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Turks and Caicos See Major Increase In Visitor Arrivals

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#TurksandCaicos, May 27, 2022 – As the tourism sector continues to rebound, the Turks and Caicos is once again breaking visitor arrival records, with some 138,762 air arrivals and 173,151 cruise arrivals in the first quarter of 2022. The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board is pleased to release the preliminary figures, showing that the destination has seen a major increase in visitor arrivals.

“The tourism industry is poised for a full recovery,” declared Mary Lightbourne, Director of Tourism (Actg), Turks and Caicos Tourist Board. She stated that the first quarter of 2022 has been particularly strong, year on year, in context to the destination revitalising from the decline dealt to the sector by the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two years.”

“We are indeed buoyed by these figures, in particular the month of March, which is critical to our sector,” said Miss Lightbourne. “The first quarter, especially March, is traditionally excellent for winter vacationers, have seen a robust in visitor arrivals, almost paralleling the corresponding month in 2019, which saw the best pre-COVID arrivals for the sector.”

  • Air Arrivals
    The figures, as a close approximation in the measurement of the destination’s tourist arrivals during the beginning of the year 2022, the Turks and Caicos Islands saw an average increase of approximately 33% in stopover arrivals through the Providenciales International Airport and FBOs, growing from the 34,057 stopover arrivals in January 2022 to 44,596 stopover arrivals in February 2022, and 60,109 in March 2022.

The 44,596 stopovers received in February this year was a significant increase of 248% year over year. As the destination received only 12,798 stopover arrivals in February 2021; a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures put in place to contain its diffusion.

When compared to February 2020 and 2019; both periods being pre Covid-19 pandemic. Arrivals declined by 14% and increased by 7% respectively.  The 138,762 stopovers received in the first three months of 2022 were 98% of the 140,791 stopovers received in the first three months of 2019. The U.S. market continues to dominate as the main source market claiming the majority of total visitor arrivals, January through March 2022.

  • Cruise Arrivals
    In December 2021, when the Turks and Caicos reopened its cruise sector, saw total of 25,573 arrivals during that month. Which was 21% of the 117,827 arrivals seen in 2019. The Turks and Caicos Islands then received 173,151 cruise visitors in the first three months of 2022, which was 62% of the 277,280 cruise arrivals received in the same three months of 2019. January welcomed 27 ships with 43,035 cruise visitors, whereas February received 24 ships and 50,148 cruise visitors, with March welcoming 28 ships and 79,968 cruise visitors.

    The US’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention lifted its risk advisory for cruise ship travel in March 2022 – indicating that the public health measures in place on cruise ships are effective and will hopefully influence more cruise passengers.

“These arrival figures are indicative that the Turks and Caicos continue to be a sort after destination. We are indeed on pace to increase our arrivals in the coming weeks and months, welcoming all our guests to our Beautiful by Nature isles,” added Miss Lightbourne.

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UK Passengers to Turks and Caicos Islands Increase as March Sets New Record for Air Arrival

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#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2024 – Experience Turks and Caicos is pleased to report a notable increase in air arrivals from the United Kingdom to the Turks and Caicos Islands, signaling positive developments in our tourism landscape. While the United States continues to lead as our primary tourism source, we are encouraged by the uptick in visitors from the United Kingdom during the initial months of this year.

From January to March 2024, the Turks and Caicos Islands welcomed 3,946* arrivals from the UK and Europe, representing a substantial 105.4% increase compared to the same period in 2023. This rise can largely be attributed to the commencement of Virgin Atlantic’s non-stop flight from Heathrow, London to Providenciales, which commenced operations on November 4th, 2023.

The introduction of twice-weekly flights by both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways has enhanced accessibility, opening up new avenues for exploration within the European market. Data shows growth in arrivals from European nations such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Projections based on ticket purchases indicate that from January to August 2024, we anticipate a total of 8,130 passengers from the UK, reflecting a substantial 54 percent increase year over year. Additionally, France is expected to contribute 761 visitors (a 13 percent increase), followed by Italy with 513 passengers and Germany with 436 passengers, each representing a notable 55 percent increase year over year.

Expressing satisfaction at this development, the Honourable Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism, said: “The increase in UK and European arrivals reflects our concerted efforts to diversify our tourism offerings and expand our reach. We welcome visitors from the UK and beyond to experience the beauty of our islands and the warmth of our hospitality.”

The surge in arrivals from the UK and Europe has contributed to a record-breaking March, with 77,559 air arrivals overall, marking a 15.57% increase over March 2023. Year to date, the islands have welcomed 204,237 air arrivals, demonstrating steady growth.

Complementing the increase in arrivals has been an increase in online search activity from most key markets. There is strong evidence to suggest that these searches are converting into bookings, based on the current and forecasted air passenger arrivals. For US-based travelers, according to Google Flights, the Turks and Caicos Islands is the most searched destination for couples and family vacations and in the top five for solo travelers for Summer 2024.

Arrivals to the Turks and Caicos Islands is projected to remain strong with a 24% year-on-year increase* through August, signaling that the Turks and Caicos Islands tourism industry will remain active throughout the year.

Cruise numbers for March 2024 were the highest for the year so far with 98, 161* passengers, a decrease of 1.88% from March 2023 which saw 100, 047 passengers arriving at the Grand Turk Cruise Centre.

As we navigate these encouraging trends, Experience Turks and Caicos remain steadfast in our commitment to sustainable tourism development and the preservation of our natural and cultural heritage.

*These are provisional figures *Data courtesy Amadeus Destination Insights Report 202

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Crown Land acreage to grow according to ISU progress report

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2024 – Slow but steady is how the ISU is carrying out its mandate to reclaim the 544 acres of illegally occupied land in the Turks and Caicos, revealing that 2.4 percent is now cleared and back under the control of its rightful owners; that 2.4% represents 13.15 acres of the initial 544.46.

In an April 11 newsletter discussing its 2023 year in review, the ISU revealed that at the completion of its mandate, almost half the land would go back to the hands of non-Crown landowners as the Unit is undertaking removals on private land, having been beseeched by the landowners who were dealing with squatters

It is expected that of the 544 acres of land, 11 percent will go back to the government 42 percent will go back to private landowners 45 percent was listed as ‘mixed’ and 2 percent had no clear owner.

Magnetic Media has asked if private owners are covering their own costs when it comes to clearing squatters from their properties.

It would come as no surprise to residents that the vast majority of informal settlements (37) were discovered in Providenciales, another nine were found in Grand Turk and a single settlement in North Caicos.

The Turks and Caicos has the unsavory distinction of being the only UK territory where shanty towns or informal settlements are so firmly established.

It’s not just irregular migrants desperate for a place to call home who are perpetuating the land crisis. Legitimate residents have been found in breach as well according to sources speaking to the news team.

According to the newly minted ISU, here is what will happen if you build on a lot without direction from the Planning Department.

You will be served an eviction notice if your structure is found to be illegally occupying Crown Land.  The ISU says then, you will have one month to secure other accommodation and leave.

If the structure is unoccupied after 28 days, reclamation procedures will commence.

If the structure is occupied, individuals will be evicted before reclamation, the ISU says.

The ISU anticipates that there will be claims against eviction orders and is advising people who wish to contest the notice, visit a Crown Land Unit office.

Those contests came in a flood following eviction notices in November 2023 and the Crown Land Unit is still trying to straighten them out with a promise that residents will be treated fairly.

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‘Incredible Environment’ for Real Estate continues for Turks and Caicos

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 18, 2024 – Tourism and real estate sales continue to boom in the Turks and Caicos Island (TCI), over other Caribbean territories, with sales numbers and pre-construction sales numbers reflecting an incredible environment.

There are hosts of opportunities for new development offerings, some currently under construction and some that are about to announce their plans. A number of the larger parcels of beachfront land in Providenciales will be reshaped into high-end, branded hotels, and residences to keep pace with the seemingly endless demand for investment and vacation properties.

In a report by the Turks & Caicos Sotheby’s International Realty, it states that “our superb tourism offerings continue to attract A-listers from around the globe as seen throughout the social media channels as well as buyers looking for a place to call home amongst the abundant turquoise blue ocean views throughout, the temperate climate, and tranquil laid-back Caribbean atmosphere,” the report said.

It added that the first quarter of this year witnessed another major groundbreaking celebration in Providenciales, by the same developers of The Ritz-Carlton Residences with The St Regis on Grace Bay, as well as the formal public sales launch by Grace Bay Resorts with The Point.

The two new luxury developments have already recorded over 70% (St Regis Tower I of three towers) and 65% (The Point) units sold/reserved. The Loren on Turtle Cove, which broke ground in June 2023, is showing a unit sales production of 52%, and Andaz Turks & Caicos after officially breaking ground last year, is reporting unit sales production at 65%. ARC at South Bank is 50% sold with construction to start in May of this year.

“This new condominium inventory is satiating the overdue demand with buyers who are willing to wait for up to three years for the completion of the resort properties. We are also gaining momentum on some of the boutique new developments, such as Villas at Blue Mountain, with multiple pre-sales which will soon start construction, and The Summit at Blue Mountain, which has strong momentum and is well under construction,” the report further added.

While the pre-construction sales in the Condominium Sector are high and not officially recorded within our TCREA MLS statistics, in this 1st Quarter, the re-sale condominium sales volume was $18M, 25%-65% lower in comparison to the past three years with the average price remaining high at $1.1M which resulted in a $/SF of $1,100 at the luxury end (+$1.5M).

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