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Thursday 18 January 2018

THTA wants resolution to inter-island transport woes

The Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association (THTA) wants a proper plan in place to address the heavy demand for air and sea transportation between the Trinidad and Tobago, especially during peak periods.

Speaking with Newsday Tobago last Thursday, Vice President of the Association, Carol Ann Birchwood James said that she hoped the inter-island transportation system would be fully functioning in 2018, and that marketing plans for would be in put in place by the Tobago Tourism Authority.

With an estimated averaged occupancy for 2017 at 37 percent and 21 percent respectively for hotels and guest houses, Birchwood James also said that tourism stakeholders were not relying on the state but venturing out on their own to do some destination marketing.

“Local tourism suffered tremendously from the inter-island ferry transport problem. There is no confidence in the transportation

system, so many local visitors are cancelling. There is also a lack of marketing of the destination as the Tourism Authority is not yet fully functional,” she said.

With no figures to refer to as yet, Birchwood James suggested Easter as the period of the highest arrivals and occupancy for the accommodation sector in 2017.

“I will have to speculate Easter as I don’t have all the figures available. The months of July and August were a disaster as the sea-bridge was unpredictable and the air-bridge service inadequate. We faced many cancellations for Christmas and the New Year. Many hotels and accommodation had full bookings but suffered cancellations because visitors did not want to be stuck in Tobago,” she said.


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