TCI News

TCI: Beaches Resort matter to make House of Assembly meeting today

#Providenciales, March 4, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Premier Sharlene Robinson, in a press conference last month responded to questions about the impending 2021 indefinite closure of the country’s largest resort and largest private sector employer – Beaches Resort Villages and Spa – with an announcement that Beaches would likely be discussed during House of Assembly debate; that debate is scheduled for today, Monday March 4, 2019.

An interesting perspective was presented in a Letter to the Editor from Jeremy Jones, Corporate Services Director of Sandals Resorts International, and we share an excerpt…

“During the 23 years since arrival, the resort’s socio-economic impact stands as a case study which would provide a great research paper for any university student’s Doctoral dissertation. But this is not an academic paper. This is the living, breathing experience of over 2,000 team members who are directly impacted by its economic influx. Beyond them are thousands more within the community – craft vendors, taxi operators, entertainers, tour providers, whose growth is intrinsically connected with the growth of the resort itself, allowing them and their families to benefit from the linkages in the economy. A rising tide after all, lifts all ships.

But these community ties are not new. On this my most recent visit I was picked up by a Beaches driver named Scottie who reminded me of when he worked as a customs officer at the airport in the early 2000s. Back then, we were landing four charter flights on a Saturday and two on a Sunday.

For those of you who can recall the airport was about a quarter of the size it is now and there was only one scheduled American Airlines flight that serviced the destination.  Those additional charter flights and the need to check in and out 300 plus rooms on a Saturday and another 100 plus on a Sunday, with the inherent guest transportation and lost luggage issues became a part of daily life and brought the resort team, the immigration, customs and airport officials all closer together.

Today there are 15 flights a day originating North America and UK tied to the demand for Beaches, but which also benefit other local resorts and businesses; you can see the impact of that everywhere. As I drive around Chalk Sound and Leeward where I lived during my time here, I see more houses and homes being built. I have watched the transformation on Grace Bay with real estate and high-end retail outlets bustling with business; the Millennium highway provides access to housing developments and even Bugaloos Conch Crawl has had a complete makeover.

Many Belongers have benefitted from exposure to the Beaches tourism experience and are now independent entrepreneurs with their own restaurants, bars and service organizations. Many of the taxi drivers and tour providers have been able to expand their fleet and offerings.  The prosperity and improved quality of life on the island fueled by the economic injection of the tourism dollar is everywhere.

Anyone who would deny that the success of Beaches Turks and Caicos and the Turks and Caicos Islands are intimately linked is being disingenuous. We are proud to be the leading corporate citizens in TCI for the past 22 years.”





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