The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board, the tourism authority for the Turks and Caicos Islands, has announced a $25-million investment in the Grand Turk Cruise Center and the return of cruise ships in December 2021. Additionally, according to a press release, luxury properties such as The Ritz-Carlton, Grace Bay Resorts, Andaz and more, are debuting on the islands in 2021 through 2023.
“The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board is thrilled to prepare for the upcoming return of cruise ships and to welcome several new travel-worthy hotel partners to our portfolio, further strengthening our position as a world-class destination while remaining true to our barefoot luxury roots,” said Director of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands, Pamela Ewing.
“These highly-anticipated openings appeal to a wide variety of guests, offering not only exceptional accommodations, but innovative culinary venues, spas, activities, and new advancements in ecotourism. We are confident that the opening of these properties, along with a new and improved cruise port experience and infrastructure on Grand Turk, will allow us to continue providing an unmatched vacation experience for new and returning visitors seeking authentic, extraordinary vacation experiences while supporting our local communities,” she added.
According to the press release, The Turks and Caicos Islands’ government is “heavily investing in the improvement of the Cruise Port and infrastructure in Grand Turk” through a development agreement with Carnival Corporation representing $25 million.
Funds will be used for the acquisition of property to be converted into a vendor’s market; the acquisition and development of additional properties to accommodate vendors who depend on the cruise industry for their livelihood; the construction of a floating dock for the water sports operators; and up to $1 million in grants to eligible operators – from water sports and golf card operators to beach vendors and wedding planners – to help them prepare for the reopening of the cruise industry, among other initiatives.
Turks and Caicos Islands’ new and upcoming resorts offer a variety of accommodations ranging from residential homes of one to six bedrooms, to resorts with spacious two- three- and four-bedroom suites, to multi-level penthouses ideal for milestone get-togethers or multigenerational families.
The announcement of the new developments follows the release of preliminary visitor statistics showing that 2021 was one of the busiest summers on record. Compared to pre-pandemic statistics in 2019, the destination saw an increase of over 18 percent in June with 54,188 visitors, an increase of 19 percent in July increase with 56,022 visitors, and an increase of 15 percent in August with 41,734 visitors.
As tourism is expected to continue growing, these new and upcoming openings present a variety of hotels, restaurants, and experiences for both visitors and locals.
With nine main islands and about 40 small islands and uninhabited cays, The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board said that the destination was safe for travel in the new paradigm of physical distancing, given its expansiveness, outdoor environment, privacy, spacious resort accommodations, and portfolio of private villas and private islands vacations. Over 70 percent of the local adult population in the Turks and Caicos is fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, making it one of the most inoculated countries in the world.
Additionally, the destination requires all visitors aged 16 and older to show proof of vaccination before entry.