“The TCI Tourist Board is pleased to announce the preliminary visitor statistics for the destination, clearly depicting that the Islands saw one of its busiest summers on record in 2021.”
(CMR) Turks and Caicos Tourist Board are reporting their “busiest season on record – ever” with an increase of up to 19% in tourism figures according to a statement issued on Wednesday by the organization. Their property market is also booking “with unprecedented sales” for the third quarter of 2021; which according to James Edition, is being driven by the closure of the Cayman Islands to tourism.
TCI has claimed that an aggressive public relations campaign and safety protocols have been the key to their success story as many others remain shuttered.
The tourism board indicated that its 2021 figure exceeded the pre-pandemic statistics in 2019 by 18% in June and 19% in July. August also saw an increase of 15% with 41,734 visitors. The board noted that those numbers far exceeded their projection modules and were above average in a normal economic climate.
TCI has boasted that their effective marketing campaign and “pent up demand” for summer travel have contributed significantly to the increase. In fact, they note that they have been successful at ensuring safety protocols that have protected both the local and international population.
“Tourism in the destination continues to flourish, thanks to diligent safety protocols, and strategic marketing campaigns in the United States, Canada, South America, United Kingdom and Europe.”
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Josephine Connolly noted that she was pleased with the country's performance especially what would normally be the “slow season” for TCI. Sharing that, “we enacted and enforced the necessary protocols to keep our local population and our visitors safe, which has resulted in excellent numbers, and a summer that has performed above previous years.”
In the real estate market, they are also claiming tremendous success with condo sales up by 3.5 and luxury single-family homes by 2.6. They experienced some $187 million in sales from April to June with sales for that period surpassing the total volume for the entire 2019 period. These figures do not include an additional $427 million in pending or conditional sales.
James Edition noted that:
“Investors and purchasers previously drawn to The Cayman Islands now see Turks and Caicos properties offering greater value across prime locations. What's more, there's more capacity to expand.”
According to their Visit TCI website they are open for tourists but have mandatory vaccination policies for incoming adult travelers but offer no quarantine on arrival. Visitors must seek travel authorization to board a flight and provide a COVID-19 test no more than 3 days before arrival and have their own travel insurance that covers any covid related illness or hospitalization. Visitors are fully responsible for the cost of their quarantine if they test positive during their stay.
However, they do have COVID-19 restrictions in place including mask-wearing in public places, an early morning curfew from 1 am until 5 am with all businesses closing at midnight. There are no restrictions on inter-island travel but all restaurants and bars must operate at 50% capacity. Persons must also be fully vaccinated to enter a bar or club and must walk with proof of vaccination. Owners of establishments are responsible for logging and providing that information to the government on a weekly basis.
Turks and Caicos Islands have pushed vaccination records to above 65 per cent of the adult population being fully inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine “making the destination one of the most inoculated countries in the world.”
TCI has 53 active cases with a total of 22 covid deaths.