Turks & Caicos Beat

The latest information about what's going on in the Turks and Caicos islands with a focus on Providenciales and Grace Bay.

By Michael Wu

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Provo Beach Tops Again

For those who have been spoiled for years by the beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear water surroung the Turks & Caicos Islands, it will probably come as no surprise that Providenciales (Grace Bay) has been voted the Best Beach in the world for the second year in a row at the World Travel Awards. Usually when i read about someone declaring them the best of anything, I naturally (cynically, some would say) assume the award was handed out by a bunch of guys sitting in a small basement room to promote themselves. In this case, it's a real honor. Voting is done by travel agents in over 200 countries and they get hundreds of thousands of votes. This year, the Awards were held at Provo's own Beaches Resort.

So the next time it's snowing and freezing cold outside and you're bragging to your cube mates about where you're going that weekend. Tell them "To the Best Beach in the World." They won't be able to top that!

Monday, September 11, 2006

A Tale of Two Islands?

I ran across two articles today, both in Florida newspapers, that reflect two completely different ways the Turks & Caicos Islands is marketing itself. On the one hand, the Miami Herald has an article Caribbean shifts toward high-end tourism which talks a lot about the upcoming Ritz Carlton Molasses Reef resort on West Caicos and quotes Premier Michael Misick saying "We are not interested in quantity, we are interested in quality. If you can't afford it, the Turks and Caicos is not for you. That may sound snobbish, but we've made a strategic decision to pursue up-market tourism." Yes, Mr. Misick, that is pretty snobbish, but I guess you get credit for saying it as it is.

Meanwhile the Orlando Sentinel in Grand Turk beckons visitors talks about the onslaught of tourists at the TCI capital. "This tiny island once received perhaps 10,000 visitors a year. It's now welcoming an estimated 300,000." The Grand Turk cruise facility was built by Carnival, a decidedly non-upscale cruise line.

Update 9/18: Here's another article about the cruise ship dock at Grand Turk. This ones goes in a bit more depth about the excursions available. Plus here's an interesting tidbit:

Its position makes it a safe berth, Ellis said, a contingency port in bad weather, with a two-ship pier engineered to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. "The rest of the island might blow away," Ellis said, "but the pier won't."

So where does that leave Provo? I guess it's for us folk who aren't swimming in money and cannot (or do not want to) afford a multi-million dollar place in the middle of a wildlife sanctuary but at same time don't like the crowds of a cruise destination. We call Provo: "just right".

Friday, September 01, 2006

TCI 1st International Boxing Tournament

Not content to have the best beach in the world, Provo wants to also be well known for .... boxing. Well, I jest. But according to this article in the Nassau Guardian, Gary Lightbourne has been trying to establish their own federation for over a year now, culminating in this inaugural event which will be held from September 7-10. The last thing I want to do when I head to Provo is see a boxing match, but then again that's pretty much the last thing i want to do here in the States too. But i put this information out there for those who might be fans :-). Ticket and venue information can be found here.

Labor day is just right around the corner. Which means, now is the time to reallly start thinking about spending more time down in the islands.