Tourism: The Trinidad and Tobago economy and concepts
THE EDITOR: Tuesday's presentation by Senator Jearlean John on television led me to be very concerned as well as disturbed.
It is my understanding that John recommends the Dubai model for tourism in Tobago and would embrace a similar strategy in our economy. Not only do I strongly disagree but may I invite consideration to this simple example.
A visitor may spend USD$100, while another less well-heeled only US$10. However, the critical determinant relies on how much it costs the country to attract that spend. If the country expends US$99.50 in our first example and US$6.50 in the second, we can readily appreciate where there is a net benefit to the national economy.
This example readily demonstrates why there is need to begin with concepts rather than committing to high-end expenditure on tourism initiatives as a pathway to our economic development.
Brand Tobago seeks to promote the island as the greatest little island on the planet. Additionally, it should be integrated with Trinidad in the interest of a strong TT economy. It has been previously enunciated that the development thrust will rely on:
▪︎ Location, educated and culturally unique communities, varied historical antecedents and the ability to embrace modern development technologies.
▪︎ Inherent comparative advantages in natural resources in both land and in Tobago waters.
▪︎ Heritages based on historical antecedents, eg wrecks, forts, etc.
▪︎ Innovative and financially literate youth with a willingness for entrepreneurship.
These are some concepts on which there can be a general quick consensus. I believe the way forward can then be readily seen. Potentially dangerous and unintended consequences will be avoided.
Already, much has been said and written for decision-makers to consider, particularly as relate to the green, orange and blue economies. There is little need to rehash them but there is every reason to avoid hasty and irreversible decisions that will lead only to ghettos and unintended consequences in our beloved nation.
SAMUEL B HOWARD
"Tourism: The Trinidad and Tobago economy and concepts"