Chief minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Dr. Michael Misick, said the British territory is on its way to developing “a first rate, first class, first world” modern society by focusing on the upscale tourism market and on local and foreign investment.
A British-educated lawyer, he reported that his country was currently
experiencing double digit growth in tourism and the wider economy,
attributing its success to targeting wealthier travellers who are not subject to the vagaries of the global economy.
“We pride ourselves in being an up-market tourism destination. We have close to two to three billion dollars worth of new investment that is coming into the islands over the next couple of years primarily in the tourism and hotel sector,” said the Chief, who is also Minister of Tourism, Development, and District Administration.
“It’s not really in our interest to go after the mass market, plus the other
part is that we are consistently trying to preserve the environment… (so) we would prefer to have fewer people come to be able to enjoy what we have to offer.”
In fact, the Turks and Caicos economy is so successful that it currently
faces over-employment and has to import labour from the Caribbean and Asia.
Part and parcel of the nation’s strategy is to attract African American
visitors and investors.
“Brothers and sisters can come and see what we have to offer in Turks and Caicos,” said Dr. Misick, inviting visitors and investors whether interested in businesses or second homes.
“Whether it is through BET (Black Entertainment Television) or other avenues, we reach out to African American populations in the United States,” he said, crediting BET Jazz’s role in producing and promoting an annual summer festival there.
This summer the island plays host to the second annual Music and Cultural Festival scheduled for July 25 to August 1, 2005 on the island of Providenciales which will attract all consumers, particularly African
The Turks and Caicos Tourist Board, in association with BET Event
Productions, have secured reggae dancehall pop star Shaggy, chart-topping R and B vocalist Ashanti, funky soul singer Jeffrey Osborne, the “cool” voice of reggae Gregory Isaacs, Haitian creole sounds of Tabou Combo, gospel/disco queen Candi Staton, contemporary gospel crooner BeBe Winans, as well as some of the Turks and Caicos’ top local artists.
“Turks and Caicos has become part of the BET Jazz family. We have enjoyed the partnership over the last two years and we will continue to utilize our resources and the power of our brand to achieve the economic and tourism goals set by Dr. Misick,” said Paxton Baker, president of BET Event Productions.
BET Jazz will air a one-hour festival preview show on June 18 and July 9 (12pm, 8pm, and 4am); and July 13 (12pm, 8pm, and 1am). All times are EST.