Who is Red Hospitality and are there others doing the same thing?

The activity of Grace Bay Turks and Caicos at sunset, as the tour boat delivers its passengers home

Who is Red Hospitality and are there others doing the same thing?

Will they drive the local vendors out of the market?



Admittedly I had never heard about RED Hospitality and Leisure until I read an internal memo from one of the Resorts that was leaked on social media. It piques my curiosity and interest especially because of the concerns that the local water sports vendors will be marginalized.

Who is RED?

According to their website, the company is a fully sourced beach recreation management company.  The company is providing services in St Thomas USVI, St John USVI, Turks and Caicos, Key West Fl., Key Largo, FL, BVI and Maui.

The website also revealed that that company has five fleets in the Turks and Caicos namely Lady Grace, Van Dutch, Caicos Explore, Caicos Express and Pineapple Express. The company has listed three resorts on the island of Providenciales as their clients. They provide concierge services.

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, 51% of RED is owned by a local Turks and Caicos Islander and has been around for more than three years. After all, watersports tour is a reserved category.

The arrangement with Grace Bay Resorts

Grace Bay Resorts has decided to partner with RED to carry out the bookings for water sports activities for their guests. However, if a guest wants to request a specific local water sports operator through the concierge, they can do so but RED will vet the local water sports operator to ensure that they meet the insurance and safety protocols. The company stated it is doing this due to the new levels of liabilities that they faced

Can a company have the right to choose who they want?

A private company has the right to hire any company or individual if they are legal. Likewise, if RED wishes to expand, they can do so too.

Several companies have outsourced some of the services outside the Turks and Caicos and within Turks and Caicos. Some of it is due to work permit issues, some of it is due to cost and efficiency and some of it is due to networking.

Can a guest have the right to choose who they want.

Unless a guest’s accommodation is not all inclusive, a guest should have a right to choose who they want to choose for their water sports services. They should not be locked in with the hotel concierge services. That should be a choice for the guest.

It is my understanding that this is not an exclusive arrangement and guests do not have to use the concierge services. They can choose who they want, and they can book directly with any local vendor of their choice. Of course, if they go through the concierge then they will have to follow the protocol by RED, but they can still choose who they want.

Can the Government intervene?

Government can intervene legally if they have evidence that there is fronting going in at RED because fronting is illegal. The Government can pass policies for reserved categories companies to produce financial statements reviewed by an independent auditor that will reflect contributions and investments by the local partner. I am not saying this is the case with RED, but there are some locals that are fronting.

If there is no fronting or any illegal activities, the Government has no right to intervene in the private affairs of a company. The Government cannot tell you or me what to do with my business if I have a valid business licence.

However, given the concerns among some residents about the possibility of local vendors being marginalized, then certainly Government should have a dialogue with the local operators and the resorts and get a commitment from all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the local vendors are not being left out.

Currently marine vessels (not part of a tour) less than 30ft are restricted for Turks and Caicos Islanders. Eco Heritage Tours and camping sites are restricted.  Water sports are restricted.  Water tours are restricted. These should remain so that locals can participate in the market.  

Do other companies have similar arrangements.

Interestingly, RED is not the only one that is providing concierge services to hotels.  There is another major watersport company (whose name will not be mentioned) has a booking desk at three other hotels. There are two major hotels who facilitate their own boats for watersports and tours. However, they do use some local vendors from time to time, but they now require them to have 2 million insurances worldwide and some of these local vendors are unable to even secure this insurance and hence they cannot participate.

Some of these hotels not only have similar arrangements for watersport activities, but they have also partnered with certain real estate companies and taxis.

Will the local vendors be impacted?

Grace Bay Club assured me that RED will continue to use the local vendors. Now the local vendors can be impacted if they do not meet the safety and insurance requirement by RED. Hopefully, this is not the case since to get a business licence for certain activities, insurance is required. I am aware though that some local vendors are having a challenge getting insurance. However, RED stated that they can extend insurance to vendors do not carry coverage.

I spoke to at least four local vendors. One local vendor said their company will not be impacted because they do not provide services to Grace Bay Club. Furthermore, this company said they are well established, and guests contact them directly through their website. Another local vendor also told me that his company will not be impacted either as he does not do business with Grace Bay Club. However, he still does not like the arrangement. A third vendor told me that he was impacted in the water sports a long time because there are a lot of competition and people are coming to study what the locals are doing and then copying them. He also said he cannot afford the $2m insurance. The fourth local vendor said he felt the approach to the arrangement that was made was unfair. He said he is paying 15% now in commission and he is concerned that the commission rate will double to 30%.

Grace Bay currently has 222 rooms under their portfolio covering 5 properties. An additional 92 rooms will be added once South Bank opens. This represents 4% of the total rooms in TCI.

How can locals be involved and participate more in the industry?

Except for marine vessels (greater than 30ft) not for tours, overall watersports are restricted and so locals should use that opportunity to capitalize on. Please do not front. If you get a partner, make sure you invest your 51% portion in the business and you are making decisions.

There are 164 watersports operators, 16 in Grand Turk, 4 in South Caicos, 7 in North/Middle Caicos and 137 in Providenciales.  If this is not already in place, then the local vendors should collaborate and form an association. Promote the watersports associations to hotels and villas. You can do the same thing that RED and other companies are doing.

In my opinion, there are enough hotel rooms, villas and tourist for the 164 watersports operator to participate equitably.  There are 470 registered villas covering 2,702 rooms. There are 40 hotels with 31 being on the island of Provdenciales, covering 3,015 rooms. The total rooms then are 5,717 There were 662,707 tourist arrivals in 2023.

Promote your business and review your pricing and strategy.


Unfortunately, most things in this country are political and personal. I do understand the concerns being expressed about the arrangement with RED, but quite frankly, as mentioned above, other companies and hotels are doing the same thing.

Do you know what another major issue is? Companies that do not have a business license in TCI but can bid on Government jobs. There are also some companies that have a business licence but do not contribute at all to the local economy because their business is not operating here. They have the business licence to get a tender.

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