#TurksandCaicos, April 27, 2021 – Turks and Caicos Islands will continue with a ban on all cruises until sometime in August this year to give time for monitoring and compliance with the latest CDC guidelines prescribed to curb the spread of the Covid-19.
Even though the tourism industry was gradually opened in July 2020, the country’s economy is still on a path to recovery as the number of tourists increase. The reopening of the airport borders for international travellers ushered in a renewed hope of speedy economic recovery. However, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ban on the cruise business prolonged the widest possible recovery plans.
The ban has had significant ramifications on the economy of Grand Turk; particularly the blue economy.
With the loss of thousands of tourists received in the Islands every month, local businesses that solely rely on the tourism and hospitality sector are on the flip side due to the deficit created by the ban on cruise ships.
Since the US is one of the major markets for the TCI tourism industry, the suspension of cruises until August 2021 means Grand Turk is crawling toward its recuperation; a stark contrast to Providenciales which is on a steady pace toward pre-Covid tourism arrival levels.
Over the past four weeks, Providenciales-based resorts have been receiving calls from US based tourists due to the ramped-up vaccination efforts and eased restrictions.
The CDC conditional cruise guidelines have been met with contentions as the US cruise lines call for removing the conditional sailing order, terming them unnecessary and “unworkable.”
At least three cruise line companies have moved their home ports to destinations in the Caribbean, including Royal Caribbean, Viking Cruises and Norwegian Cruise line.
The last cruise ship left the Grand Turk Cruise Center in March 2020; some 13 months ago.