Turks and Caicos Sees Major Increase In Visitor Arrivals

The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board has announced that the destination has seen an upsurge in visitor arrivals. According to the preliminary figures released by the tourist board, Turks and Caicos has witnessed 138,762 air arrivals and 173,151 cruise arrivals in the first quarter of this year.

“The tourism industry is poised for a full recovery,” said Mary Lightbourne, acting director of tourism, Turks and Caicos Tourist Board. She added that the first quarter of 2022 has been particularly strong, year on year, in context to the destination recovering from the decline dealt to the sector by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years.

“We are indeed buoyed by these figures, in particular the month of March, which is critical to our sector,” said Lightbourne. “The first quarter, especially March, is traditionally excellent for winter vacationers, and has seen a robust [change] in visitor arrivals, almost paralleling the corresponding month in 2019, which saw the best pre-COVID arrivals for the sector.”

The Turks and Caicos Islands saw an average increase of approximately 33 percent in stopover arrivals through the Providenciales International Airport and FBOs, increasing from the 34,057 stopover arrivals in January 2022 to 44,596 stopover arrivals in February 2022, and 60,109 in March 2022. The number of stopovers received in February this year was a substantial increase of 248 percent year on year. The destination received only 12,798 stopover arrivals in February 2021—a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions implemented to contain its diffusion.

When compared to February 2020 and 2019, both periods being pre-pandemic, arrivals plunged by 14 percent and surged by 7 percent respectively. The 138,762 stopovers received in the first three months of 2022 were 98 percent of the 140,791 stopovers received in the first three months of 2019. The U.S. market continues to dominate as the main source market claiming the majority of total visitor arrivals, January through March 2022.

When the Turks and Caicos reopened its cruise sector in December 2021, there were a total of 25,573 arrivals. This was 21 percent of the 117,827 arrivals seen in 2019. The Turks and Caicos Islands then received 173,151 cruise visitors in the first quarter of 2022, which was 62 percent of the 277,280 cruise arrivals received in the first quarter of 2019. January welcomed 27 ships with 43,035 cruise visitors, whereas February received 24 ships and 50,148 cruise visitors, with March welcoming 28 ships and 79,968 cruise visitors.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted its advisory for cruise travel in March 2022 indicating that the public health measures in place on cruise ships are effective and will hopefully influence more cruise visitors.

For more information, visit turksandcaicostourism.com.

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