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Tobago trouble: Is anyone listening to the cries of our tourism trade?

It was nine months since my last visit to Tobago. On the occasion of my visit last weekend, I received very troubling accounts of the state of Tobago tourism from persons in the hotel industry, both owners and employees as well as persons involved in real estate.

These accounts were so universal and so troubling that I decided—probably for the first time—to write a column on the basis of “I selling it as I buy it”.  I was also influenced by the fact that the Trinidad Express had commented editorially on the parlous state of Tobago tourism.

Photo: The Hotel Magdalena Grand in Tobago. (Courtesy Booking.com)
Photo: The Hotel Magdalena Grand in Tobago.
(Courtesy Booking.com)

It seems that the dedicated focus on Tobago, which produced some very good years between 2003 and 2007, has been lost. The accounts I received about low occupancy of hotels, guesthouses and apartments by visitors from abroad were very gloomy.

Currently, occupancy rates of 10% or lower outside of a very limited period over Christmas and New Year seem to be the norm. This is in contrast to 60% to 70% occupancy rates in the halcyon years.

It is generally accepted that for tourism in Tobago to succeed, there are three essential ingredients: available beds, dedicated marketing and airlift.

The essential ingredients of available beds, marketing and airlift are deliberately listed in that order. There does not seem to be an issue regarding available beds. In fact, the re-opening of the Magdalena and extension of other hotels reportedly provided approximately 400 more beds.

In order to fill those additional beds I am told that, at a 60% or 70% occupancy, there would have to be an increase of 300 available seats on airlines servicing Tobago. It is suggested however that, even before the increased bed count, there had been times there was insufficient airlift providing seats for international tourists.

Photo: A Caribbean Airlines plane prepares to land. (Copyright Lyndon Thorley/Planespotters.net)
Photo: A Caribbean Airlines plane prepares to land.
(Copyright Lyndon Thorley/Planespotters.net)

Marketing precedes airlift in the list of essential ingredients because airlines will not come to Tobago unless they can fill their seats with passengers interested in vacationing in a known destination of good reputation.

The experts tell me that Tobago has to be marketed separately from Trinidad. Tobago must be a separate brand from Trinidad similar to the way in which the North Coast of Jamaica is a separate brand from Kingston and the rest of Jamaica.

For many years, Montego Bay was marketed as the “tourist capital of Jamaica”. Likewise, Cancun is not tied to Mexico City.

Apparently, the requirement of the separate Tobago brand had been recognised previously when Tobago had its own separate representative in the United Kingdom operating independently of the requirement of Trinidad tourism.  This separate representation has not been maintained with disastrous consequences.

Not surprisingly, there has been a catastrophic drop in direct or one stop fights to Tobago. A particular casualty of this decline in airlift has been the loss of the well-known link between Tobago tourism and the Scandinavian countries.

I can recall decades ago, in a somewhat more male chauvinistic time, when male eyes in Tobago lit up at the sight of Scandinavian flight attendants who came to Tobago at least once a week on flights then operated by Scandinavian Airline System (SAS). In fact, I have a pumpkin vine family who married one.

Photo: A beach in Montego Bay, Jamaica. (Copyright Expedia)
Photo: A beach in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
(Copyright Expedia)

In more recent times, a tour operator, Apollo, brought visitors from Scandinavia by a chartered airline called Novair, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. In many cases, those guests came on breakfast plans with the result that they were serious patrons of Tobago cuisine throughout their stay.

These guests brought business to every level of the Tobago tourism industry.  The Apollo arranged flights have been withdrawn from Tobago, so the niche Scandinavian market has been curtailed.

Monarch and Condor were the only other direct flights to Tobago from London (Gatwick) and Frankfurt respectively.  Monarch went out of the long haul business and was never replaced.

Virgin Atlantic and British Airways come with one prior stop to Tobago, such as St Lucia or Antigua. This is disadvantageous to Tobago because St Lucia and Antigua are better-known destinations and passengers do not appreciate the delay in arriving in Tobago. I am told that, at one time, Virgin came direct to Tobago and onward to Grenada with better results for Tobago hotel occupancy.

The net result of the airlift decline is a loss of more than half of weekly visitors from the United Kingdom and Europe.

As a footnote to the marketing deficiency, queries have been raised about the benefits of advertising in North America when there are no direct flights to Tobago by North American airlines. The laborious transfer from Trinidad to Tobago is not attractive to tourists.

Photo: Minister of Tourism Shamfa Cudjoe. (Courtesy Newsgov.tt)
Photo: Minister of Tourism Shamfa Cudjoe.
(Courtesy Newsgov.tt)

The reported state of Tobago tourism tells us something about the political will for diversification and the final comment on this tale of woe was that if Sandals is coming Tobago, tourism might die while waiting on any resuscitation that Sandals might deliver.

Persons deeply involved in Tobago tourism ask: Is anyone listening?

About Martin Daly

Martin Daly
Martin G Daly SC is a prominent attorney-at-law. He is a former Independent Senator and past president of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago. He is chairman of the Pat Bishop Foundation and a steelpan music enthusiast.

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80 comments

  1. I am a Canadian born to Trinidadians and live in Toronto. I would readily vacation in Tobago, were it not these two key factors which I do not experience when I vacation anywhere else in the Caribbean, Mexico or South America.

    Firstly – Service – The quality of service in Tobago, and Trinidad for that matter, is far below any world-class standard. Service is slow, and staff generally give you the impression that they are uninterested in serving you. I can’t count how many times I have been steupsed by someone providing me service. Until there is an overall change in the approach to customer service, no efforts to revitalize this industry will be sustainable. I will mention that the POS Hyatt is the ONLY place in all of Trinidad where I have received true world class service, rivaling anywhere else in the world that I’ve been – why can the Hyatt make this happen yet no where else seems able to?

    Secondly – Crime – Until T&T reins in crime, particularly crime against tourists, why would anyone want to vacation there? I can travel all over the Caribbean and not feel at risk yet any visit to Tobago requires extra caution and vigilance, actually restricting your comfort to move about as you please. Again, bump up the “airlift” as much as you please, but no sane traveler would choose a high risk destination like Tobago.

  2. The workers at most of the hotels are uncouth. They go through your stuff and steal articles of clothing etc. I went to a wedding there and it was not a positive experience. The same reasons why visitors stopped going to Barbados.

  3. Landing in st Lucia en route for Tobago on Virgin airlines last Sunday. Landed already American Airlines and Jet Blue, the latter left to be replaced by Delta airlines. Then BA landed. As we were departing another airline landed. Six airlines, Virgin left practically empty for Tobago. Do we have a tourist industry?

  4. Everything is quoted in us or pounds now no tt

  5. Tobago could benefit from this but…Trinidad? Capital city…full of manholes (pass stage of potholes) and homeless ppl, garbage littering the street. Another case of the cart before the horse? Shouldn’t we try to clean up the city first before we invite tourists to come and have the experience leave a sour taste in their mouth (literally and figuratively)?

  6. Nigel Auguste, your comment about most Tobagonians being uneducated, are non-factual and unsupported. I do agree that they bear many insecurities. You lived in Tobago for several years and you were magnanimous in your efforts to employ them and take special I tried to build their confidence. Didn’t I hear similar comments in the USA debates recently. Well, I’m Tobagonian. I understand the insecurities but I also understand a much stronger commitment to education than exist in the similar demographic in Trinidad and maybe Philadelphia

    • Brian I am happy to hear that there is a much stronger commitment to education. It can only help to the development of the country on the whole. And yes there is need for more commitment in Trinidad as well. Even Philadelphia has its problems in the public school system which is why I have my boys in one of the best private schools in the city. I accept the arguments of environmental determinism so that I am all for kids getting the best foundation to prepare them to be positive contributors to the greater society.

  7. This is just advertising for Sandals – sheesh!

  8. Lloyd Best once said that everybody in Trinidad and Tobago feel they are second class citizens to one another, the French Creole don’t trust the British Creole, the Indians don’t trust the Africans, the Hindus don’t trust the Muslims, the Indian Muslims don’t trust the African Muslims, the Catholics don’t trust the so called Small Churches, the Professional Africans from Flagstaff don’t trust the Africans from Beetham and I can go on and on. A friend once told me Trinidad and Tobago is a sociologist paradise. Yet we can’t do without one another.

  9. What about the multitude of Trinidadians who have to fight to get a chance to go to Tobago for a long weekend. It’s like we’re begging to give our money away.

  10. Martin Daly actually cares about something? Is he willing to seriously question government’s intention for Tobago and its development? Or is he waiting for his Presidential appointment?

  11. disagree with Mr Auguste comments

  12. No government regulation as to labour workers including managers are left up to the mercy of unscrupulous business owners in the industry

  13. Not to mention lack of water and constant power outages in west tobago

  14. I lived there and work for a year….. I am disgusted. … And omg d few employees at hotels etc…r Trinidadians Jamaicans and Guyanese. …. Treated like under paid dogs….smhhhh. …I think I hate Tobago

  15. Don’t worry ..Sandals resort coming

  16. If you can’t fix domestic tourism how can you fix foreign tourism trials start on the ferry service and the airbridge people in Tobago have an attitude of disgust with trinidad visitors which results in trinidadians taking every possible item they need from trinidad when on holiday so they. Don’t have to face high prices and swell mouth in groceries and food outlets recognise that trinidadians can spend a lot in Tobago so start by changing tobagonians way of conducting themselves

  17. Actually, having lived in Tobago for seven years I was able to discern that they suffer from an inferiority complex. Most Tobagonians are uneducated and their aggression is a knee jerk defense mechanism to hide their ignorance. Then you also have politicians feeding on the ignorance with slogans like “foreigners [including Trinidadians] coming here to buy up land and rob you of your heritage.” This breeds hate for all outsiders.

    • Most Tobagonians are uneducated? That’s an extraordinary statement. And one I’m sure that Dr Keith Rowley, the late ANR Robinson SC and many more distinguished people will disagree with.

    • So would my family who have owned and operated business there for decades.

    • My grandparents opened Elizabeth’s College (a private high school) in Tobago back in the late 1940s I think. So that stone would definitely fall in their garden. Lol.

    • I anticipated this response and I agree that we can name people who were born in Tobago who have achieved alot. However, they do not represent the majority. It is sad to me to say so because it is not out of malice but by observation. From my first year living there I came across 14 and 15 year olds who were still in common entrance class. Unfortunately the Keith Rowleys, Martin George, Reginald Dumas etc. are exceptions to the norm.

    • Nigel I think geniuses are always the exception to the norm. I think you would need more than to that to prove that they’re uneducated.
      Are you going by the literacy rate? Or secondary school success?
      There are many struggling children in Trinidad too. And those figures would probably change if you were the urban or rural areas too.

    • Nigel facts an stats matter. At some point people will have to stop making reckless comments without any serious supporting data. Until that time this is a broad baseless comment, without merit..

    • My comments were in relation to Daly’s article in which he relates personal interactions with employers in the tourism industry. Having lived there and worked in tourism business for 7 years since back in the 90’s I have had the personal experience that one will not get from the media. So when I visit Tobago in recent years and see signs hanging outside businesses that say looking for Trinidadians to employ I am saddened on one hand but on the other I understand because I know the context within which they operate. I’ve employed Tobagonians and I know the patience I had to exercise in order to get pass their insecurities. But that was because of my character. Not every employer will take the time I did to work with my employees on their self esteem. Employers want to know that their customers are being served and the bottom line attained.

    • BTW I didn’t use the term genius in reference to the outliers in the Tobago context. That term doesn’t come into play here. Well that depends on the standard of measure anyway.

    • Lol. Fair point on the last comment. Not so much the others. ?

  18. tobago should be its own entity. They import food anyway so why not establish meaningful contracts for organic clean food from clean farmers abroad and marry it with local fresh food. Tobago does not need all that cheap China plastic products. With an innovative leader.. Tobago can rise to the financial level other islands would vie for… time for Tobago to think about the long term future and not about short term construction jobs. True authenticity is fading… and it is slowly becoming another POS…

    Govt can collect due taxes, participate in trade negotiation and encourage tourism.. it should be a fair partnership and not nepotistic like it is today…we have antiquated voices steering the novice politicians…

  19. The same boring, unimaginative, lacking innovative skills people have been running tourism in Tobago for the last umpteen years….unless a new, bright, modern thinking batch are brought in the place will continue to be 3rd rate….

  20. It’s not just about marketing, beds and airlift….it’s about the overall low quality tourism product and its high price….. St Lucia, Puerto Rico, the DR or any other regional destination offers sooo much more and at cheaper prices….the first step should be to upgrade the product to international standards, esp where customer service is concerned…..my god we all have horror stories about awful experiences concerning service in Tobago…..

    • Agreed…we don’t get much value for money in Tobago. My pet peeve is the stress of getting there…by boat or plane..and if there is so much drama for a small group, why would u subject ur wedding party or families with small children to such inconvenience? We seem to forget one major thing -the consumer has free choice!

    • Exactly Tanya Carr, i cannot remember when last Tobago had a new attraction or amenity.

    • Good point. Saint Lucia is also trying to reinvent itself as a Health & Wellness vacation destination. Tai Chi, Yoga, Spas with all kinds of newfangled treatments. One resort, Le Sport is basically branded “The Body Holiday” resort https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwD_XKQX5t8. You attract a higher paying level of guests that way and a few celebrities. A very good metric of how good your tourism is is whether or not international celebrities are regularly visiting. Not for musical performance but for their own relaxation and vacation.

      Gwenyth Paltrow recently stayed at the Sugar Beach resort in Soufriere. Same resort where Matt Damon renewed his wedding vows, with invited guests Angelina and Pitt when they were still together. Many more come and go with much less fanfare.

      Now here is something interesting, Trinidad does attract celebrities but for CARNIVAL. That tells you that cultural experiences are a USP (unique Selling Proposition) of Trinidad.

      But Tobago? Remember what happened to Queen Latifah when she came here. Jewelry stolen. You CANNOT HAVE THAT. If you cannot build up trust between guest and citizen, you will get less and less guests.

  21. My current boss is the Chairman of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. Every day, I see the extensive, multi-tiered, strategic and consistent work up close that is involved in sustaining a steady stream of visitors to the island. This includes investing in your people providing accommodation. As we speak, free training in proper online marketing is being given to guest house and b&b owners. There are ad agencies in London, New York, Canada already primed with Winter Season Saint Lucia Promotional campaigns. A new Chicago direct connection was negotiated.

    It is HARD WORK. It requires smarts, sophistication, eloquence which I do not see in the current Minister of Tourism at all. Do you see that person able to hold her own negotiating with a CEO of a major airline?

    • It seems St Lucia is aware of the challenges for the industry, has a vision, and is proactive. I wonder at the need for a Ministry of Tourism. Couldn’t the relevant ministries target their audience-Ministry of Culture, Min of Sport, THA?

    • When the banana boom was over, Saint Lucia re-positioned itself as the No.1 Honeymoon Destination in the Caribbean. It had no other choice. Like a lot of the islands without oil and LNG, they have no choice but to be serious about tourism.

      My T&T, we still complacent because of oil. And you are right Nerisha Mohammed. Tourism should be handled by a PRIVATE SECTOR type organization with people who have business and marketing smarts. It is not a “Government” thing to be run like a public sector enterprise with all its bureaucracy and political pettiness.

    • Great thought. So…instead of a Ministry geared toward tourism specifically, money could be used to fund/develop initiatives that bring in tourists-eco tourism, historical sites etc.

    • Nerisha Mohammed That is more like it. You have a Tourism Board comprised of BUSINESS MINDS with expertise in this area. Just like any company, they have to meet certain financial projections within the financial year or the Board Members will be held accountable.

      They meet and determine what the strategic goals for the year are. For example: 40% increase in cruise arrivals, two new airbridges in Europe, Canada, North America, etc. etc. Then they go off and make it happen. They also have to release an Annual Report like any company does.

    • Hmm…that is the shortfall of our public sector. Our budget and strategic plans all sound good, but…after that, there is no follow up/through. If $m is spent, to upgrade how many additional rooms? Did occupancy rate improve? Has our accessibility improved? This shortfall in information is critical, as it shows we are making decisions in a vacuum/abyss. How can u make informed decisions without data/statistics?

    • Nerisha Mohammed Yup. No accountability. No transparency. The Private Sector though have more laws and regulations.

  22. Drop the prices. Yore competing with much better destinations that are safer and cheaper.

  23. Very interesting article. We need to also look at service and exactly what do persons get when they come to our island’s properties and businesses. The pricing of our hotels etc needs to be looked at. What one can get for US$80 per night in Tobago, is a much lower standard from that in St. Lucia, Grenada, etc.

    • I wonder if people are aware that since the “Calcutta ship” statement, many Indo-Trinis decided to spend their vacations in other Caribbean islands such as St. Lucia, Grenada and Barbados?

      BTW., who or what was the PNM defending Tobago from? It worked…

    • There are many reasons for the difference in value; the primary one being that the cost of doing business in Tobago is much higher. While countries like St Lucia, Barbados, Grenada etc benefit from Government funded marketing, as Martin Daly has pointed out, the extent to which this is done in T&T is limited; forcing hoteliers to foot this cost themselves. Additionally, because tourism is the main source of GDP in many Caribbean islands, hoteliers are given a tax break on consumables used in their establishment. Again – no such arrangement exists in T&T. This is why a resort in Costa Rica can offer an all-inclusive price of US$80 – they pay no VAT on food and alcohol.

    • Yup…just like politicians feeding racist rants and insecurities in Trinidad, feeding such insecurities in Tobago can only backfire. It seems like an ignorant road to walk. And I guess the Trinidad and Tobago relationship is not as strong as we would like to think/hope-they have only been married in the last century if I recall correctly lol.

    • well i disagree, it is not ignorance, they knew exactly what they were doing, the same with any fascist state.. blame an external enemy for all your troubles… Why do you think there was a point that tourists were getting chop and rape every fortnight….

    • Ihu…and it’s the consequences-inherent hatred and distrust of perceived ‘enemy’ that concerns me. Our education system needs to educate ppl about the various cultures and religions that exist here as the ignorance can only grow unless there is a deliberate thrust to understand all backgrounds.

  24. Interesting…a chicken and egg scenario…did the politicians exploit the Tobagonians skepticism of outsiders or did they add to it?

  25. Nigel Auguste, you may be correct, it could be hate for Trinidadians and not race base or it could be both. They could also be reacting to how we Trinidadians treat them with a condescending manner.

  26. This is all very very old stuff. Two things to add. The fact that tourists get brutalized and murdered in Tobago doesn’t help. Second, and this is a self inflicted wound, southwest Tobago has been turned into a slum. Storebay, Pigeon Point, Crown Point have all been ruined though overdevelopment.

  27. Good read, and interesting points added here by Nerisha Mohammed , George Wells and Kirwin Weston. What has not been said is that for the last three THA elections the PNM election tagline has been “defend Tobago’ or “stand in defence of tobago”. On the hustings the politicians told tobagonians that the germans were the enemy, buying out all the villa land, that kamla and de indians (and by extension ashworth jack) were the enemy, selling out tobago heritage. In my opinion this fascist diatribe has turned to population of tobago against 1) anyone seen as an outsider, 2) against the clean, green tourism drive (which is why locals are often seen trrowing garbage out of moving cars). 3) tourists (foreigners and local) are seen as $, and nothing else. So, to me, if the politicians do not attempt to change the mindset of the populace from tourism =the new plantation to tourism=sustainable growth, we might as well forget about tourism.

  28. If Sandals is established in Tobago, it will result in less patronage for other smaller and less known hotels; in effect ‘running other operators’ out of business. This will result in further job losses, loss of taxes from the small hotels, and loss of revenue by local agri producers. This is all due to Sandals’ benefiting from a 25 year tax holiday. They will not be bound to purchase anything local nor pay VAT or other taxes. Sandals will be experiencing a wonderful 25 year holiday, and Tobago will be the perfect ‘getaway’ destination.

    Secondly, the “Calcutta Ship” discourse did not help with local tourism in Tobago at all. One just has to listen to i95.5 FM on Thursday evenings (4-6 PM) to listen to outright racist comments made by callers from Tobago against Indians, labeling an entire race as thieves, schemers, deceivers etc. In fact I am disappointed that the hosts of the show only passively and ‘halfheartedly’ address this, yet many times they just ignore the statements. Political views are one thing, but racist rants should not be entertained.

    Local tourism could have given Tobago that assistance it needed, but its myopic and racist view of persons has hindered its success. By the way, when is Mr. Orville London going to account for the TT one billion dollars unaccounted for as outlined in the last Auditor General’s report?

  29. Tobago and tourism in the twin island need to get it together!!! Simply not ready for the world stage. Stayed at the Magdalena resort in 2104 for (5) days. Supposed to depart Tobago on the ferry back to Trinidad on Friday sailing to depart Piarco Saturday to return to work in the USA. My aunt calls me Friday morning to tell me that the Ferry is out of service. The Magdalena staff did not inform me of this when I checked out. The Ferry was going to be out of service indefinitely so I went to the ANR Robinson Airport and got on a flight standby to Trinidad. I was informed there is no refund on the Ferry Ticket but it’s valid for a year. I guess I am supposed to return within a year just to use the Ferry ticket!!!! The Ferry is Government owned and so is the airline…WHEN some BS like this happens (i’m told it’s often) then the price of the Ferry ticket should be used as some sort of voucher to offset the price of the plane ticket. I return to Trinidad and Tobago because of my roots but my GF will never come back and many I have spoken to never will. So return business is falling through the MASSIVE cracks of ‘simply not ready’. Now if you’re white….seems the general experience is different…better….somehow….seems a lot of the islanders are still colonialized in their thinking.

  30. Tobago is a non destination for boating tourists as it does not have a functioning marina with fuel facilities .All attempts by private developers are blocked by THA yet they are unable or umnwilling to provide the same .

  31. Yes , I agree that they hate Trinidadians, in fact many Tobagonians have been known to say that the crimes being committed in Tobago are being done by Trinidadians. That said, I’ve also heard some very intolerant comments about East Indians.

  32. Trevor Baksh, they actually don’t just hate people by their race. When I lived there I learned their hate for Trinidadians too. One of my house keepers took an envelope with money out of a draw. When I made a report to the police, the officer asked if I was Tobagonian or Trinidadian. He asked me the same about the house keeper. The result: the report was never logged in an official report and nothing was done. The justification: I am Trinidadian and she is Tobagonian.

  33. The reported state of Tobago tourism tells us something about the political will for diversification and the final comment on this tale of woe was that “if Sandals is coming Tobago, tourism might die while waiting on any resuscitation that Sandals might deliver”.

    Persons deeply involved in Tobago tourism ask: Is anyone listening?

  34. Jason Baptiste…what’s your take on this?

    • Pretty spot on. Lots of points on target. While it wants the North American market there is not appropriate direct airlift or North American hotel product. Sandals will help with that as it’s a truly north American type hotel. The separate representation for Tobago and trinidad has never been a good thing. Only thing I disagree is that there is not enough airlift. There is but outside of a few hotels the remaining room stock needs an overall upgrade to continue to attract the UK and European market. Tobago has been heavily dependent on the Trinidad domestic market but more and more trinis are staying at private villas. You can get a 2 to 3 bedroom villa for the price to stay at Magdalena

  35. That happens when one programs a people to hate other people by their race. I will not visit Tobago again, I felt like I was not wanted there.

  36. Successive governments have been clueless and undesirable to boost tourism.
    We are not serious about diversification neither tourism, that’s just the sad truth.
    Personally, I think Sandals taking risk to build here given the country’s vision on tourism

  37. Love Daly’s contributions as always

  38. Is there a market for external tourism in Tobago? What is their niche market? The beaches are nice but you have to put up with uncouth touts who freely curse each other at popular and convenient Store Bay. For families, many of the boats that visit the reef have been turned into ‘party boats’. I am not sure how many living coral are at the bucco gardens, but I think the reef is mostly dead, which is why they probably stopped visiting. If the island does not have an identity to market and target, how can there be a tourism thrust. Left Trinidad for a weekend for some r&r, and was subjected to loud noise from nearby clubs all weekend. If Tobago were serious about tourism, they would invest in proper training for everyone involved in the industry. Educate them about their product/service, how to market other services on the island, and most important-customer service. If they can try to satisfy the local tourists, then they can start to target foreigners-they certainly seem to expect more value for their dollar than my fellow trinis who seem willing to put up with poor service more than outsiders.

    • Tobagonians aren’t too friendly and welcoming at all. And our culture in T&T is one of poor customer service and poor hospitality.
      They really need training as you indicated

    • On another note…USA and Canada is a concrete jungle and attracts tourist.
      I thinks it’s all about marketing what you have.
      The beaches alone in Tobago will suffice…along with waterfalls, Speyside, Charlotteville ( Roneil) , Blue Food, Heritage Festival, and other events will boost in the absence of Coral Reef

    • Good ideas to market! Would be great if there was an organized system where tour guides are registered and wear uniforms. We have to acknowledge crime plays a part in our tourism thrust and countries have advisories-and Trinidad is the gateway to Tobago it seems. We also could make the TDC and Ministry of Tourism social media presence more informative and exciting, given that many ppl do not use travel agents anymore. Help could also be given to smaller guest houses etc to improve their social media presence. Tobago really needs to sell itself. And good reviews on places like Tripadvisor can only take you so far-if your website does not have good pics of ur property, is not user friendly, problems to pay online etc.

    • Yeah. But we don’t do anything properly and efficiently in this country so those things are simply aspirations.

      Daly said that we’ll have to market Tobago separately which I believe is true.

  39. That period was underlined by some very dedicated, fact based and strategic marketing efforts. All of that machinery has been destroyed .