#TurksandCaicos, May 5, 2021 – The Cruise Steering Committee and the Ministry of Tourism under the patronage of the Hon. Charles W. Misick, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) hosted a daylong high-level discussion on the Grand Turk Master Plan and the way forward, in particular as it relates to the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG)/Carnival Infrastructure Fund. The master plan provides an adaptable blueprint to control, coordinate, and direct change on the island that comes from development and improvements to infrastructure. This plan integrates with the vision and planning initiatives improved lifestyle and preservation of the island’s cultural and natural heritage.
Premier Misick was joined by Hon. E. Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health; Hon. Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism; Hon. Akiera Missick, Minister of Infrastructure; Hon. Otis Morris, Minister of Home Affairs; and the Hon. Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration. Other attendees included members of the House of Assembly headed by the Hon. Speaker, Hon. Gordon, Permanent Secretaries and support team along with the Cruise Steering Committee with others joining virtually. Issues pertinent to the holistic enhancement of Grand Turk were discussed and not limited to cruise tourism.
Sessions were facilitated by Permanent Secretary, Cheryl Ann Jones and Tourism Risk Manager, Mr. Brian Been of the Ministry of Tourism alongside Infrastructure Officer, Mr. Bradley Coalbrooke. Partners such as the Grand Turk Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Services Providers and others discussed the prioritization of high impact projects for Grand Turk and TCIG’s commitment to providing a unique and high-quality environment on Grand Turk.
Mrs. Cheryl Ann Jones, stated; “this session is evident of the Ministry of Tourism’s commitment, ensuring an integrated approach is taken with clear goals and objectives that are measurable. She further commented, ‘that the plan is a live document, we will all benefit from in the long-term but must ensure planning and policy is reflective of sustainability; whilst being proactive.”
In solidifying the partnership, the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Josephine Connelly stated her ministry’s commitment to the initiative and thanked all participants for their support since the start of the programme in 2016. She expressed gratitude to organizers for guidance in hosting the session and said this project will surely benefit the TCI in general and Grand Turk in particular from a development standpoint.
Premier Misick stated that God has been good to us. And we must use the opportunity to leverage development especially as it relates to the rich, architectural history of the country and align it with the good ratings the country receives. He stressed that there is a need to focus on product development. With corridors in now economically depressed communities holding immense historical wealth such as Middle Street there is a huge opportunity to convert this into potentially millions of dollars in sustainable livelihoods, thus creating a paradigm shift.
These areas are posed to be great tourism clusters, with buildings such as the Old Constabulary being converted in art houses and museums. Sustainability will monetize these areas but a collective decision-making approach is needed to accomplish such. The focus is to preserve what we have and enhance it through incentives, whilst having a community tourism approach where everybody benefits.