It’s Official – We’re The Turks & Caicos Islands Definitive Twitter Superstars!

•September 17, 2010 • 1 Comment

Follow us on Twitter @ConchDev and @CaribbeanLand

Of all the Twitter users in the TCI (see the full list below), we (@ConchDev) are the dominant force on Twitter with 10,381 followers – more than twice that of the nearest other TCI Tweeter (@LyndaLippin) and three times that of the next contender (@Turks_and_caics) who have rather bizarrely only made 8 tweets.  Our secondary account (@CaribbeanLand) is also the 5th Most Followed Twitter account in the TCI with 1,596 followers and collectively – between our two accounts – we have almost 12,000 followers; almost triple that of our nearest TCI Twitter ‘rival’ (although we’re all part of the TCI family so we’re not really rivals are we?). Congratulations to @WestBayClub who are the top Hotel/Resort tweeter in the TCI.

The Conch Twitter Girls Hard at Work...

Overall, it’s great news for the TCI as there are a total of 36,098* people on Twitter who are now following Turks & Caicos based Twitterer’s (and there may also be a very small handful of Twitter users with a small following who we have been unable to find – please contact us on Twitter if we’ve missed you and we will update).  As many of our TCI Twitter friends will know; Conch Developments helps promote several resorts and tourism in general in the Turks & Caicos Islands every day to our large audience with strategic posts and retweets and we will continue to do so.  We have listed some proposals for how we could ALL better work together on Twitter to continue to promote the TCI and each other at the end of this blog post.

*These are not necessarily unique users since a number of the followers are tracking multiple TCI Twitter accounts. We estimate that there are approximately 18,000 -22,500 unique users in this figure.

Dylan Pemberton, CEO of Conch Developments, commented:

We ourselves have already generated around $500k of direct business on Twitter since we started using it seriously about 4 months ago and we’re now firm believers in it as a channel.  We also know that many of our very active friends on Twitter generate a considerable amount of business and brand equity on Twitter too so for a luxury island destination like the TCI that is dependent on global travel and tourism; it has certainly become one of the essential ways of connecting with customers. Very few channels allow you to engage so intimately and personally with your audience. 

Currently, I only spend about 20 – 30 minutes a day using Twitter although the rest of the team do make contributions too but given the ROI, we will definitely be investing more time over the coming period as we aim to surpass 20,000 followers in the next month or so and build further from there. Our Twitter base is not just random either – it’s a highly targeted list of people who are specifically interested in the TCI, in luxury, in travel, in cruises, in diving, in real estate, in investment and in many other areas critical to our business. 

We’re going through a very large buyout at the moment (which is why we have warehoused the main consumer website until we rebrand in October) and one of the things that our new investors were delighted with was our efforts on Twitter – both in terms of the quality traffic it has delivered to our website and most importantly – with the profit it has delivered to us via a channel where the only dollar cost is time and vision.”

As of 17th September 2010, the definitive list of Turks & Caicos based Twitter users along with their number of followers was:

We’ve broken this down into pie charts for the key areas / classifications (if you click on any of the pie charts they should open in a new window as a larger image):

Nice to see our good friend Simon Padgett above Coldwell Bankers – again!  If ever there was a man about town with a lot to tweet about – it’s Simon…

Moving forward, we have a number of proposals on how we can all better work together on Twitter to achieve our mutual goals of more business, more TCI tourism and more education about brand TCI to prospective visitors:

(1)    Solidarity

All of us in the TCI should be following ALL of the TCI Twitter users on this list.  You can copy the list below to start following them on Twitter if you are not already doing so:

@ConchDev @TheSomerset @GraceBayClub @CaribbeanLand @TuscanyResort @beverlytci @WhereWhenHow @GracesCottage @AlexandraResort @TCIConchFest @GansevoortTC @ParrotCayResort @TurksCaicosClub @TurksCaicosRez @PointGraceTCI @ProvoGolfClub @tropicalimaging @WestBayClub @ClassyConcierge @RegentGrand @TCWeeklyNews @motherspizza @TurksJournal  @OceanClubWest @TCIairporthotel @bagatelletc @LeVeleTCI @suntci @tcimall @TCILuxury @realturkscaicos @EricEdmeades @TurksCaicosVIP @turkscaicoshome @TciTourism @ospreybeach @WindsongResort @SunsetPointV @missturks @Turks_and_caics @Islandbikeblond @DiscoverTCI @CBTurksCaicos @VillRenaissance, @Dellis_Cay , @TeonaSpa, @QualityProvo, @becrandom, @lyndalippin, @tcijournal, @NautiqueSports, @TOPMODELTCI, @sabbrokerage, @ExperienceTCI, @ProvoChef, @villadelmartci, @tciyouth, @maimoore

Also, while we can fully understand why one resort would not wish to directly promote the accommodation offers of a competitor, we should all be ‘retweeting’ our fellow TCI Tweeters posts wherever possible if the post has a common benefit.  For example, several TCI Twitterer’s have retweeted posts we have made recently on JetBlue connecting to Provo.  This helps all of us.  Every day, we retweet TCI Tweeters posts and many of you do so too; we all just need to do so more. 

I think it would also be good if we could agree some unique TCI #hashtags and start to include them in every single one of our collective posts.  This can help all of us by starting to get key themes trending on Twitter.  For example, if we all ended every one of our posts with #TCI, that would benefit all of us. 

(2)    Housekeeping 

We have noticed a few things about some Twitter users from the TCI. Although it does not affect us, it does negatively affect those particular users:  

(a)    A number of TCI Tweeters seem to not check their direct messages.  We have sent requests for quotes via Twitter to certain resorts who have not even responded.  Kudos though to the resorts like The Somerset, Point Grace and the Turks & Caicos Club who ALWAYS respond and do so quickly!  Do some of you not want business from Twitter? Check your messages! Tools like TweetDeck (download here) make checking messages, mentions, new followers etc. much easier and it’s very user friendly. It also auto shortens URL’s and makes adding an image attachment to your Tweets very easy. It’s great for people on the go too since it can easily be used from your mobile phone. 

(b)   Quite a few TCI tweeters don’t bother to follow people back who have followed them or even worse – who have taken the time to retweet their posts or give them FF mentions etc.  This is not just the other TCI tweeters who they neglect to show the courtesy of re-following but also other ‘hot’ users.  We know this because we regularly carry out market research and mystery shopping exercises with a variety of staged Twitter accounts. Also, if you don’t follow someone then they can’t send you direct messages. We have been unable to send accommodation enquiries via Twitter to certain TCI Tweeters simply because they aren’t following us.  The business thus went elsewhere… 

(c)    Judging by the (small) number of followers that some users have or the date since they last tweeted; it is clear that a number of Twitter users either don’t believe in the channel (and have more or less given up on it) and/or they need help to consolidate their Twitter presence.   Again, we can help you in this area, just ask! Don’t despair though because big is not always better as sometimes it is good to engage more intimately with a smaller audience – quality not quantity.  It is possible to do both by using lists and other Twitter tools but for some users; it makes sense to not go after big follower numbers.  

(d)   Why have so few of you got blogs or active blogs? There are so many benefits to blogs and none more so than to island resorts!   Speak to us and we will give you 10 solid business reasons why you should be blogging AND tweeting. 

(3)    Partnering  

We have a lot of Twitter tips, tricks, tools and ideas we can share with you all so as to help you each become more successful on Twitter (and become even more successful ourselves).  The way we see it at Conch is that if more people follow you and do business with you on Twitter then the net result is that the profile of the islands increases for everyone.  In turn, we all profit from that. 

There are a couple of ideas we have that could help you in the short term.  Firstly, we are back in Providenciales early in October and Dylan Pemberton, our CEO, would be happy to meet with any of you during his stay to discuss ideas and establish ways of partnering with each other on Twitter.  Feel free to contact Dylan on his mobile email:  Furthermore, we are very much looking for TCI resort partners at the moment to take direct travel business from us (since we will be paying for a lot of our clients to visit and stay in the Turks & Caicos moving forward). 

Secondly, given our large and rapidly expanding Twitter audience (which to be frank dwarfs that of virtually everyone else in the TCI), we are happy to discuss ways of us specifically / exclusively promoting you in return for deals / contra’s on services from you.  Please contact us directly to discuss this in more detail.   Even a single mention from us on Twitter can be worth quite a few new followers and we are very tactical in how we use Twitter to generate business… we’re happy to tell you how! 

Bottom line, if you’re in the Turks & Caicos Islands and you’re on Twitter and you want to make it work for you – you need to speak to us.  Together we achieve more.

Congratulations to all Turks & Caicos Islands Twitterer’s for embracing the channel.  Together, we are reaching a large global audience and connecting with them in a very personal way.  That can only be good for Turks & Caicos tourism.

Turks & Caicos Tourism Grows ANOTHER 25% During The First Half of 2010

•September 13, 2010 • 2 Comments

The Turks & Caicos Islands - Beautiful by Nature

Against the face of a global recession and in spite of tourist decline amongst many of the Turks & Caicos Islands regional peers – tourist arrivals in the Turks and Caicos Islands have increased by a staggering 25% for the first half of 2010 compared with the same period last year (which itself saw enviable growth).

Ralph Higgs, Acting Director of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board, said, “We are thrilled to see our arrival numbers for 2010 up 25% and we are optimistic that these numbers will continue to climb through the remainder of the year

Arrivals figures for the first half of 2010 demonstrate that the Turks and Caicos Islands welcomed 489,069 long stay and cruise visitors.  This figure extrapolates to 167,057 long stay visitors for the first six months of this year which compares to 131,352 for the same period in 2009.

Governors Beach, Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

From January to June this year; 322,012 visitors arrived in Grand Turk by cruise ship which compared to 258,495 for the corresponding period of last year and even then – Grand Turk had enjoyed a massive growth on arrivals compared to 2008.  Grand Turk – and in turn the Turks & Caicos Islands – are continuing to dominate luxury cruise traffic in the region.  In the first half of 2010 the TCI welcomed a total of 125 cruise ships which was also a 25% increase over the same period in 2009 when Grand Turk welcomed 113 top end cruise ships during the same period.

The USA, Canada, Europe / Scandinavia and the Caribbean remain the TCI’s major source of tourism although the islands continue to welcome a growing number of travellers  from the Middle East, South Africa and beyond. The key markets of USA, Canada, Europe / Scandinavia grew by 21%, 97%, 5% and 27% respectively.  97% growth from Europe / Scandinavia is clearly enormous growth!

On this, Higgs said, “We are impressed by these increases and we feel this speaks to the strength of our tourism industries; airlift, accommodation, attractions both natural and man-made; and the hospitable nature of our people working directly and indirectly in our tourism industry.

TCI - Globally Famed for its High Net Worth Family Tourism Product

Additionally, officials in the Turks and Caicos Ministry of Finance confirm that increase tourist arrivals correspond with increased revenue collected from the accommodation tax for the same period in 2009. The Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) also confirms that unaudited occupancy figures amongst its members showed average increases of 11% for the first half of 2010.

Moving forward the Tourist Board have stated that they will continue to increase their presence within the marketplace by embarking on a series of travel, trade, sponsor and promotional events in the US, Canada and Europe whilst continuing to work with wholesalers and hotel partners to sell the destination to a discerning global audience.

The Regent Grand

The future looks increasingly bright for the TCI with several new resorts due to open soon, new airlift into the islands from major carriers (including JetBlue and hopefully soon Virgin), new cruise ships adding Grand Turk to their rosters, a buoyant real estate market and a high-end family tourism product that’s renowned all over the world for five star luxury service as standard.  Crucially, everybody knows that there is simply nowhere safer and more secure in the Caribbean which is an increasingly important checkbox for the discerning visitor who demands personal security.

And don’t forget – unlike most developers; Conch offer ALL its clients free travel and luxury accommodation to the Turks & Caicos so you can inspect your purchase and enjoy our hospitality.

JetBlue Opens New Routes from New York & Boston to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands from February 2011

•September 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

JetBlue are launching a new low fare, high value service to Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands commencing on President’s Day (February 17th 2011) with a daily service from JFK airport in New York and a Saturday service from Logan International Airport in Boston. Jetblue now join a raft of major carriers servicing the islands from New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Toronto, London and many other hubs across the USA, Canada and the Caribbean.

John T Smith, CEO of the Turks & Caicos Islands Airport Authority said “JetBlue has impressed us with their success in the region and we are pleased to welcome their popular low fare, high value service to the island. We look forward to continuing the development of a mutually beneficial long term relationship.

And Scott Laurence, Vice President of Network Planning for JetBlue said “JetBlue is proud to continue our successful expansion in the Caribbean with new service to the Turks & Caicos Islands. Thanks to the support of our customers, we are pleased to offer more destinations, great low fares and the award-winning JetBlue Experience to the places they want to go.”

Tickets will be available from October via

Dylan Pemberton, CEO of Conch said, “This is yet more great news for the Turks & Caicos who have seen explosive growth in tourism over the last couple of years despite the global credit crunch and in contrast to many of their regional peers.  The islands continue to win all the major awards and – thanks in part to an increase in airlift and the addition of new cruise routes – they continue to enjoy  double digit tourist growth. In turn, this has helped to further underpin the launch of several new resorts, justify the expansion of the main International Airport on Providenciales and allow ‘brand TCI’ to consolidate its number one position as the most upmarket and exclusive luxury destination in the Caribbean. All of this continues to supercharge the real estate market across all the islands which is one of the many reasons why we – and our clients – continue to invest heavily in the location. 

The Grace Bay Club on Providenciales Wins the Luxist Award for World’s Best Beach Hotel

•September 2, 2010 • 1 Comment

Grace Bay Club Wins The Luxist Award for World's Best Beach Hotel

Another month and yet another award for the Turks & Caicos Islands – this time it’s the Grace Bay Club on Providenciales who have won the coveted Luxist Awards ‘Readers’ Choice Award for Best Beach Hotel.

The Grace Bay Club, set on 11 acres of prime beachfront land in the prestigious Grace Bay area of Providenciales, boasts over 1,100 foot of  first line frontage on what is consistently recognised (and awarded) the World’s Best Beach.

And having won countless other awards – it’s just one more accolade for one of the Caribbean’s leading resorts and residences.

Grace Bay Club has it’s own ultra-exclusive spa (the Anani), a fabulous ‘infiniti bar’ (see below), several very upmarket bars and restaurants (we recommend the Anacaona) an adults-only hotel offering truly luxurious accommodation of up to 2,200 square feet of breathtaking appointments and some of the finest uber-exclusive residences on Providenciales.

The Infiniti Bar at Grace Bay Club

For more information:
Grace Bay Circle Road
P.O. Box 128 Grace Bay
Turks & Caicos Islands
Telephone (+1) 649 946 5050
Facsimile (+1) 649 946 5758
Toll-free (+1) 800 946 5757
You can also follow Grace Bay Club on Twitter, add them @GraceBayClub

Grace Bay Club's Residences

Grace Bay Club Rooms

Win $1,000,000 Cash with Conch Developments & The Turks and Caiocs Islands National Football Team

•June 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

With FIFA World Cup 2010 fever well and truly underway, I thought it would be a good idea to take a break from the action in South Africa and look at football in the Turks & Caicos Islands.  They may be minnows on the world stage but they’re a young squad and the only way is up.  Oh and fancy the chance to win $1m cash* with Conch Developments?  Then read on…

The Turks and Caicos Islands national football team is the national team of the Turks and Caicos Islands and is controlled by the Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association.  Their current coach is Matthew Green. 

Turks & Caicos Squad Colours

The Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association (TCIFA) was only formed on paper in 1996. They had no pitch, no players, no league and a patch of dirt on which to start with. The country had no history whatsoever in football prior to that and the national pastime is dominoes! In common with many Caribbean countries, the sporting choice of the youth is basketball.

The TCIFA was set up by British expatriate workers who wanted to introduce the sport to the local community and after a tremendous amount of hard work they managed to secure funding through FIFA’s ‘Goal’ programme, which offers financial development support to smaller nations. The result was the completion of the very first playing field, floodlights and changing facilities.

The TCI National Squad

Having only joined FIFA in 1998; Turks and Caicos Islands made its first appearance at an official FIFA competition when they entered the 2002 World Cup qualification campaign. In March 2000, the team was knocked out in the first qualification round by St. Kitts and Nevis.

For the 2006 World Cup qualifying competition; the side suffered an aggregate loss against Haiti and the TCI didn’t win its first competitive international match until September 4th 2006 when they resoundingly beat the Cayman Islands 2-0 in the Digicel Cup.

In 2007, the federation completed construction of their first stadium, the Turks and Caicos National Stadium, with the help of the FIFA Goal Programme, and have committed themselves to building a broad base of football participation and support.  The stadium is currently undergoing a major improvement / redevelopment.

On February 6, 2008, the team achieved its first World Cup qualification win 2-1 against Saint Lucia in the CONCACAF first round at home, but in the second leg played March 26, 2008, they were eliminated after they fell short having lost the away leg 0-2 in Saint Lucia for a 2-3 aggregate score. 

Since they’re relatively new to the world of international football, Turks & Caicos FIFA ranking is a lowly 184. However, that still puts them above a number of their regional peers including Anguilla, Montserrat, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, British Virgin Islands, Aruba and the US Virgin Islands!

David Beckham holidays regularly in the Turks & Caicos

There are a number of soccer academies in the islands with Rio Ferdinand, John Terry and Gary Neville having publically stated they are interested in opening one together there (all three of them own extensive land / real estate holdings in the TCI) and superstars like Beckham declaring the island as his favourite getaway location.  Women’s soccer is popular and many a five-a-side game amongst ex-pats can be watched (or if Simon Padgett of Remax is involved, I understand the word ‘endured’ is more appropriate!)

They may not be the best but I certainly couldn’t think of anywhere better to play football as there’s no hooligans, no pies, no rainy downpours and certainly no annoying vuvuzela’s!  Better still, the female supporters tend to wear bikinis and instead of warm beer you can enjoy a cool rum cocktail!

Win $1m with Conch Developments

So how can you win $1m cash*?  Well, Conch Developments is (cheekily) offering anyone who emails us at free entry into a prize draw for the World Cup 2014.  What’s the draw for?  Well…. If Turks & Caicos win the World Cup Final in 2014 then Conch Developments will select one of the entrants at random and give the lucky winner $1m cash.

Hey…. it could happen!  In between now and then, Messi, Kaka, Rooney and Villa may all choose to play for the TCI, you never know!

*No purchase necessary. Terms & Conditions apply. Email Conch Developments for more information by clicking here

October 2010 – A New Benchmark in Land Development

•June 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Sunset on South of Provo

BIG and exciting news is coming for Conch Developments and all our customers in October so stay posted… it’s going to be HUGE!

You heard it here first!

Conch Developments & The Turks & Caicos Islands – Paradise Found

Conch Developments & The Turks & Caicos Islands – Paradise Found

•May 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment