Popularity of Turks and Caicos holidays growing as more tourists head to the island every year
The Turks and Caicos Director of Tourism, Ralph Higgs, recently announced that a record breaking number of travellers booked Turks and Caicos holidays in 2011- a real feat for the Caribbean island in light of the global economic downturn and the negative effects that the Air Passenger Duty has had on arrival figures in other popular Caribbean destinations. Mr Higgs noted that an increase in the number of direct flights to Turks and Caicos has been a contributor to the uptake in visitors.
Turks and Caicos has defied the odds as it saw a record number of travellers booking Turks and Caicos holidays in 2011 despite the various economic factors that have hindered growth in other popular Caribbean destinations. While Caribbean islands like Tobago have indicated that their tourism has been negatively affected by both the global economic downturn and the increasing Air Passenger Duty tax that has made it increasingly difficult for UK passengers to book affordable flights to the Caribbean, the island nation of Turks and Caicos have demonstrated that the Caribbean still holds appeal as a top destination for travellers seeking sun, sea and sand.
“2011 has seen record visitor arrivals to the TCI. Our islands happily welcomed over one million tourists (cruise and stay-over) to our shores, 012 is showing as much promise as 2011 and by year’s end 2012 we expect to see increases over last year. In fact, since 2009, TCI have seen double digit growth annually”, noted Ralph Higgs the Director of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos.
Image by: El Sundance Kid, on Flickr
It comes as little surprise to see that so many tourists have been drawn to visit theTurks and Caicos islands as they are home to the second largest coral reef in the world, year-round sunshine as well as some of the world’s most beautiful beaches where travellers can enjoy a variety of fun filled water sports including snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing and jet skiing.
However, Mr Higgs also noted that an increase in the number of direct Turks and Caicos flights from key markets like the US and Canada over the course of the last two years has contributed to the growing popularity of holidays in Turks and Caicos with a number of key carriers boosting airlift to the island including JetBlue from New York, Continental from Neward, American Airlines from Dallas and Air Canada from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
With a forecasted growth in the number of people planning Turks and Caicos holidays the local government has recently announced a US$10m investment in the redevelopment of the Providenciales International Airport with the size of the facilities set to increase from 51, 462 to 92, 321 square feet.
“We are embarking on a journey of fundamental change in the way we conduct business and welcome tourists to the Turks and Caicos Islands… Our terminal expansion project will not only offer better facilities for passengers, but provide us with the room to expand over the next 15 years” explained John Smith chief executive of Turks and Caicos Airports Authority.
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