A LOOK-OUT at Paramin, a website promoting local theatre, and seating for bake and shark patrons are among the initiatives planned by the Tourism Ministry for 2020, announced Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell.
He was speaking on Thursday as the Standing Finance Committee looked at the estimates for the ministry.
He said, for fiscal 2020 the ministry planned to complete work at the Manzanilla beach facility, Vessigny beach facility, start work at the Galera Point lighthouse in Toco, construct a look-out at Paramin and complete some more corrective work at the Maracas beach facility.
Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial asked about the $6.5 million to complete phase two of the Maracas beach project. Mitchell replied this second and final phase includes solar lighting and expansion of the carpark.
Ramdial said Maracas beach vendors had issues with their location, and Mitchell replied phase two would treat with that issue. He explained there was no seating area for the bake and shark vendors, and some installed tents were "unsightly." He said with phase two, proper seating areas would be standardised and built and the issue would be taken care of by the next fiscal period.
Naparima MP Rodney Charles said $5 million out of $14 million had been expended on a line item on promotion. He asked when people would start to see advertisements for TT while abroad, and whether business groups were being targeted. Mitchell replied, Trinidad Tourism Ltd has a strategic plan with all these matters outlined. He said TV ads were a strategy used by other jurisdictions, but for TT digital marketing would be more economical and better to reach the target market.
Ramdial also asked about a reduction in the telephone costs in the ministry, and Mitchell responded that the ministry has been very economical with phones.
Ramdial quipped: "They got a new minister."
She was likely referring to former tourism minister Shamfa Cudjoe who, in May 2017, racked up a $59,000 cellular roaming bill while in The Bahamas. Cudjoe had said she was not aware that her phone was set to roaming.