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TCI sees 54% jump in European Visitors reveals first Quarter report

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Dana Malcolm 
Staff Writer

The Ministry of Tourism is recouping its investment in European advertising as the country is seeing a marked increase in interest from visitors from that continent, according to the Ministry’s Quarterly Report shared with media on Friday, April 5.

Ticket purchases from the UK between January to August 2024 have increased by 54 percent, or over 2,800 more passengers. Nearly every other European destination also recorded upticks.

France is expected to contribute 761  visitors, a 13 percent increase,followed by Italy with  513  passengers (a slight decrease of 11 percent), and Germany, with 436 passengers, a jump of 55 percent.

Other areas with increases were Switzerland, Ireland, Spain, The Netherlands, Iceland, Czechia, Denmark, and Poland. Only Belgium and Italy recorded downturns.

The TCI has a foothold in North America, with the majority of its overnight guests coming in from the US, where direct flights are abundant, and Canada. The local government has expressed serious interest in breaking into the luxury tourism market in Europe.

Reflecting the increase more and more visitors are coming by air already,
“In January, we witnessed a substantial increase,  with  689  flights—an impressive  3.5%  rise compared to the same period in the previous year.  February continued this trend, with 666 commercial flights, marking a remarkable 15% year-over-year increase.  March further solidified this growth pattern, boasting 761 commercial flights, showcasing a commendable  16%  year-over-year surge,” the ministry explained.

By the end of 2024, the country is expecting to welcome 7420 flights which would be a  4.4%  increase over 2023. Whether it is ready for those numbers to pass through its beleaguered airport is another matter as travellers constantly complain about the congestion.

In an attempt to plan for this boom and its effect, a Tourism Capacity Carrying Study is also ongoing. The study will predict what the next 10 years in the Turks and Caicos will look like regarding tourism and how it may affect local life.

Using data from various sources to generate new insights, the study is supposed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of the industry on the country.

Three models were developed for the three clear geographical areas where tourists are concentrated: Providenciales, Grand Turk and the  Other  Islands  (North Caicos, Middle Caicos, South Caicos and Salt Cay).

Each model had specific targets.

In Providenciales, the focus will be on providing affordable housing for workers, sustainable urbanization of the destination, enhancement of regulations about the short-term rental of apartments, and houses in the tourism sector plus land use, particularly about tourism infrastructures and facilities.

For Grand Turk, the cruise capital, with little stayover capacity, the important areas are the preservation of the cultural heritage, housing and tourism infrastructures and land use.
“The aim is to ensure that the cultural heritage of the island is not compromised by population growth and tourism development,” the MoT said.

Finally for the ‘Other Islands’ emphasis is placed on managing human impact on natural resources, the provision of desalination plants, and protecting the flora and fauna.

The capacity carrying report will be provided to the public when complete.

TCI News

Orlando Mother Remanded for Bullet possession in Turks and Caicos

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Wilkie Arthur and Deandrea Hamilton 

Editorial staff

 

Remanded until July, but her attorney Leanna Brooks-Campbell is likely to make application for bail as the matter is now transfered to the Supreme Court.

American tourist from Orlando, Florida Shanita Shinee Grier, 45, who was arrested Monday, after two bullets were allegedly found in her baggage is the newest defendant facing the stiff penalties associated with breaching the Turks & Caicos Firearms Ordinance.

Grier was exiting TCI at the Providenciales International Airport with her daughter when the ammunition was detected, ending her Mother’s Day trip to the islands on an unexpectedly sour note.

Today, the chief magistrate remanded her to prison until July 5, 2024, however that can change.

She is facing charges of unlawful possession of ammunition; a crime punishable with a minimum 12 year sentence except in the case of a judge ruling that the case falls in the category of “exceptional.”

Then, and only then would it warrant a different sentence by a judge.

Support for the Floridian was impressive; Bryan Hagerich and Ryan Watson and their relatives filled the Magistrate’s Court on Old Airport Road informs Court Correspondent, Wilkie Arthur.

It was a show of patriotic solidarity on an issue which has elicited emotive views on all sides for Americans who are hoping to prove they were tourists on holiday and nothing more.

Bryan Hagerich of Pennsylvanian and Ryan Watson of Oklahoma also charged in two separate instances for being in possession of ammunition while wrapping up their TCI vacations in April and May respectively.

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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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TCI News

AMERICAN MOTHER AND DAUGHTER ALLEGEDLY ARRESTED FOR TWO BULLETS

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Deandrea Hamilton and Wilkie Arthur

Editorial Staff

 

A DAUGHTER reportedly brought her mother to the Turks and Caicos for Mother’s Day, and both were allegedly arrested, leaving the Turks and Caicos Islands today (Monday 13th, May,2024).

Officials say they were found with two rounds of ammunition in their luggage.

Police have confirmed the arrest to Magnetic Media after inquiries.

Turks & Caicos residents are already reacting to this latest report, “dumbfounded” by the mistake which keeps being repeated despite all of the high profile attention the matter has received in leading news organizations and the warning the US Embassy has issued. There is also the well publicized stance of the TCI Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions that these individuals must be punished according to the law.

In this newest case, the daughter was released, and the mother remains in police custody pending charge and court appearance later this week.

Police inform they will update soon.

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