The president of the Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association say his part of the world is ideal for those now seeking a vacation but who are nervous about visiting another country during the coronavirus pandemic.
Todd Foss told a Friday Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association webinar that the comparatively small number of travellers his destination is hosting these days means that social distancing won’t be a challenge.
Foss told the webinar that the Turks & Caicos is home to the “No. 1 beach in the world” and “it’s all your’s if you come down now.”
The Turks & Caicos reopened to foreign visitors on July 22, with Karen Whitt of the Hartling Group, which has a Turks & Caicos presence, reporting that “we have very positive feedback so far from the guests who are on the islands.”
TripAdvisor has been “flooded with positive comments,” she said.
Tourism officials concede that many locals were uneasy about having tourists return while the pandemic is continuing but add that much of that concern has been mitigated since the reopening, and tourists aren’t confined to their hotels. “We want tourists to get out and explore but follow (safety) protocols,” Whitt said.
Masks must be worn in public but not on beaches if social distancing is being practiced.
Safety measures can be found on the TCIsafe.com site.
The hotel and tourism association’s Stacy Cox said Turks & Caicos authorities worked to make sure local health protocols were in sync with international ones.
About 21 hotel and tourism association member hotels are now open, although occupancy is low, Cox continued. Many of the reopened properties are villa properties.
Cox added that foreign tourists are welcome to travel throughout the destination after their arrival.
Tourism authorities have welcomed Air Canada’s decision to restart service from Toronto.
Meanwhile Turks & Caicos governor Nigel Dakin told the webinar that Turks & Caicos settings are unrivalled.
“We’re the most beautiful destination, bar none,” he said.
Friday’s webinar was the latest in a series the CHTA has been holding on member destinations working to rebuild their tourism trades.