#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – March 23, 2020 — The economy of the Turks and Caicos Islands is the second most dependent on tourism in the world. The Turks and Caicos Hotel & Tourism Association represents the majority of businesses and employees in the tourism sector.
The TCHTA and its leadership are hard at work making strategic plans to mitigate the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on employees and the economy.
We are working with the Premier and Governor offering ideas for a strategic custom-tailored financial stimulus package that matches the unique business model of the Turks and Caicos tourism industry. Such a package will be essential for the sector to survive this world-wide unprecedented situation and must include a massive cash injection into the economy.
While there are many unknowns during this global emergency, the priority of the TCHTA and its members is to our thousands of dedicated employees. As the country’s tourism sector moves closer to a zero-revenue situation for an undetermined period, our goal is to promote limited layoffs and opt for salary cuts as a measure to keep funds flowing to as many industry workers as possible, even when closures must occur.
Each property and business will have to make human resource decisions based on their respective current cash-flow position.
For any business, cash on hand and the availability of credit is the most important element of survival when revenue no longer exists. The TCHTA has engaged our partners in the banking sector and is pleased to hear that all banks will be offering some form of payment moratorium to both private and corporate customers. We are hopeful the government will also assist by making credit available to businesses.
The formula to survive for the medium term of six months and then through a longer-term recovery period is for the government, the tourism industry, and employees to share in the hardships it will take to see the country overcome the challenges ahead.
Together we will be successful and restore our tourism industry as strong as ever.
Within the membership, support is being provided with educational materials, webinars and digital forums to ensure members and their staff are properly equipped with the tools and information to practice as safely and carefully as possible to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to protect staff members. Sharing best practices and making acute efforts to preserve normalcy in operations is critical at this time.
As a small country dependent on a single industry, we must look out for one another. We appeal to everyone to be vigilant about your health and safety and that of your families. Additionally, we encourage all Turks and Caicos residents to assist neighbours and allow your actions to be guided by the spirit of caring.
The TCHTA will continue to update and keep our membership and the general public informed and demonstrate leadership for the benefit of all.
TCHTA Press Release