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Turks and Caicos records increase of visitors in first half of 2014

The Caribbean island nation of Turks and Caicos has recorded a 25 per cent increase in tourist arrivals in the first half of 2014. The islands received a total of 199,347 stopover visitors with the United States making up the largest source market, according to figures released by the nation's government.

Turks and Caicos records increase of visitors in first half of 2014

Turks and Caicos has recorded a total of 199,347 stopover arrivals during the first half of this year, a 25 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2013.

According to figures release by the government of Turks and Caicos, the rise in visitors was driven by a strong winter and spring tourist season.

The United States was the country's largest source market, making up 161,385 stopover arrivals, which was a 28 per cent increase compared to the previous year. This was followed by Canada, and increases were also recorded by French visitors (17 per cent) and the United Kingdom by (86 per cent). Dr Rufus Ewing, the Premier of Turks and Caicos, explained:

"I am extremely thrilled to know that the number of tourist arrivals are up. This attests to the fact that despite the challenges being faced throughout the world economies, travel has sustained the necessary cutbacks in leisure spending and further, our beautiful by nature Turks and Caicos Islands remains the destination of choice.

"I am extremely optimistic and confident that our numbers will continue to climb and that our high end luxury brand destination will deliver the highest numbers that our industry has ever seen."

The nation's Tourism Director Ralph Higgs said that the tourism board is expecting a total of 1.35 million visitors by the end of 2014, including tourists on cruise holidays.

He said that as the Providenciales International Airport (PLS) nears completion:

"We hope to improve our visitor's experience from the point of entry until their return; ensuring that the Turks and Caicos remains top of mind, strengthening positive visitor's reviews and referrals."

The Turks and Caicos Islands are situated in the West Indies, north of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and southeast of The Bahamas. The nation boasts 40 islands and cays, of which only eight are inhabited.

Holidaymakers can swim, snorkel, and scuba dive in crystal clear azure ocean waters; go island-hopping; take sunset walks along the famous Grace Bay Beach on the island of Providenciales; visit The Hole, a naturally-formed limestone opening; or enjoy pampering spa treatments that are available from an array of luxury beachfront hotels and resorts.

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