News for the Hospitality Executive
Press Statement by the Governor of The Turks and Caicos
Islands Including Report from
The Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association Largely 'Business as Usual'
for the Majority of its Member Hotels and Resorts"
|GRAND TURK, Turks and Caicos Islands; Monday, September
15, 008 – "It is now one week since Hurricane Ike hit the TCI. Its impact
was felt on all islands; but particularly severely in some.
Mercifully, we came through the hurricane with no casualties. The immediate post-hurricane situation was not easy, given the breakdown in communications and the consequent difficulty in establishing contact between the islands of the territory.
This complicated the task of coordination and the important job of communicating with the public. I see this as an essential task from now on, not only at the headline/policy level, but also at the nitty-gritty one of detailed information on such key issues as water availability and supply or the distribution of tarpaulins.
Overall, however, I think we can look back over the past week with considerable satisfaction. The situation is stabilising and becoming more organised and essentials such as water, food and shelter are being met.
Here, in Grand Turk for example, the city water plant is operational and water is available at the main distribution point on Hospital Road between 8.00 am and 1.00 pm. Tropical Shipping is expected today with a shipment of water and 5000 additional tarpaulins for distribution tomorrow.
The health service is functional and health care is available. Food distribution continues (through the Red Cross and the Churches); but food is increasingly also available in the stores. This is particularly important as a sign that the economy is getting back to normal in the most affected islands; and the reopening of the banks is playing a key role in this respect.
Progress is being made with the restoration of electricity with TCI work crews reinforced by teams from the region. Inevitably, full restoration of the network will take some time and priority has had to be given to critical facilities such as hospitals and airports. Every effort is being made to open schools (even if not every class in some islands) from Monday. This is particularly important for those students preparing for examinations. The public service will be back at work on Monday, providing a service to the public.
With the emergency phase stabilised, the focus will increasingly shift to sourcing materials to repair and rebuild houses and other buildings damaged or destroyed by Ike and to getting on with the reconstruction and rehabilitation process."
Source: The Turks and Caicos Islands Government Information Service
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands, Sep 11, 2008 - The Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) reports that it is largely 'business as usual' for the majority of its member properties and services catering to tourism in the island chain. Most properties in Providenciales, the main tourism center, suffered only minimal damage during the recent Hurricanes Hanna and Ike that passed by the islands. Greater damage was experienced in the outlying islands of Grand Turk, South Caicos and Salt Cay.
Power has been restored throughout most of Providenciales, and airline service by major carriers - including American Airlines, US Airways and Delta Airlines - has resumed on regularly scheduled levels to Providenciales International Airport. Structural damage on Providenciales was minimal and no major beach erosion or environmental issues have been reported.
"We were extremely fortunate to have avoided a major hit to our tourism product, and are now prepared to resume business as usual in most places," said Caesar Campbell, CEO of the TCHTA. "While September and October are typically slower months, and some properties are routinely closed for renovations during this time, we encourage travelers to consider the Turks & Caicos this fall and winter. As our country depends largely on tourism, it is important that we keep this economic engine running strongly as we work to help the less fortunate islands in the Turks & Caicos recover."
OPENING STATUS OF HOTELS As of Sept 12, 2008
Tourism operators such as scuba shops, fishing charters and others are also restoring their services back up to normal Fall season levels, and visitors can expect minimal if any, interruption from most service providers.
Smaller properties in the outer islands are still assessing damage and
the TCHTA will maintain an updated status of all properties on its web
site, www.turksandcaicoshta.com. A decision on cruise ship schedules will
be made soon, after a more complete assessment of damages to Carnival Cruise
Ship Center in Grand Turk has been made, although preliminary reports indicate
that structure weathered the storms well.
Travelers are encouraged to contact their airlines, resorts and hotel directly to confirm reservations, and to monitor the TCHTA web site for more information.
Persons interested in making donations to the hurricane relief efforts in Turks and Caicos can contact 1-800-477 IKE4 (4534) or through www.tcihurricaneinfo.com.
About the TCHTA
SOURCE: The Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association
The Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association