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Old 08-05-2018, 13:00   #1
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Turks & Caicos stiffing it to yachters

I'm planning a trip thru the Bahamas and northwestern Atlantic Ocean, and would really like to visit TCI. But according to Noonsight, it would cost $50 to clear in and $50 to clear out, and that gives me just seven days. For $300 extra, I can stay for three months. That's $400 friggin dollars for an island with about 250 square miles of land. (For comparison, the Bahamas charges just a flat $150 for a full year.)

So I sent an email to: info@TurksAndCaicosTourism.com

I said I'd love to visit their beautiful island, but they have priced me out. They actually replied and said that the customs fees are "regulated" and the Tourist Bureau has no say.

Ok yachters, time to step up to the plate: How about if EVERYONE who would love the visit the lovely TCIs shoots an email to their tourist bureau and say, at current customs rates, no way! Maybe if they hear from enough of us, someone might realize that, like the Bahamas, being nice to yachties is good business.
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Old 08-05-2018, 14:53   #2
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Re: Turks & Caicos stiffing it to yachters

Hello, dwm0214,

I feel your pain, and it's not like it buys you much. The problem is that you are not dealing with a rich country, and many do charge various fees, for clearance in and out, for "light fees", for quarantine. At the end of the day, if you want to go there, you suck up the fees, or don't go.

A long time ago, there was a kerfuffle in La Paz, BCS, where a Navy Ship struck a number of yachts who were anchored in the channel. At that time, working through the tourism bureau seemed to work, but what actually happened was that the cruisers who took the knock, and fixed their boats, went on to cruise the South Pacific; whereas the ones who waited on the Mexican government to help them out did not.

So, good luck with your plan, maybe there's a way to negotiate a lower fee or longer stay if you and a bunch of others all came in at once (this is something some of the rallies negotiate in various countries); if it works, it will be due to your and others efforts, and maybe, some good luck, too.

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Old 08-05-2018, 18:48   #3
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Re: Turks & Caicos stiffing it to yachters

Not sure where you call home, perhaps the US. What do you think it costs a couple from the Turks and Caicos to get the required visas to sail into the states?

I wonder how many nights in a hotel for how much the typical tourist that the Tourist Bureau tracks spends.

Voting with your feet (sails) is a reasonable way to deal with high costs or over the top bureaucracy at possible cruising destinations, we've done it a few of times.
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Old 08-05-2018, 20:55   #4
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Re: Turks & Caicos stiffing it to yachters

So... don't go... and don't whine about it.

The Bahamas are $300 for me for a cruising permit--EVEN IF I STAY 24 HOURS. People go there all the time. We love TCI when we were there last year. It was worth it. We had a good time.
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Old 08-05-2018, 20:58   #5
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Re: Turks & Caicos stiffing it to yachters

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Not sure where you call home, perhaps the US. What do you think it costs a couple from the Turks and Caicos to get the required visas to sail into the states?

I wonder how many nights in a hotel for how much the typical tourist that the Tourist Bureau tracks spends.

Voting with your feet (sails) is a reasonable way to deal with high costs or over the top bureaucracy at possible cruising destinations, we've done it a few of times.
Everything he said. Tourism is one of the few revenue streams many of these places have, and making things free kind of screws that up for them. If it's honestly too much, go elsewhere. But I'm guessing for the vast majority of cruisers, check in/out fees are pretty far down on the list of expenses.

Also, we paid $300 for a 90 day cruising permit in the Bahamas with the option to extend (another 90 for free I believe, we didn't stay that long). Everyone we've talked to did the same. Not sure what the awesome deal you got was all about.
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Old 08-05-2018, 23:44   #6
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Re: Turks & Caicos stiffing it to yachters

One of the things that constantly amazing to us is the complaints of new cruisers on the cost/burden/paperwork/restrictions/bureaucracy/rigamaroll that you have go through - we have seen a lot and we just say it is their country and if you don't like it don't go - this is not the USA that you are use to so just suck it up or stay home - after more than 40 countries we can say we have seen most of it but then we get surprised some days at check in or out - and we just roll with the punches
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Old 09-05-2018, 03:22   #7
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Re: Turks & Caicos stiffing it to yachters

Well it's great that Chuckr has piles of money and can whip out hundreds of $bucks in customs fees without flinching. Me, not so. Our cruising funds are limited, and it hurts when we have to make the tough decision to NOT visit someplace we really would like to go to because of the blasted customs fees.

But when yachters like Chuckr just roll over and pay those monster fees, it just makes it harder for the rest of us. What he SHOULD do is what I did: refuse to pay up, and make sure their tourist bureau knows WHY.
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Old 09-05-2018, 03:46   #8
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Re: Turks & Caicos stiffing it to yachters

I sense an atmosphere of entitlement here.
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Old 09-05-2018, 03:51   #9
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Re: Turks & Caicos stiffing it to yachters

I disagree with you DMW.

We passed by the Turks and Caicos Islands several times on the way to other Caribbean Islands, due to budget constraints. It is what it is. They think they have their prices set right.

There was a big kerfuffle back about 20 years ago when the Bahamas changed their fees from $35 to $150, then $300. We all bitched, but the laws of commerce generally state that you charge what the market will bear. And the Bahamas were worth the money, even on our budget (which was $600 a month at the time).

I've never been to the Turks and Caicos Islands, and probably never will. Our budget is substantially larger than it was in those days, but I'm still not willing to fork over their fees, for what I perceive as an Island that's less inviting than others.

You decide what you'll spend your money on, and live accordingly. Many folks think that if you can afford a boat, you can afford to pay these relatively small fees.

You're substantially better off than most of the folks living on the islands we call paradise, so suck it up and vote with your feet. You're still lucky to be out there cruising...

Cheers, and have fun.
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Old 09-05-2018, 03:57   #10
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Re: Turks & Caicos stiffing it to yachters

If I go with my boat to cruise Us waters I have to pay US $500 for visas (family of 5) + cruising permit , stay mŠx 90 days, and call in every time I move the boat even a couple of yards, so Ņwho is stiffing it to yachters?
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Old 09-05-2018, 04:31   #11
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Re: Turks & Caicos stiffing it to yachters

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Originally Posted by dmw0214 View Post
Well it's great that Chuckr has piles of money and can whip out hundreds of $bucks in customs fees without flinching. Me, not so. Our cruising funds are limited, and it hurts when we have to make the tough decision to NOT visit someplace we really would like to go to because of the blasted customs fees.

But when yachters like Chuckr just roll over and pay those monster fees, it just makes it harder for the rest of us. What he SHOULD do is what I did: refuse to pay up, and make sure their tourist bureau knows WHY.
Chuck posts his expenses so I feel safe in saying he isnít rolling in it or living the yachting last life. But Iím sorry to hear that your cruising life was poorly planned so you canít afford a checkin fee. I suspect that TC wouldnít miss the money you donít have to spend. People said the increase in Bahamas fees to $300 would cut down visitors, has it?
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Old 09-05-2018, 04:44   #12
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Re: Turks & Caicos stiffing it to yachters

The ugly truth is they want people with money, big money to visit.
So they cull the people that donít. Or at least that is my belief.
However it is their Country, to do with as they please.
So you get to decide, are you going to pony up the money, or sail past?

See, a big reason I dislike S Fl. Is my belief that itís overpriced, itís overpriced and therefore I pretty much sail past.
I can get better, for less somewhere else.
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:01   #13
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Re: Turks & Caicos stiffing it to yachters

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Originally Posted by dmw0214 View Post
Well it's great that Chuckr has piles of money and can whip out hundreds of $bucks in customs fees without flinching. Me, not so. Our cruising funds are limited, and it hurts when we have to make the tough decision to NOT visit someplace we really would like to go to because of the blasted customs fees.

But when yachters like Chuckr just roll over and pay those monster fees, it just makes it harder for the rest of us. What he SHOULD do is what I did: refuse to pay up, and make sure their tourist bureau knows WHY.
OMG, you have to pay $4.44 per day to visit their country for 3 months. That's an outrage.

If you can't afford it, they won't miss you, as clearly you were not going to contribute much to their economy anyway.

Oh, and your Bahamas information is wrong. You may find out when you get the right information that you can't afford going there either.

And wait until you find out how expensive food, beer, fuel, etc. is when you get to either of them.
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:05   #14
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Re: Turks & Caicos stiffing it to yachters

Just looked, and it is $160 per person for a US visa, and a $19 fee for a cruising licence. The fine for not reporting boat movement is $5000. I had never thought about what this country charges.
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:07   #15
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Re: Turks & Caicos stiffing it to yachters

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Originally Posted by dmw0214 View Post
Well it's great that Chuckr has piles of money and can whip out hundreds of $bucks in customs fees without flinching. Me, not so. Our cruising funds are limited, and it hurts when we have to make the tough decision to NOT visit someplace we really would like to go to because of the blasted customs fees.

But when yachters like Chuckr just roll over and pay those monster fees, it just makes it harder for the rest of us. What he SHOULD do is what I did: refuse to pay up, and make sure their tourist bureau knows WHY.
Last time I flew to the TCI I didn't pay any customs fees that I know of. The fully staffed home we rented on Grace Bay was 4K+/ night though. That did include a chef and three gourmet meals a day so we considered it a bargain.
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