Tobago’s tourism product comprises sun, sea and sand, with the added benefit of a rich, cultural element that satisfies the increasing demand for authentic travel experiences. To this end, the Tobago Tourism Agency (TTA) has set an agenda for the sustainable development of a more vibrant, viable tourism industry with Tourism Secretary Nadine Stewart Phillips inviting the world to “Live the culture…Tobago Style,” at press conference on the stand on Monday at the World Travel Market 2017 in London, England.
A contingent of tourism stakeholders, including entertainers, and led by Stewart Phillips, attended the Market, with a news release from the Division of tourism noting that the trip had several objectives, the primary one being to remind the world that Tobago was open for business and ready to welcome visitors interested in experiencing the island’s unique natural, historical and cultural products.
The Division said that “after three days of strategic meetings, insightful interviews, and lively performances the destination’s message was clearly delivered and well received by the international travel trade.”
“The destination reinforced its cultural thrust while conducting interviews with members of the international travel media, including publications such as the Travel Trade Gazette (TTG) and Travel Weekly, as well as the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). T&T also coordinated daily performances by entertainers who showcased the island’s indigenous dances accompanied by riveting drumming and vocals,” it added.
The release noted Virgin Atlantic’s Island View project, which will allow residents and visitors to capture, share and discover the various experiences Tobago has to offer through the use of Google Street View technology.
“The first initiative of its kind executed by Virgin, in conjunction with a destination, it is anticipated that this project will expand Tobago’s exposure to international travelers, enhance the island’s marketing collateral, and increase awareness of the Virgin Atlantic UK to Tobago route,” the Division said.
The release also noted meetings held by the Division’s staff and that of the TTA “with the aim of strengthening relationships with key European airline partners, including Virgin Holiday, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Condor. The meetings facilitated discussions centered on maintaining existing services between Tobago and the continent.”
The Division also said Tobago will be re-entering the Scandinavian market and that several proposals received prior to the Market were explored further through meetings with various providers. These proposals are currently under review, it added.
The release also noted that the Tobago delegation held several meetings with tour operators currently marketing the destination to their clients in the UK and that sessions with companies such as Dive Worldwide, Hayes & Jarvis and Tropical Sky provided an opportunity to update the operators
on developments taking place on the island and instill confidence in the destination.
“Based on the feedback received from current and potential tour operator partners, the Division and Agency have begun to map out a strategic plan for engagement of the travel trade moving forward. Upon return to Tobago the team will focus on developing a sound growth strategy that seeks to secure short, medium and long-term wins for Tobago,” the release said.