Marketing of the Tobago Jazz Experience 2018 will begin today, and Tourism and Culture Secretary Nadine Stewart-Philips, in announcing this on Wednesday, also announced, “We will have no complimentary tickets this year, we want persons to support the event.”
Speaking at the post Exe4cutive Council media briefing at the Administrative Complex in Calder Hall, Stewart-Phillips said with the release of the names of the regional and international artistes for the two-da, $7.3 million festival has been released, the Tobago Festivals Commission will roll out its campaign today.
“We are specifically catering to our domestic travelers and of course, our local patrons here in Tobago. While our aim remains to attract international visitors to the destination, we do not underestimate the impact that domestic tourism has on Tobago’s tourism industry and we strive to capitalise on the domestic market for this year’s tenth anniversary celebrations,” she said.
Maintaining that TJE, in its tenth year, remains a fixture on the Caribbean festivals calendar, Stewart Phillips said this “enables us as a destination to deliver on our mandate to position the island of Tobago competitively within the festivals and events tourism niche.”
“Of course, as a Division, we acknowledge the delay in the release of information for this year’s event, however the Commission continues to work assiduously to ensure that the 10th anniversary celebration is an enjoyable one for all patrons,” she said.
On the matter of the $7.3 million budget, she said:
“There is much talk on social media about the budget being $7 million for a two-day event, but if you remember in the recent years, the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) would have expended budgets ranging from $12 million to $18 million and a lot of persons are indicating that a two- week event costed $12 million and now a two-day event is costing $7 million.
“If we really think, the THA in the past really facilitated three days, all the other events would have been supported by sponsors including the NLCB.”
On Tuesday, the Commission’s Executive Chairman George Leacock announced that Jamaica artistes Tanya Stephens and Tarrus Riley, and American singers, Anthony Hamilton and Neyo, are confirmed to perform at TJE 2018.
Tickets for the World Music International Night on April 29 at Pigeon Point Heritage Park do on sale today. Jazz in the East Caribbean Night at Speyside on April 28 is free to the public.