Turks and Caicos Tourism will cease to exist in its current state at the end of June, relaunching as Experience Turks and Caicos, a destination marketing and management organization (DMO). The announcement was made last week by Josephine Connolly, minister of tourism, in Barbados at the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace.
Currently in a transition phase, Experience Turks and Caicos is expected to fully debut on July 1, 2023. At this point, the tourist board will be entirely replaced by the DMO, which will have the sole responsibility of managing and marketing the tourism sector for the Caribbean island chain.
“Experience Turks and Caicos is a public/private partnership between the Turks and Caicos Islands government and private sector stakeholders within the community. We recognize that a critical component of the process of creating this entity is enlisting the views of industry stakeholders,” said Minister Connolly in a statement. To that end, everyone involved within the tourism sector—including taxi drivers, she pointed out—would have a seat at the table. Founding members include the hotel association, chamber of commerce, airports and ports authority and Invest Turks and Caicos.
“[The] sustainability of our tourism product, the environment and return [of] guest arrivals are at the forefront of Experience Turks and Caicos,” she added. “We also aim to give our communities a voice and ensure that all stakeholders and the people of the islands can genuinely participate in the decision-making process in the development of the tourism sector.”
A “Change Minister” and interim CEO are in place to manage the transition by Connolly says that interviews for senior management positions within Experience Turks and Caicos are ongoing. The goal is to have 24 people employed within the first year, then grow to 47 employees by Year 5.
So, on the back end, this means more collaboration between the government and private sector, while additionally getting more locals involved with tourism-related decisions. As for travel advisors and consumers, Experience Turks and Caicos will house a Tourism Intelligence Unit, which will drive the destination’s marketing strategies; it will also house a Product Development Unit, which will be tasked with creating more authentic tourist experiences throughout each of the islands.