by Turks and Caicos Sun
Director of Tourism Ralph Higgs and Stacy Cox The Turks and Caicos Islands is barreling towards its on millionth visitor, who is expected to arrive between December 26 and 31, this according to Acting Director of Tourism Ralph Higgs, who was addressing a news conference on Thursday (December 15), at the Tourist Board Office in Providenciales.
The milestone visitor could arrive either by airplane or cruise ship at the Grand Turk Cruise Centre.
According to Higgs, this milestone – the first in the history of the Turks and Caicos Islands tourism demonstrate the country’s appeal to the international travelling public. Leading up to the event, Higgs said a series of activities will be held.
“This milestone proves that the Turks and Caicos Islands continue to be a preferred destination for many travelers. The week of activities will give us the opportunity to celebrate this special occasion with our 1,000,000th and 1,000,001thvisitors, arriving on Grand Turk and Providenciales respectively,” he said.
According to Higgs, collaborative promotional and marketing campaigns by the Tourist Board, the Turks and Caicos Hotel & Tourism Association, TCI Airports Authority and Grand Turk Cruise Centre, have contributed to the spike in visitor arrivals.
According to him, the destination has seen a 17 percent jump in cruise and land based arrivals for the third quarter of 2011, when compared with the same period for 2010. He said third quarter arrivals totaled 204,084, with 78,711 land based arrivals and 125,373 cruise arrivals; in 2010, the destination welcomed 174,302 visitors.
In the meantime Stacy Cox from of the Windsong Resort and executive member of the Turks and Caicos Islands Hotel and Tourism Association said the week of activities will commence on December 26, with second annual staging of crowd-pulling cultural event – Maskanoo.
“We are encouraging everyone attending Maskanoo to visit the Tourist Board’s booth to learn more about the ‘millionth visitor and counting.” celebrations. TCHTA would like to thank our hotel members who will be providing visitors with rum and fruit punch when they arrive at the Providenciales International Airport on December 27 until December 30. We would like to also thank Bambarra for providing rum cakes on these days as well, “Cox said.
On December 31, the country’s capital will be the first to celebrate as representatives from the Grand Turk Cruise Centre welcome the 1,000,000th visitor. John Young of the Grand Turk Cruise Centre who said 2011 has been a very active year for the Grand Turk Cruise Centre.
“There have been some remarkable developments as it relates to cruise tourism in TCI, including the recently passed legislation which allows same day marriages for cruise ship passengers. We all hope that this new initiative will see us continue the growth and see more cruise passengers returning to enjoy the islands for longer stays,” Young said.