Above: the TCI
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Turks and Caicos Islands received 975,583 total visitors in 2012, a slight drop-off from the 1,009,720 passenger arrivals the territory received in 2011, according to government data.
Almost 70 percent of visitors came to the TCI on cruise ships, with 31 percent comprised of stopover visitors.
In 2012, an average of 50 commercial flights operated into Providenciales International Airport, including carriers American Airlines, US Airways, JetBlue, Air Canada, WestJet, United, Delta and British Airways.
Private jet travel accounted for roughly 3 percent of stopover visitors, although that number represented a decrease from 2012.
The United States continues to be the largest source market for TCI, with 229,577 visitors in 2012, or around 79 percent of the total.
Visitors from Canada represented 12 percent, while Europe and the rest of the world represented 9 percent of long-stay guests.
The Tourist Board said the decrease in overall visitors came from a number of “known” factors: two days of industrial action, an outbreak of the noro-virus affecting arrivals in the short-term, and Hurricane Sandy, which closed airports across the Eastern Seaboard.
The board also said the “sluggish economies” of the US and Europe, along with a 25 percent cut in the board’s operating budget in fiscal year 2011/2012, contributed to the decline.