Turks and Caicos Air Arrivals Rebounding

Turks and Caicos Air Arrivals Rebounding

The Turks and Caicos’ visitor numbers are approaching 2019 levels. (Photo by Brian Major)

The Turks and Caicos’ first-quarter 2022 visitor arrivals reached totals nearly equaling the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, said Mary Lightbourne the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board (TCTB)’s acting director. The strong totals highlight a continuing rebound for the Caribbean nation’s tourism industry, Lightbourne added.

The Turks and Caicos’ 138,762 overnight, land-based visitors during this year’s first quarter fell just over 2,000 visitors short of the 140,791 guests recorded during the first three months of 2019, said Lightbourne in a statement. The U.S. market continued as the territory’s primary visitor source market.

Visitors arriving at Providenciales International Airport increased steadily during the quarter, from 34,057 overnight arrivals in January 2022 to 44,596 in February and 60,109 in March of this year. The 44,596 stopovers received in February represented a 248 percent year-over-year increase, said TCTB officials, as the destination hosted only 12,798 during the same period in 2021.

“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.”

Meanwhile, the territory’s Grand Turk Cruise Center hosted 173,151 visitors in the first three months of 2022, 62 percent of the 277,280 cruise ship guests hosted during the same period in 2019. In January of this year the Turks and Caicos welcomed 27 cruise ships carrying 43,035 visitors, in February the destination hosted 24 ships with 50,148 passengers, while the territory welcomed 28 ships with 79,968 guests in March 2022.

“These arrival figures are indicative that the Turks and Caicos Islands continue to be a [sought-] after destination,” Lightbourne said. “We are indeed on pace to increase our arrivals in the coming weeks and months.”

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