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Bye, Bye Tourist Board, Hello DMO!

Government, Stakeholders sign DMO Bylaws to replace Tourist Board

The articles of incorporation and bylaws for the Destination Management Organization (DMO) was signed on Friday, paving the way for the launch of that tourism management body on April 28, at the Premier’s Office on Providenciales.

The signing was witnessed by not only members of the government but also the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association, the Turks and Caicos Islands Chamber of Commerce, as well as members of the Turks and Caicos Islands Real Estate Association.

The DMO is the brainchild of Premier Hon. Washington Misick, who attended the signing.

Tourism Minister Hon. Josephine Connolly described the signature moment as the beginning of another chapter in the life of the Turks and Caicos Islands, noting that the planned change took over year of cautious research, analysis and planning.

She said the establishment of the DMO would change the lives of the people for the better, calling it a significant moment for her government and the country.

“As we all know, change is never easy…and replacing an institution such as the Tourist Board was a daunting task. However, I am confident that this DMO will bring bout positive changes that would benefit us all,” the minister said.

She said the DMO has been established with a clear mandate, which to improve efficiency and effectiveness, as well as service delivery in the Turks and Caicos’ Islands.

“We have heard your concern about the tourism dividends not sharing fairly among the wider community. Let me say that the DMO has been designed to address these concerns and deliver a tourism product that the whole community can benefit from. Furthermore, this DMO is committed to innovation and the use of technology to accomplish our mandate.

“We understand the importance of keeping up with a fast-paced world we live in…that is why we opted for change and a renewed focus. We want to ensure that our citizens benefit from our fast-growing and profitable tourism industry,” she further stated.

Minister Connolly pointed out that the DMO was not just about replacing the Tourist Board, but rather building a better future by channeling the tourist dollar throughout the community, thereby creating a more responsive body that serves the needs of all citizens who have a stake in the tourist industry.

“It is about enhancing the attractiveness of the destination by developing products that will give a lasting memory to our travelers and promoting opportunities that our people can take full advantage of and enjoy the benefit of the economic growth of these great Turks and Caicos Islands,” she asserted.

For his part, Premier Misick described the event as a watershed moment in the life of the country.

“What it is (DMO)? It is a social partnership among all of the stakeholders. Turks and Caicos is an extremely dependent destination, and everything we do should be focused on enhancing the experience of those who come to holidaying in these islands,” the premier remarked.

He continued: “We want to do this with three objects in mind…sustainability – and that speaks to triple bottom-line sustainability, the economy - the social structure of the islands, and the environment.

“And of course, in addition to that we want to keep our product high-end, fresh, and to keep the destination resilient, to deliver a first-class service. These days customer service is what is important. If the tourist experience is going to be its best. This is a step and journey that is very important. TCI has done well and has a good reputation, a very recognized brand.

“But I believe we have gotten here for a number of reasons; one has to do with our enviable geographical position close to our source market. In addition to that, we have been blessed with some God-given attributes, hence our tagline – ‘Beautiful by Nature’. But I think the future calls for deliberate and intentional action if we are going to remain sustainable.”

He pointed out that the decision to abolish the Tourist Board and establish the DMO was not taken lightly.

“There was a lot of thought put into it, and there has been a lot of analysis. And I believe in my heart of hearts that it is the best thing for Turks and Caicos in the medium and long term. I know that change is uncomfortable, and progress is not easily accepted, but I would say to those persons who have their doubts that they should wait and see, because I think that like everything else, over time, TCIG is going to benefit tremendously,” the premier assured.

He pointed out that the focus of the DMO is to establish a stakeholders’ synergy.

“So, whether you are selling Crack Conch on the beach, or whether you are a dive person or taking out tours, whether you are a hotelier, whether you are an attorney working in the transfer of property…second homes, it doesn't matter what you do in these islands, it all leads back to the tourism product.

“So, we must all be speaking with one voice, have a seamless -ended-to-end product that delivers the highest satisfaction that there could be. TCI must be the envy of the Caribbean and for that matter, the world, particularly the small states of the world.

“We must be the envy of our competitors. And in order to be competitive, we have to make changes. The only things that don’t change are the ones that don’t grow,” the Premier reasoned.



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