Executives from the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) are making a strategic move to stimulate international air travel to Grand Turk.
This decision was shared during a town hall meeting held in the capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands on 21 September 2023.
Selvyn Hawkins, chairman of the TCIAA, expressed the authority’s commitment to making the island’s airports profitable. He stated:
“We are at the point where for us, we need these airports to be profitable, and if it means the airports authority needs to start looking at infrastructure development — meaning helping to build airport hotels so that we can drive some sort of works through – we’re prepared to look at that.”
Room capacity – the key challenge
During the meeting, residents raised concerns about the delay in attracting international flights to the island.
Chairman Hawkins clarified that the main hurdle in this endeavour was the lack of available accommodation. He explained: “With airlines servicing international airlift, their bottom line that they’re looking at is room capacity.”
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Grand Turk has grappled with a shortage of hotel rooms for some years, with multiple promising projects commencing but ultimately being abandoned.
The cruise sector has also suffered due to a lack of amenities and attractions. To attract flights that cater to long-stay travellers, Grand Turk must increase its hotel room capacity.
The TCIAA has now announced its willingness to take the initiative to develop accommodation, with the aim of aiding Grand Turk in achieving its goal of attracting more international travellers.