Despite the ongoing sea bridge problems, the Ministry of Tourism says some properties in Tobago recorded above 75 per cent occupancy during the Easter period.
According to a release, preliminary checks revealed that between March 30 and April 2, select properties recorded from 68 to 100 per cent occupancy. These eight resorts included Mt Irvine Bay Resort, Hibiscus Heights Villa and Vacation Apartments, Surfside, and Naturalist Beach Resort.
It further stated that “residents of Trinidad still embraced the opportunity to visit Tobago during this key vacation period.”
Tobago stakeholders had complained of poor occupancy with figures averaging 30 per cent and even as low as zero per cent.
Also, the ministry said for the period March 29 to April 2, Caribbean Airlines (CAL) operated 283 flights at about an 80 per cent load factor, equating to 16,583 passengers. In addition, it said from January to March of this year, 3,737 domestic flights were scheduled, providing 265,382 seats, which 238,098 persons utilised.
The ministry also rejected Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial’s implication that Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe had her TT tourist arrival figures wrong at the March 28 sitting of the House of Representatives.
The release said that, as stated by Cudjoe, for the period January 1 to February 28, the arrival numbers were 82,114; 78,672; and 74,191 for 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively. It noted that in a Newsday article on Thursday, Ramdial questioned the accuracy of the numbers and quoted lower figures.
However, the release said the lower figures quoted were CSO numbers for 19 days prior and up to Carnival Tuesday (February 12), which was not the period requested on the order paper.