Written by fp staff
Thursday, 06 October 2011 10:52
Led by a large increase in tourists from the United States, arrivals at the Providenciales International Airportwere up 18 percent in the first six months of 2011 over last year, the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board has announced.
New flights by JetBlue from New York and Boston and by Continental Airlines from New Jersey are credited for much of the 23-percent increase in U.S. visitors, which accounted for 65 percent of all 222,596 arrivals in the first half of the year.
Canadian visitors increased only 5 percent over last year but showed large increases in both April and June. They accounted for 12 percent of all arrivals in the first six months.
In February 2012, the Turks and Caicos will welcome another inaugural flight from the east coast of Canada — Halifax. This new direct weekly service on Thursdays is expected to further increase the number of Canadian visitors.
European visitors were down 19 percent, representing only about 1.5 percent of all arrivals. The recently lengthened runway at the Provo airport is expected to increase European and other visitors because it will enable larger, long-haul flights to land, saving travelers time in layovers to get here.
All other countries showed a 15-percent increase and represented more than 21 percent of all visitors.
“The Turks and Caicos star continues to shine in the region, and the evidence is our sound arrival numbers,” said Director of Tourism Ralph Higgs. “We are encouraged by these numbers and excited about the upcoming 2011-12 season.”
“We urge residents, locals businesses to explore and embrace all the opportunities associated with the tourism industry,” he said.
Arrivals at the Grand Turk Cruise Center continued to grow, posting an increase of 10.5 percent over 2010. On Nov. 9, the center will welcome one of the largest ships in the world, Carnival Magic.