Turks and Caicos would appeal to many people, but home-based agents should target their upscale luxury clientele.
Getting There: American Airlines
(www.aa.com) flies nonstop to Providenciales from Miami once daily (flight time: one-and-a-half hours); from New York once daily (flight time: three-and-a-half hours); and from Dallas/Fort Worth on Saturdays, April-December. It serves other major U.S. cities via connecting flights. US Airways (www.usairways.com) flies nonstop to Providenciales from Charlotte, NC, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (flight time: just over three hours), and from Philadelphia, Saturdays (flight time: four hours), with connecting flights from other U.S. cities. Delta Air Lines (www.delta.com) flies nonstop to Providenciales from Atlanta once daily (flight time: just under four hours) and has connecting flights from other major U.S. cities.
Tour Operators: GOGO Worldwide (www.gogoww.com); Travel Impres-sions (www.travimp.com), where agents can contact Barbara Groves, vice president of sales, at 632-845-8000, ext. 2110; Funjet Vacations (www.funjet.com, 800-558-3050); Apple Vacations (www.applevacations.com), where agents can contact Bill Liot, senior product manager, at 847-631-2449; and Nila Vacations (www.nilavacations.com).
Diving outfitters include PG Dive (www.pgdive.com), Caicos Adventures (www.tcidiving.com), Dive Provo (www.diveprovo.com) and Big Blue Unlimited ( www.bigblue.tc), which specializes in eco-friendly dives.
Hotels: The recently reflagged Regent Palms Turks & Caicos (www.regenthotels.com/thepalms) is the perfect property for couples looking for an unspoiled destination, as they will find peace and quiet on just about every inch of its 12 acres.
Room 4203, a one-bedroom Oceanview Suite, is highly recommended. It has two balconies—one overlooks the property's $1.8 million serpentine infinity pool and has partial views of the ocean. The room costs between $625 and $1,800.
Room 5504 is a three-bedroom Oceanfront Penthouse, which costs between $2,600 and $6,500 a night. It's similar to the Oceanview Suite, only bigger, and has an outdoor Jacuzzi overlooking the ocean.
The property offers a 10 percent commission. Agents can contact Scott Hagan, reservations and revenue manager, at 866-877-7256 or [email protected]
Parrot Cay Resort & Spa (www.parrotcay.com) has long been one of the most popular resorts in Turks and Caicos. Celebrity couples such as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner and Eva Longoria and Tony Parker have stayed here. While this might clinch a sale, don't rely solely on pitching this property as a celebrity hangout; it has so much more to offer.
The top accommodation is the Three-Bedroom Villa at Rocky Point. The 2007 rate for the villa is $4,080 per night through December 20, not including 10 percent tax and 10 percent service charge. There is no availability for Christmas/New Year's. The property offers a 10 percent commission. Agents can call Richele Morgan, sales and special services manager, at 649-946-7788 or [email protected], or Kiesha Meadows, reservations manager, at 649-946-7745 or [email protected]
Here's a property to keep on your radar for 2009: Miami-based Nikki Beach (www.nikkibeachhotels.com) recently announced the development of Nikki Beach Resort and Spa Turks & Caicos. If this property is anything like its Miami counterpart, it should be a magnet for young couples and singles, a destination well-suited for guys' and girlfriends' getaways. But also note that it will be upscale, and will have a marina for yachters.
The resort will rest on white sandy beaches on the northeast tip of the island of Providenciales and will comprise a five-star hotel, spa, nightclub, signature Nikki Beach Club and eco-friendly marina. The Nikki Beach Club, Marina Club Villas and marina are expected to open in March 2008; the 100-room Nikki Beach Resort and Spa will debut in 2009.
Restaurants: The Regent Palms Turks & Caicos (www.regenthotels.com/thepalms) is home to one of the best restaurants in the area, Parallel 23 serving "tropical fusion" local cuisine, mostly seafood—including conch—and meat dishes.
Another famous restaurant in Turks, and one that is a bit more casual, is the Sharkbite Bar & Grill (649-941-5090, www.thesharkbite.com). Right on the water in Turtle Cove Marina, it has a friendly and fun atmosphere with great food at reasonable prices. The back area is a bright, airy dining room overlooking the water and the marina.
From the deck, your clients can watch turtles and fish surface during the day, and sharks can be seen from the charter fishing boats under the spotlights after dark.
Weather: Turks and Caicos is usually sunny with temperatures between 80 and 90 degrees. Mosquito repellent is recommended, as is at least a 40 SPF sunblock. Dress lightly and always have a bottle of water handy.