#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – July 25, 2020 — Following the announcement that Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages and Spa will reopen on October 14th 2020, we note that there has been some concern expressed.
In particular we acknowledge the comments of fellow hotelier Armando Pizzuti, Executive Vice President of the Turks and Caicos Collection, who, while happy to see a fixed date, was worried about the potential fallout for the economy in the interim. Mr. Pizzuti said his concerns were based on the fact that Beaches was the anchor resort of the TCI, accounting for the vast majority of incoming seats, and that the destination needed the extensive marketing and advertising reach of Beaches to ‘put the Turks and Caicos back on the map.’
Mr. Pizzuti’s remarks about the importance of Beaches TCI to the sector was further emphasised by CEO of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association Stacy Cox, as well as Chairperson of the Tourist Board Adelphine Pitter.
We wish to thank all parties for their support and to assure them that we have taken heed of all the comments, coming as they have come from persons who are such key players in the TCI tourism and hospitality sector. We therefore feel compelled to offer some clarification on the matter.
The recent standstill brought about by the COVID pandemic has created an unprecedented situation, the likes of which the travel industry has never faced before. The announced reopening date was arrived at using the best available information we had to direct our planning. Therefore even as we join with our various partners throughout the Caribbean in taking bold steps to get the tourism sector up and running, there are some realities that cannot be ignored.
As pointed out by General Manager of Beaches Turks and Caicos James McAnally, this announcement is an important signal for the airlines to once more start including the TCI in their planned schedules, however the fact remains that operators will not fly to a destination without very good load factors. A key priority therefore is to ensure we get enough guest bookings so that the carriers will be convinced to recommence their schedules. That will take time and an extensive and expensive marketing and promotional effort.
Separate and apart from the marketing and promotional push, there are other factors that have to be considered and the reality is that any return to normalcy will take a time. The challenges inherent in the COVID testing requirements for instance continue to make it all the more difficult. The current system of testing still results in long lines, and long waits before persons can get results. This can become even more challenging for families travelling with children. We hope and look forward to an improved system in the near future or else there will always be a struggle to get decent occupancy levels any time soon.
The people of the TCI can rest assured however that we have always been a strong and solid partner, and we have identified what we feel is the most realistic date for reopening which is still well ahead of the busy Christmas season.
In the interim we have established one of the most highly rated set of safety measures in the world with our Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness. We were encouraged to hear that following our announcement Mr. Pizzuti is also now able to plan for his reopening, which will also redound to the benefit of the entire sector.
Press Release issued July 25, 2020