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TCI sees large tourism surge

Posted by Vernica Delancy on October 14, 2011
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Here is an article courtesy of the Turks & Caicos Weekly news dated 14 October 2011.

TCI enjoyed an 18 per cent rise in long-stay visitors during the first half of this year – compared to 2010 – bucking the trend for the region.

The country is one of few in the Caribbean to boast a double digit increase in tourist numbers for the past two years.
Extra flights from New York, Boston and Newark are said to be largely responsible for the surge between January 1 and June 30.
For the first six months of 2011, the islands welcomed in 222,596 visitors, compared to 188,493 during the same period last year.
Most holidaymakers continue to hail from the US. The TCI attracted an extra 23 per cent American vacationers.
The Canadian market has also grown by five per cent, likely due to additional direct flights from the major cities of Toronto and Montreal.

In February 2012, the islands will welcome another inaugural flight from Halifax on the east coast of Canada. This new direct weekly Thursday service is expected to boost visitor numbers further still.

Grand Turk’s cruise centre continues to break records for arrivals. A total of 189 ships, carrying 369,695 passengers, docked in the capital island during the first half of 2011.

That’s more than a 10 per cent hike on January to June 2010 when 334,584 people visited.
This November, cruise centre bosses are bracing themselves for the arrival of one of the largest ships in the world, Carnival Magic.
Director of tourism Ralph Higgs said: “The Turks and Caicos star continues to shine in the region and the evidence is our sound arrival numbers.

“We are encouraged by these numbers and excited about the upcoming 2011/2012 season.”
He said healthy visitor numbers were beneficial to the country’s overall economy.

“These are positive signs coming out of TCI tourism; we urge residents and locals businesses to explore and embrace all the opportunities associated with the tourism industry.”

Meanwhile the Tourist Board and members of the Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) have been touting the islands’ attractions across the north-east US during a recent sales blitz.

Properties represented during a week of meetings were Amanyara, Parrot Cay, Point Grace, the Regent Grand, Villa Renaissance, Comfort Suites, the Sands, Ocean Club and the Alexandra.

Pow-wows with 465 travel agents and 45 agencies were staged in New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island and Manhattan, New York.
The initiative followed a similar exercise in Canada in August which included meetings with 87 agencies in Halifax, Dartmouth, Newfoundland, Fredericton, Moncton and Charlottetown.