Travel and tourism consultant Dr Auliana Poon believes there is no better time than now for tourism investment in TT.
Poon was speaking on Thursday after opening a $10 million villa – Height of Being – in Arnos Vale, Tobago.
Located on an 11-acre organic fruit estate and perched on a secluded mountain top, Height of Being was described as an ultra-modern luxury retreat that caters to the most sophisticated and discerning traveller.
The villa offers unhindered views of the Caribbean Sea on one side with stunning vistas of Tobago’s verdant hills and valleys on the other.
Poon said the investment demonstrates the high level of optimism and firm belief in the future of Tobago’s tourism.
In a press release, Leve Global, a company founded by Poon, said improved vaccination rates, the easing of travel restrictions and globally aggressive health and safety education awareness programs have positively affected consumer travel, but the spread of omicron and fears of other variants are still bugbears in restoring travel confidence.
This is not the first venture of Poon in tourism investment as Height of Being is an addition to the original Villa Being which was voted by the international publication Forbes Magazine as one of the most fabulous villas in the Caribbean.
Poon said, "The global pandemic has brought the world to its knees, and tourism has been the worst affected of all the major economic sectors. But covid19 has also given us an opportunity to rethink, reimagine, reinvent, and re-engineer.
"In this environment of heightened uncertainty, radical shifts and a new/next normal, it is critical to rethink, refocus, reimagine, re-engineer and reposition tourism to reflect the radically changing scenarios and to be adequately future-proofed. And this is my formula for recovery and resilience, and I encourage other tourism entrepreneurs to also pivot in re-thinking their operations.”
Poon said “travellers are considering trips in 2022 that enriches their experiences, holidaying in the great outdoors providing both rest and socially-distanced explorations. Travellers will be seeking out private, hidden gems, dream destinations, and opportunities for nature-focused activities such as exists right here in beautiful Tobago and on Villa Being estate itself.”
Villa Being and Heights of Being were designed by TT architect Roger Turton. Some of the amenities of Height of Being include an infinity pool and jacuzzi, a sunset gazebo, on-call concierge service, a private chef, personal maid service and unlimited sensual experiences of Tobago’s natural environment.
Poon, through her company Leve Global, has developed numerous tourism plans and marketing strategies for countries all over the world including South Africa, Singapore, Mozambique, Gambia, Tanzania, Abu Dhabi, and the entire Caribbean. Poon has also developed strategies for trend-setting companies such as Sandals International (Jamaica) and Conservation Corporation (Africa); and developed the "tourism begins at home" programme in the Bahamas in the early 1990s.