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.