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TCI featured heavily at CHTIC conference in Bermuda


« 04-04-2006 »TCI featured heavily at CHTIC conference in Bermuda
The Turks and Caicos Islands ("TCI") were featured extensively at the recent Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference ("CHTIC") held in Bermuda from April 4-6, 2006.

TCI featured heavily at CHTIC conference in Bermuda

Gary Brough, Managing Director for KPMG in TCI, moderated a panel discussion on the subject of private label resorts. Brough commented on the important role such resorts had played in the development of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Brough highlighted the Molasses Reef project on West Caicos as an example of a private label resort with a brand name operator and questioned whether this was a new trend within the industry. Panelist Andrew Wimsatt, Chief Development Officer for the Molasses Reef project explained the rationale as to why the developers of the West Caicos project and the operator of the resort, Ritz-Carlton, had decided to promote Molasses Reef as a private label resort. Fellow panelist Mark Durliat, Managing Director of the Grace Bay Group of Companies, shared with the audience his experiences in building up the "Grace Bay Club" private label and the relative benefits of engaging a brand name versus pursuing a private label.

Important contributions to the discussion were made by panelist Manvinder Puri, Vice-President, The Americas for GHM Hotels and manager of the famous Setai resort on South Beach, Miami. Puri distinguished between asset branding and product branding and explained that in the context of private label resorts you cannot be exclusive and abundant. Also at the conference, KPMG's Travel, Leisure, and Tourism industry services practice presented the results of its annual Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Financing Outlook survey.

The survey covered banks with an aggregate exposure to the hospitality industry in the Caribbean of more than US$2.5 billion, and included large cross-jurisdictional and international banks such as Butterfield Bank, Deutsche Bank, FirstCaribbean International Bank, RBTT, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, as well as members of the Caribbean Association of Indigenous Banks.

KPMG concluded that the results of the survey indicated that major lenders in the region are optimistic about the future of the regional hospitality industry in the short to medium term.

Ralph L Higgs, Deputy Director of the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board and Clayton E Been, Investment Manager for the Turks and Caicos Islands Investment Agency were in attendance at the various sessions to hear about developments in the industry and to assist potential investors with their enquiries as to the inward investment process in TCI.

Other highlights of the CHTIC conference included the address by the Premier of Bermuda, the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Sol Kerzner and the keynote presentation made by Stelios of easyGroup who alluded to future potential investments in the region by easyGroup which includes the companies; easyJet, easyHotels and easyCruises. For further information on the conference and a copy of KPMG's Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Financing Outlook survey contact gbrough [at] kpmgtci [dot] tc.

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