THE collapsed seabridge is “not a good situation for Tobago,” Minister of Tourism and Tobago West MP Shamfa Cudjoe says.
Speaking during a break on Tuesday at C&W’s Business Roundtable IT solutions for hospitality stakeholders at the Coco Reef Resort and Spa, Cudjoe said: “It is very inconvenient not just for tourism, but also for the Tobagonian. It is not good for economic development.
“Which Tobagonian would be satisfied – I would not be satisfied, as a Tobagonian. I travel back and forth…Nobody could feel comfortable in this situation, it affects just about everything.
“As I said in the Parliament and I am going to say it again, our livelihood depends on this inter-island connection. It is not good for the businessman, the private sector, the tourism sector, it is not good for the average Tobagonian, because at the end of the day, it is about economic development, social development, and us living a comfortable life and us enjoying a proper standard of living in Tobago. So the Tobagonian can never be at ease in this situation.”
On Monday, the TT Express, the lone passenger vessel, was withdrawn from service as it is overdue for its statutory maintenance.
In the interim, Caribbean Airlines is working with the Port Authority to accommodate 2,922 people with confirmed ferry tickets, initially for March 13-22, on the airbridge at no additional cost.
The minister remains convinced that the government is doing the very best that it can with the limited resources at hand. “As a member of the Government, as the representative for Tobago West, it is in our best interest for me to continue to work with the Government to see how fast we can bring relief.
“Caribbean Airlines is assisting, and this is the best that we can do right now.
“But if there was a boat available that you could just bring in, of course that is something we would have explored. We have already purchased a boat, and that boat will be here at the end of April, and that is the best that the Government can do at this time,” she said.