Chief Secretary and Secretary for Tourism, Culture and Transportation Ancil Dennis said he intends to crack down on reef boat operators who allow unsafe practices during trips. Dennis said he will pay close attention to the popular Buccoo Marine Park.
“I intend to end decisively the issue of touting and unsafe practices on reef boat and among tour operators,” he said on Saturday during a post-executive council media conference at Scarborough Library.
“I am going to pay particular attention to regulation, especially in that place called the Buccoo Marine Park.”
Dennis said there is an existing policy governing unsafe practices that has not been implemented.
“I intend to work with the (tourism division) administrator, the (tourism) agency and all the other stakeholders involved, including the TT Police Service, to ensure we fix those specific issues.”
He raised the issue as he highlighted some of his plans for the tourism sector, post-covid19.
Dennis said he has held discussions with the Tobago Tourism Agency Ltd and they will be focusing specifically on the domestic market within the next few months.
“I don’t think we can expect any promises where international tourism at this time is concerned. The situation is very grim and unpredictable and we can’t say when international visitors will return to our shores.
“Therefore, the only thing to do is to focus on the domestic market as far as we possibly can.”
Discussing his other plans as chief secretary, Dennis said significant attention will be placed on agriculture.
He has already visited farms at Bloody Bay and Goldsborough.
The visits, he said, were geared toward highlighting the work of some Tobago farmers by way of their successes and challenges.
“I will continue to be involved in it as far as possible to ensure that we give our farmers the kind of support and the kind of incentives that will ensure that we achieve the objectives of food security going forward, not only during this period but even over the long term.”
He noted Secretary of Food Production, Forestry and Fisheries Hayden Spencer had already announced a number of incentives encouraging farmers and others to get involved in some aspect of food production, either through backyard gardening or farming on a small, medium or large scale.