interest in long weekends to Europe, with new low-cost carriers like WOW and Norwegian Air, offering the most competitive fares to Europe in recent history – $500 or less.

The Government, Ministry responsible for Tourism and its partners maintains strong interest in emerging trends in all our key markets.   We are optimistic that air arrivals will remain robust throughout the rest of the year, barring any unforeseen event natural or manmade.   The frequency of flights from most major gateways in the U.S. and beyond makes the Turks and Caicos attractive destination including for the last-minute vacation planners.

The Ministry of Tourism, through its public relations efforts is working aggressively to maintain brand TCI in the way we have come to know and love. We assure the travelling public that everything is being done to ensure our sense of security in our destination.

We continue to urge every citizen that we all have a responsibility for sustaining our tourism product, whether it is in keeping your surroundings clean, reporting any criminal activity you may see or know of, and responsible-use of your social media platforms.   Tourism is indeed everyone’s business- Let us all do our part.

Press Release: TCIG

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