A press release from the Division of Culture said this was confirmed by the event‘s organisers, Aviation Connection, at a welcome reception for participants hosted by the Division at the Pembroke Heritage Park last Friday.
The GGC has travelled extensively from the Canadian Arctic to the Caribbean islands, leading people of different cultures, nationalities and backgrounds to far-
reaching destinations across the globe. Now, Tobago has joined the group of destinations chosen to host this event, which takes place across the region.
Tobago was the turning point for this year’s rally, and the launch point for the second challenge: Around the Caribbean Sea Air Rally. The Rally’s presence in Tobago last weekend brought 15 light aircraft and approximately 80 pilots and crew from Trinidad, the United States, Canada and Europe.
The Division said its support of this unique event was part of the Tobago House of Assembly’s continuous efforts to position the island as an ideal destination for not only leisure seekers, but also sports enthusiasts of every kind.
“Ventures of this nature are geared toward stimulating an increase in international arrivals, as well as capitalising on opportunities to showcase Tobago’s authentic beauty to a distinguished group of international travellers and accompanying global media representatives,” the release stated. Speaking at Friday’s welcome reception, Secretary of Tourism, Culture and Transportation, Nadine Stewart-Phillips, said the arrival of the rally, and the pilots and crew that come with it, “serves as a positive injection into Tobago’s tourism business unit and we look forward to the benefits that will be felt by our stakeholders.”
Catherine Tobenas, Aviation Connection Event Coordinator, said aviation travellers are high-end spenders who are eager to experience each destination they visit. The group stayed at Bacolet Beach Club for the weekend and toured the Main Ridge Forest Reserve, as well as Buccoo Reef.
Tobenas commended officials at the ANR Robinson International Airport for a seamless arrival and she praised the island for its hospitality.
“We have been to many islands and the people here were very friendly, we loved it, and that’s why we’re going to come back with more planes,” she said.
She said the process in Tobago ran a lot more smoothly than in other islands and as a result, Aviation Connection felt confident in bringing even more aircraft to the destination as the rally continues to expand.
Apart from the welcome reception, students and accompanying teachers from primary schools across the island had the opportunity to engage in special tour of the aircraft, courtesy of the Division