#TurksandCaicos, June 16, 2021 – Laser focus is on reviving the economy of Grand Turk, said Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands in a 100-Day progress report, and the attention is warranted as Grand Turk remains on dry dock as no ships have docked at the port in over 15-months.
Cruising was severely impacted as global tourism and travel plummeted. It is estimated the blow to the cruise industry was a revenue loss of $50 billion dollars and some 1.17 million jobs vanished amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic. This month, cruise ships began to fan out in the Americas; some from freshly established home ports and all with extremely watchful eyes.
Grand Turk has not yet reopened to cruise ships but when it does, the Hon. Washington Misick has forecast it will be a bodacious boom.
“…for those listening in from Grand Turk, I think you will have a booming high season towards the end of 2021-2022.”
The prognosis followed several strategic announcements including that Government is in serious talks with two major cruise companies in the Americas.
“I can report that over the last four weeks, we’ve had three meetings with Carnival, said Premier Misick on June 2, “…negotiations are going well and we expect that between now and the end of the summer, certainly not later than October that Carnival will be back in Grand Turk. Carnival will be investing an additional $16 to $18 million in expanding the dock facilities out there and will be coming in with larger, newer ships. We are working closely with them to make sure the experience of their guests and the benefits to the vendors are what it should be.”
Premier and Finance Minister Washington Misick divulged there was a fourth meeting set for the same day and within the month, a tour of Grand Turk
“On the 17th of June, we will be having a walk about in Grand Turk to identify projects from the Carnival infrastructure fund; $8.5 million dollars available to see what we can do to improve the visual environment and to get ready to get Grand Turk open and ready for the high season.”
More millions will be invested into Grand Turk by the TCI Government as well.
“We have $4 million in the Budget that we intend to spend on that venture in 2020-2021; it may be early as well, but I can say to you today, that as we speak we are having negotiations with Royal Caribbean (Cruise Line) and it looks very positive that between now and the end of the summer that we will have them calling into the town area of Grand Turk.”
The news has created a buzz in the country’s capital. A town meeting is organized for 7 p.m. at Parade Grounds on Thursday June 17 as well. Grand Turk residents will have an opportunity to hear from Government and perhaps Carnival officials. These Executives, will also be able to field questions from residents who are not only beneficiaries but partners.
Grand Turk in 2019 welcomed 1,111,818 cruise visitors; current plans are positioning Grand Turk to surpass that figure.