by Lisa Grimaldi | March 01, 2005

The Turks & Caicos
Incentive idyll:
The pristine islands
are getting more luxury hotels.

Until recently, the Turks & Caicos, a group of islands in the British West Indies, had not been a major destination for U.S. incentive groups. But with a boom in development, including the addition of three luxury properties, the island’s tourism officials see interest on the rapid rise.
    “We’ve just scratched the surface of the incentive market,” said Caesar Campbell, executive director of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association. “We have the air lift, and now we’re getting the hotels.” Carriers including American, Delta and US Airways serve the islands; flights from the United States have increased by 25 percent in the past year.
    Until now, most incentive groups have stayed at the 462-room Beaches Resort on Providenciales, the most developed island in the chain, said Campbell. The island’s two most upscale properties are the 21-suite Grace Bay Club (which is adding 38 condos that will available for rent by late summer) and the 60-room Parrot Cay. Both can accommodate small incentive groups or individual winners.
    But new properties either just opened or coming online over the next two years will enable larger groups of high performers to bask in the sun. Among them is The Palms, a luxurious 72-suite hotel that opened last month on Providenciales and, on the previously undeveloped island of West Caicos, the 125-room Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Resort, is under construction. The property is due for completion in 2007.
    Also under construction is Amanresorts’ Amanyara, with 40 suites, 34 villas and a recording studio. The property, which is the Singapore-based chain’s first venture in the Caribbean, is scheduled to open later this year.