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Turks and Caicos Islands

This Deadly Coral Disease Is Threatening More Than Just Reefs

Stony corals’ rigid external skeletons are what give structure to reefs, which in turn provide the backbone to the area’s tourism industry. In a typical year, more than a million tourists flock to Turks and Caicos to experience its white sands, turquoise waters, and coral reefs, drawing in about $80 million annually, according to a 2018 report co-published by economics for the environment and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Hotels and restaurants alone account for nearly 40% of the islands’ economy. Those took a huge hit in 2020 due to Covid-19, but travel is already starting to rebound. From January to April 2021, the islands saw a 96% increase in international passenger arrivals, according to the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board.

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