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Nearly 50 Flights for Providenciales Int’l Airport on Saturday, Minister Announces CAP to help

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By Deandrea Hamilton

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#TurksandCaicos, March 22, 2024 – Saturday March 23 will very likely be another record setting day in tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands, with nearly 50 flights scheduled to land and take off from the Providenciales International Airport.

Twelve thousand more travellers arrived by air into the Turks and Caicos Islands in the first two months of 2024, and March has so far produced two record setting days with passengers through the Providenciales International surpassing 10,000 on Saturday March 9 and Saturday March 16

Preliminary figures for 2024 have revealed there have been over 11,000 more visitors arriving by air for January and February; a six percent increase in guest arrivals by air for the first month of this year and a 13.3 percent increase over 2023 for February.

The unprecedented performance of the country’s leading industry – Tourism – comes as the prime airport gateway struggles to keep pace with the international demand; proving to be too small for planes and passengers.

Josephine Connolly, the Minister of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands said there are a variety of measures in motion to ensure that this weekend, the airport is ready for the boom.

You could say TCI officials are putting a cap on the issues linked to flight delays and cancellations, which led to over 530 passengers being stranded at the airport during the first half of March.  They are calling the intervention, the Congestion Alleviation Project (CAP).

“For departures, the ongoing Congestion Alleviation Project aims to enhance passenger experience and minimise congestion at the airport while the TCIAA advances the redevelopment project.  This project includes the immediate terminal buildout: Expanded vehicle drop-off area (Completed); Relocation of airline offices (Completed); Second-level security screening (Ongoing); Departure hold room expansion on the second level (Ongoing);In transit passenger screening and holding room (Completed) and Expansion of the departures and boarding gates (Ongoing),” informed Minister Connolly in a statement this week.

The Turks and Caicos Airports Authority has asked for public help in sharing emergency information related to flights; it’s an admission by default, that the PLS is likely to feel strain as it tries to shepherd most of the 47 scheduled commercial flights though a tiny window.

What the TCIAA does not want is passengers waiting for protracted periods of time on their planes.

Minister Connolly shared: “As the Turks and Caicos Islands continue to attract increased visitors, the destination is working to ensure the comfort of our guests as they arrive and depart.

For arrivals, the TCIAA has procured additional tents to provide a protective haven from the elements should the line extend beyond the building and the distribution of chilled bottled water to ensure passengers remain cool during their wait.”

For Saturday, travellers are asked to arrive no more than two hours before their flights and to ensure they are communicating regularly with their air carrier to determine when flights are actually scheduled to leave.

“…the TCIAA has also implemented several initiatives among them the addition of Apron Controllers to closely monitor aircraft parking and turnaround times, aiming to minimise delays through improved communication and aid in faster turnaround times for aircraft parking, and a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) restricting General Aircraft (GA) operations between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm on Saturdays.”

Commercial airlines are getting priority and that makes good sense, as it is the carriers which bring in the larger numbers of passengers and whose flight crews are more susceptible to FAA rules established to prevent over-working pilots.

According to Experience Turks and Caicos, other initiatives to ensure guest comfort at the undersized airport terminal include increased security personnel, strategically positioning hosts to ensure efficient flow in high foot traffic areas and live entertainment to serenade passengers.

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InvestTCI facilitates the Development Agreement Between TCIG and Molo Hotel Group 

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – May 14th, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands Government and Molo Hotel Group reached a pivotal juncture on Monday, May 13th, 2024, with the ceremonial signing of a development agreement at the Premier’s Office on Providenciales. The agreement, which received official Cabinet approval on March 13th, 2024, signifies a steadfast commitment to advancing the economic landscape of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Molo Hotel Group is a family-owned business, renowned for its distinguished portfolio of high-quality hotels worldwide. The development initiative encompasses the construction of three distinct IHG branded hotels: InterContinental Turks and Caicos, Kimpton Turks and Caicos and Hotel Indigo Turks and Caicos. Scheduled for completion by 2027, each resort boasts a distinctive design from luxury to laidback sophistication spanning across the shores of Grace Bay Beach.

Kimpton Turks and Caicos – an epitome of luxury lifestyle living, will feature 192 guest rooms including three outdoor pools, a luxury spa and a fitness center. Additionally, seven dining options ranging from a beachfront restaurant to a rooftop bar.

Adjacent to the Kimpton, InterContinental Turks and Caicos will offer 59 classic luxury suites with panoramic ocean views. Mirroring its counterpart, this resort will offer an array of dining options and upscale facilities.

Steps away from the Intercontinental and Kimpton resorts, Hotel Indigo Turks and Caicos will embrace a sense of community and contemporary elegance, offering 56 bedrooms. The resort will feature an onsite restaurant, lobby bar, outdoor pool, and fitness room.

Beyond the realm of hospitality, this development agreement underscores the government’s commitment to fostering economic growth and enhancing employment opportunities in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Molo is partnering with the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College (TCICC) to actively promote hospitality as a career choice and support in developing training programs, career fairs, seminars, workshops, and events to raise awareness about hospitality careers. Molo has committed to provide employment and apprentice opportunities to TCICC students and provide mentoring and practical on property training to students.

The signing event was graced by Hon. Charles Washington Missick, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Hon. Jamell Robinson, Deputy Premier, Hon. Kyle Knowles, Minister of Public Safety and Utilities, Hon. Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Łukasz and Marcin Slominski, Owners of Molo, Ross Morrow, Managing Director Molo, Arik Kono, Vice President Upscale Development for IHG, Dr. Candice Williams, President and CEO of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, Angela Musgrove, InvestTCI CEO, Dr. Barbara Ambrister, Chairperson of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, Dr. Delores Stapleton- Harris, Vice President of Academic, Vocational and Student Affairs for the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, Mr. Kevin Baxter, Dean of Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) and Sheryl McLaughlin, InvestTCI Investment Services Executive.

Commenting on the development agreement, Premier, Hon. Misick, stated “The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing of IHG/Molo Hotels is a significant step towards a sustainable future for hospitality in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Three hotels, Kimpton, Intercontinental, and Hotel Indigo, will be introduced, enhancing our tourism product and creating employment opportunities.”

He further added, “Partnerships with the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College and Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission are underway, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to developing human capital and elevating tourism offerings. This project will bring economic growth, embrace local talent, and enrich our economy.”

Additionally, Mrs. Angela Musgrove, CEO of Invest Turks and Caicos Islands, emphasized “This collaboration confirms our commitment to fostering economic growth and prosperity within our country. We have worked closely with Molo Hotel Group, and we are confident that this transformative project will further position the Turks and Caicos Islands as a premier destination for travel and investment. Much to our delight, it will also provide opportunities for engagement with our Community College and small business community.”

The Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, operating through its primary Investment Promotion

Agency, Invest Turks and Caicos Islands, remains committed to attracting and facilitating Foreign Direct Investments to the country by providing a comprehensive suite of services. Through strategic initiatives and targeted promotion, the agency catalyzes sustainable development, driving innovation and small business opportunities across various sectors of the economy.

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Crime

Male Charged with Robbery

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#TurksandCaicos, May 13, 2024 – Detectives of the Serious Crime Unit of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force have charged a man who allegedly stole a vehicle.

The accused, DANVANTE  BRISCO, 30,  of  Kew Town, Providenciales, was charged with:

  • One Count: Robbery
  • One Count: Taking Motor Vehicle Without Authority
  • One Count: Using Offensive Weapon to cause fear

Mr. BRISCO appeared in court today (May 13 ) and was granted bail of $7500.00 with one surety.

The matter was adjourned to July 05 for a Sufficiency Hearing.

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Crime

Dock Yard Male Charged  

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#TurksandCaicos, May 13, 2024 – A 20-year-old Dock Yard male appeared in court today (May 13th) charged with a series of firearm-related offences.

The accused, JAMES SIMON, was denied bail and remanded into custody pending a Sufficiency Hearing scheduled for July 05th, 2024.

Mr. SIMON faces the following charges: 

  • One Count: Robbery;
  • One Count: Gang Membership
  • One Count: Possession of a Firearm for the Benefit of a Gang
  • One Count: Possession of Ammunition for the Benefit of a Gang.

The charges against Mr. Simon followed investigations by officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force into a robbery at the parking lot of a Casino where three males robbed a victim.

Additionally, Mr. Simon is charged with the following offences, having been arrested on May 02nd, 2024, along South Dock Road.

  • One Count: Possession of a Firearm
  • One Count: Possession of Ammunition
  • One Count: Unlawful Entry

Officers also charged a teenage minor who was in the company of  Mr. Simon on May 02nd with One Count of UNLAWFUL ENTRY. 

The accused, seventeen and from Kew Town, Providenciales, pleaded guilty and will be sentenced on May 20th.

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