#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – October 21, 2020 – Since the reopening of the Turks and Caicos to international travel, opening day for the country’s largest employer and taxpayer has been a standout concern for many with the resort accounting for approximately 70% of long-stay visitor arrivals to Providenciales.
Airlift demand is highly dependent on its reopening and, sadly, other large properties have consequently delayed their re-openings. For those who have reopened their doors, small amounts of rooms are filled. This, in turn, means a damning plight for the approximately 13,000 individuals employed by the hospitality industry.
Taxis remain off-line, a torrent of layoffs has been experienced, restaurants have opted to close their doors, and local musicians and craft vendors whose livelihoods are completely dependent on the local tourism industry have not earned anything in months. The vitality of the local industry hinges on the reopening of this property, and its continued closure translates to devastating fallout for the overall economy in Turks and Caicos. Turks and Caicos Islanders are ready to get back to work and be afforded the opportunity to adequately care for their families and households.
The effects of this unfortunate situation have the potential to be far-reaching. At an extremely fragile time where all Caribbean countries are fighting for the rebounding of their tourism product, travel partner confidence is essential. Unfortunately, this can be quickly lost with our partners, with frustrations being felt by those working diligently to sell Turks and Caicos to a limited market, only to have to manage cancellations with no real answers to provide to travelers.
The TCHTA is gravely concerned with the negative impact this may have, and fears that interest in the destination will wane as travelers’ attention is poached by destinations whose product is more accessible.
The Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association remains dedicated to the achievement of sustainable growth in tourism for the benefit of our members and the entire Turks and Caicos community. As such, the association is calling for an urgent resolution to this critical matter, and extend our unwavering support to all parties, offering any assistance we can provide.
A valued, long-standing member of the TCHTA, Beaches Resort’s importance to the local economy and the tourism industry is undeniable. Over the years, Beaches has been an exceptional community partner, giving invaluable support through youth and mentorship programs, their marine conservation and protection efforts, their iCare program, direct support to local schools, and the much-needed support provided during times of crisis. Management has stated they remain confident that the matter can be brought to closure by month’s end and has emphasized that their commitment to the people and communities of Turks and Caicos has not waivered.
The TCHTA is not party to the details of the underpinnings of these legal issues and stands free from favor toward either side. The settling of this matter in an amicable way is paramount to the health and success of the industry and the economy, and we lend our full support to that end.
These past months have certainly brought with them challenges to the tourism sector and to the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Through the collaborative efforts of TCHTA members and our partnership with the Government, we have made great strides in providing safe and sustainable responses to this global challenge, and are proud of programs like TCI Safe which have proven to yield continued confidence in the strength of brand TCI alongside TCIG’s robust protocols.
Turks and Caicos tourism is now seeing light at the end of the tunnel. At a time where many will seek to enjoy the upcoming season basking in the beauty of our shores, we encourage all parties involved to move to resolve this matter with expedience, and we are ready to help in whatever way possible.
PRESS RELEASE, the Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association