Government will be rolling out a new yachting policy to lay the foundation to improve the competitiveness of the industry with a view to establish Trinidad and Tobago as the premier destination for yacht repair services.
In this regard, Government is proposing to support the sector by developing yachting specific legislation to provide a clear distinction from commercial maritime laws. It will also provide regulations and operating procedures, through engagement of the relevant stakeholders.
Making the announcement in his budget presentation, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said, Trinidad and Tobago are outside of the hurricane belt and they already have a striving yachting sub-sector of about 180 firms.
And while the natural disasters in the northern Caribbean were not something to be happy about, he said, the country will receive increased visits as yacht owners seek to avoid future damage from hurricanes.
This has happened in the past, he said, when destructive hurricanes caused massive damage in both Leeward and Windward islands, and most notably after Hurricane Ivan hit Grenada in 2004.
In supporting the sector, Imbert said that in addition to legislation, Government is proposing to introduce a single harmonised form to reduce entry and departure times for cruisers visiting Trinidad and Tobago.
Government also proposes to develop a comprehensive marketing and promotion plan for the yachting sub sector, and pursue marina development through public/private partnerships in Tobago.