Caribbean News

Major TCI Tourism Update from Minister & Directer, Southwest Airlines still coming Nov 5

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – October 20, 2017 – The Government Administration has approved a near $200,000 public relations budget for the TCI Tourist Board and Ministry of Tourism to use as it canvasses major markets with the message that the Turks and Caicos is ‘open for business’ following the September hurricanes.

The Minister of Tourism on Thursday announced that by mid-December the Turks and Caicos luxury tourism brand should be completely ready. Tourism Minister Ralph Higgs and Tourist Board Director, Ramon Andrews teamed up for local media yesterday to update on the strategy, to talk about the impact of recent travel blitzes and to report on the state of the tourism industry, which is number one for the TCI.

The campaign, said Minister Higgs, will run 90 to 100 days, he added that funds were immediately made available so that on the ground, face to face encounters could happen. And they are happening, over the weekend the Turks and Caicos was well represented at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s State of the Industry conference held in Grenada and the week before, a contingent was in New York City.

The Minister, who also heads up culture and maritime confirmed that there have been meetings with more than the hotels and resorts; he said there have been significant sessions with tourism service providers including tour operators. The report is that everyone will be ready, that everyone is eager to serve.

#GrandTurkCruiseCenter begins taking cruise ships on November 1st and on November 5th, as scheduled, #SouthwestAirlines will touch down at the Providenciales International Airport with its inaugural flight from Ft Lauderdale – bringing added airlift from South Florida.

When it comes to the main draw of these islands, our environment and coasts; the Minister said there have been assessments with help from overseas experts. The result is an ‘optimistic’ outlook for the natural beauty of TCI including its coral reefs.

The report to media (and by extension the general public) revealed that resorts are agreed to update the Minister weekly on their booking trends, and the latest info is bookings are ‘returning.’

Tourist Board Director, Ramon Andrews said that fact is due in large part to explanations by the Board, the Ministry and the Hotel and Tourism Association which are clarifying to the marketplace that the Turks and Caicos is not the British Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico or Barbuda or Dominica, where storm damages were tragically so much more severe.

Andrews said Thanksgiving will be ‘soft’, but that early next year during the winter season, it will be big and he urged the tourism sector and its professionals to ‘brace for it’.

As for whether or not festivals which thrill every final quarter of the year, including the Caribbean Food and Wine Festival, the Conch Festival and Maskanoo will happen – the duo said ‘Yes, they are all still on!’

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