PREMIER ATTENDED CHRIS+HOLA CONNECT 2020 VIRTUAL CONFERENCE

The Turks and Caicos Islands were well represented at the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) and Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA) Connect scheduled for 8 – 10 September 2020.

The Premier and Minister for Finance, Investment and Trade, Honourable Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson participated in an online keynote panel discussion during CHRIS+HOLA Connect 2020. The three-day virtual event included five (5) plenary sessions, eight (8) Caribbean-specific breakout sessions including the online keynote panel discussion with Heads of Government in the region, moderated by the Director General and CEO of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Frank Comito.

The discussion focused on tourism investments in the Turks and Caicos Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands; and the vision, plan, and outlook for the tourism industries in both countries, in the short, medium, and long terms.

The Premier, during the discussion, shared the success of the TCI Assured Authorization Portal in reducing the risk of imported cases once the TCI reopened its borders.

Commenting on managing TCI’s Tourism market in the midst of a pandemic, the Premier stated, “ The Turks and Caicos Islands Government did extensive Tourism industry consultations prior and acting upon the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and likewise following the advice of the major health organisations, like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), to ensure that when the TCI reopened its borders, the country was prepared for a worst case scenario, but we also made all the necessary preparations to mitigate (mitigate instead of prevent?) major outbreaks once we began to reopen, through a phased approach..

The Government also created its own pre-travel requisite for entry into the country through our TCI Assured Portal which was communicated first to tourism industry stakeholders ahead of the official launch to ensure that we encompassed all health protocols and safety requirements to ensure a smoother and safer entry process for our residents and visitors.

We have done extremely well in preventing imported cases since the TCI’s borders reopened and that is a result of our extensive preparations and our hardworking frontline workers who are ensuring that health protocols are adhered to. We are certain that our visitor numbers will continue to increase given the extent of our health protocols, which are a testament that we in the Turks and Caicos Islands indeed care about the health and safety of all who enter these islands.”

Invest Turks and Caicos was a platinum sponsor for CHRIS+HOLA Connect 2020 and hosted a session highlighting “Investment Opportunities in the Turks and Caicos”, the presentation facilitated by Invest TCI's Chief Executive Officer, James Bursey.

“We set out to let the hotel investment community know the Turks and Caicos Islands are open for business investment and that Invest TCI is ready to facilitate and streamline new investments into the country. We discussed opportunities across all islands, and especially sustainable, marine and eco-

adventure focused investments. CHRIS is extremely useful to promote the Islands and provided an excellent opportunity to gain insight into current trends, and how the industry and region is coping with COVID-19. Following this conference, there is a consensus that the tourism industry will bounce back and significant optimism that investments will flourish,” stated Mr. Bursey.

CHRIS+HOLA Connect 2020 is the leading event for hotel and resort investment stakeholders in the Caribbean and Latin America. The audience is comprised of hotel owners, investors, financiers, developers, hotel company executives, tourism officials, and the professional advisory community that serves the various sectors of the industry.