PRESIDENT of the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association Chris James was surprised by Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe’s recent trip to the International Trade Bourse (ITB) in Berlin. On Tuesday he said he was embarrassed when he learnt TT was represented.
Cudjoe, in response, said she was surprised to learn Tobago would not be represented.
James said the Tobago Tourism Agency through its CEO, Louis Lewis, told the association it would not be attending ITB this year, and although several members were interested in attending, they decided not to because they thought there would not be a display area to work from.
“We didn’t know that the Minister of Tourism was going to ITB. Because we were told that we were not going, we were contacted by tour operators from Germany and we told them that we were not coming.
“So it was a little bit embarrassing that someone went,” he said. Cudjoe said the ITB Berlin is a travel show that TT has taken part in every year, along with the World Travel Market (WTM) in London.
She said the Ministry of Tourism usually collaborates with the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), so the ministry usually takes the Trinidad stakeholders, and the THA, which has responsibility for tourism development in Tobago, has been responsible for the Tobago stakeholders.
“This year for ITB, the Ministry of Tourism would have made arrangements in Berlin to have space at ITB. We made reservations for two spots for Trinidad and for Tobago, because we know that we usually come that large. We usually have a space that is big enough for Trinidad and Tobago.
“We reached out to the THA, and the Secretary of Tourism would have notified me that the assembly does not wish to partner with the Ministry of Tourism at ITB this year,” she said.