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Turks and Caicos in RECESSION; GDP to decline by $272.8 million



Magnetic Media photo of Grace Bay Road restaurant & bar with plans to reopen October 15

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – October 2, 2020 – The Turks and Caicos is now officially in a recession; it is another suffocating symptom of the coronavirus pandemic and to think, only slight inroads have been made by the World Health Organization in the effort to unravel who and what unleashed this mammoth of a crisis on the planet.

In a normal year, the Turks and Caicos Islands would have been hundreds of millions of dollars richer. 

In this year, the ‘Unprecedented and Unpredictable Year 2020’, Sharlene Robinson who is Premier and Finance Minister of the UK overseas territory, has had to make a starkly different announcement about country earnings and the direct and trickle down effects due to the crushing impact on our leading industry:  Tourism.

Hon Sharlene Robinson, TCI Premier & Minister of Finance

“The trigger point for a recession is usually two consecutive quarters of negative growth. All indications are that, despite having to go on lockdown at the end of March, the country experienced economic growth in the first quarter of this year. The second quarter, undoubtedly because of the necessary restrictions which had to be imposed, saw minimal activity and even though the level of activity in this quarter was more than the activity in the second quarter, when compared with the level of activity during the third quarter of last year, we are heading towards a second quarter of negative growth. Hence we can conclude that this economy is heading towards a recession,” said the Premier on September 10 in a national press conference held at the Office of the Premier in Providenciales.

That second quarter ended on September 30 for the TCI. 

It means the Turks and Caicos is now officially two days into a recession and that translates into deep losses for this once burgeoning archipelago, which expected the economy to grow in 2020 by 5.4 percent. 

Tourism contracted by 53 percent.

Providenciales International Airport, PLS outfitted for reopening of the borders which took place on July 22

“In constant market prices it is forecast to decline from $303 million to 142.4 million or by $160.6 million,” informed Premier Robinson when Magnetic Media requested a dollar figure on the whopping shrinkage made known in her presentation early last month.

Overall, the Turks and Caicos Islands economy is forecast to contract by over 26 percent or $204.7 million.

Premier Robinson advised that GDP will “decline from US$ 1.2 Billion to US$ 924.6 million or by $272.8 million.”

During a House of Assembly meeting on August 17, Opposition Leader Washington Misick condemned the PDM Administration’s handling of the pandemic and surmised the country was facing a “deep recession.”

“The PDM does not understand what it will take to reverse the trend of this pandemic, nor the political will to try. They failed to take the measures needed between March 28th and July 22nd to put the needed resources behind the potential prevention and control of a surge of COVID-19 cases after the opening of the border and the resumption of business operations. They did not make the investment to acquire, train and undertake mass testing before the full relaxation of restrictive measures. What we should be looking at today is a reprioritisation of the budget focused on reversing the COVID-19 trend instead we are asked to approve reallocation of funding for a political agenda,” said Misick in his rebuttal of the Supplementary Appropriation Bill.

Hon Washington Misick, TCI Opposition Leader (file photo)

Washington Misick described the economy as being on “life-support” and the tourism industry as running “on fumes”.

And the future for travel and tourism is not looking bright. 

An ominous ‘third wave’ of the highly infectious virus is sweeping the planet and the COVID-19 death toll has surpassed one million. 

This confluence of crises is reviving extreme restrictions, extending barriers to travel and prompting unimagined measures to stem the flow and stop the spread of COVID-19.

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, on Monday signed an executive order which requires New Yorkers to quarantine for 14-days upon return from any country which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has listed at Level 2 or Level 3. 

The Turks and Caicos, has since August 6, been charted as ‘Level 3: Reconsider Travel’.

“The east coast, and particularly New York, is a major gateway for visitors to our destination. Additionally, the USA market as of 2019 accounted for 82% of air arrivals to the Turks and Caicos Islands.  Consequently, the Tourist Board and Ministry of Tourism have taken actionable steps in response to this decision. The Tourist Board, has reached out directly to New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office and the Ministry of Tourism is working closely with the Ministry of Health to address the CDC’s categorization of Turks and Caicos as a level 3 country, said the Ministry of Tourism and the TCI Tourist Board on October 1 in a joint press statement.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo holds Coronavirus briefing. Dr Howard Zucker Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

It may be a fight in futility though, as the Turks and Caicos has faced this ‘Coronavirus Blacklisting’ before.  The United Kingdom, despite TCI being one of its overseas territories, has since August made quarantine mandatory for 14 days for anyone travelling from these islands.

Income from cruise ship travel is sunk. The CDCs ‘No Sail Order’, just hours before it was due to expire on September 30 is now extended until October 31, 2020.

Grand Turk, the cruise hub of the Turks and Caicos welcomed over 1 million cruise visitors each year but has not seen a ship in port since March.

Premier Robinson in her September 10 address announced budget reallocations to support an extended stimulus package to the tune of $5 million. 

TCI Cabinet meets; file photo pre-COVID-19

A food assistance program, a new round of stimulus payouts which would include ground transportation operators and for the first time, the National Insurance Board would financially support its contributors falling into unemployment or underemployment.

“Throughout this pandemic, TCIG has seen many policy shifts within its budget. To date, it is estimated that TCIG has paid out over $15.3m in expenses relating to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Premier.

The country awaits, however, activation of the new $5 million stimulus payout scheme. Details were promised for mid-September but to date government has been silent on when these funds will manifest for a people who have been in recession long before now and who fear the worst is yet to come.

Caribbean News

Wal Registre’s Impressive Rise at BTC



PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands: When Wal Registre started his career at Beaches Turks and Caicos (BTC) on October 25, 1997 as a bartender, little did he know that 25 years after, he would have risen to the post of payroll administrator within the same organisation.

The Raymond Gardiner High School graduate was always good at accounting and mathematics and had the dream of excelling in the hospitality industry in an area that would best fit his passion and academic strength.

Having been promoted to bar supervisor in 1999, Wal’s vision for growth was still active as he recognised that being a team member at Beaches Turks and Caicos would allow him to excel beyond his comfort zone. Following the completion of a number of courses with the Sandals Corporate University (SCU), he transitioned to the Cost Control unit in the Accounting Department as the cost control clerk.

Wal pointed out that his ability to grow within the company was largely due to his commitment to excellence. The SCU courses that were offered gave him the added training needed to build on what he was able to learn on the job and from his mentors.

“At BTC, training is very important to each employee. There are many opportunities for professional development and with the guidance from the Learning and Development team, and the leaders within the company, team members can truly grow,” Registre added.

One of Wal’s colleagues, Janet King, noted, “Wal’s commitment serves as an example to every team member here. His ability to grow from an entry level position to where he is now shows that everyone can succeed once they put their minds to it.”

While expressing his commitment to his profession, Wal’s dedication and discipline are traits that he values and chooses to pass on to those he leads. In sharing his advice to younger professionals seeking to enter the industry, he noted, “this organisation believes in quality work life balance that will allow each team member valuable time with family. This period helps me to maintain a bond with my family and explore the world. Training within this company is available for everyone and the ability to grow professionally is dependent on each person having the right attitude to grow.”


Release: BTC

Photo Captions

Header:Wal Registre, Payroll Administrator at Beaches Turks and Caicos makes final checks as he goes through documents at his desk at the resort

Insert: Anna Francis, Accountant in the Finance department at Beaches Turks and Caicos and Wal Registre, Payroll Administrator at the resort pause from discussing work related items to smile for the camera

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Caribbean News

Special Needs Unit Students at Thelma Lightbourne Primary School recognised by BTC



PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands –  Parents and students from the Special Education Unit at the Thelma Lightbourne Primary School were recently recognized by the Beaches Turks and Caicos team during a special session at the institution as part of autism awareness activities.

Children’s Activities Manager Fedeline Julien shared, “educating students, parents, teachers and other adults about the best practices of dealing with children with autism is needed especially in our homes and schools. Children who are autistic do things differently and should be treated with patience and care.”

Robin Cox Foster, principal of the school said, “the partnership between Beaches Turks and Caicos and our school is always welcome. As the only resort on island that is an autism certified centre, they were readily available to share with our students and their parents. The involvement of the Sesame Street character, the presentations from the Kids Camp team to the parents allowed those present to appreciate their roles in being change agents for autism.”

Caring for a child with special needs was highlighted as an opportunity to create a closer bond between child and parent/caregivers.

Walter Moore, who has a son on the spectrum shared, “being able to deal with the many challenges of a special needs child will assist parents in being more patient and creative in how they care for a child. My son and I are best friends. He is comfortable talking with me about anything and I have to learn how to respect his likes and dislikes and create an environment that makes him happy.”

Beaches Turks and Caicos’ Kids Camp is an Advanced Certified Autism Centre which ensures that team members have the required knowledge, skills, temperament, and expertise to cater to all children. The resort offers age-specific programmes for infants, toddlers, pre-teens and teens.


Release: BTC


Photo Captions:

Header: Tanya Swann (left), Director of Sales, Groups and Conventions at Beaches Turks and Caicos introduces the team of volunteers who were present while Robin Cox-Foster, school principal looks on

1st Insert: Walter Moore (left) Beaches Turks and Caicos team member shares a moment with his son (right) and Sesame Street character Sesame Street

2nd Insert: Some members of the Beaches Turks and Caicos Sandals Foundation team share a moment at the Thelma Lightbourne Primary School during a presentation to the institution

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#TurksandCaicos, June 2, 2023 – The Ministry of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development in collaboration with the Water Undertaking, Ministry of Home Affairs would like to advise the Public of the closure on the intersection of Airport Road and Osbourne Road area as part of the on-going Pipe Laying project on Grand Turk. The works are expected to last not exceeding 24 hours. The road will be closed for traffic during the period of June 03, 2023 from 7:00 Am to 7:00 PM.

Alternative re-route:

  • Vehicles heading North bound, turn right to Osbourne and turn Left to Barrack Hill Road.
  • Vehicles heading South bound, turn right to Ponce de Leon Street and turn left to Palm Grove Drive






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