THA Secretary of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation Tashia Burris has revealed that 57,240 domestic passengers travelled to Tobago during last year’s inaugural October carnival.
She gave the figure during Thursday’s plenary sitting in the Assembly Legislature, Scarborough.
Roxborough/Argyle assemblyman Watson Duke, in a question for oral answer, asked Burris to give a detailed breakdown of the 30,000 visitors that came to the island for the October carnival.
Duke, political leader of the Progressive Democratic Patriots, also wanted to know how many visitors came by air and sea, the name of each vessel as well as the local, regional and international tourists that were present.
Referring to domestic travellers, Burris said, “In October 2022, there were 31,862 passenger arrivals by sea, mainly via the fast ferries, the Buccoo Reef and the APT James and 25,378 passengers arriving by air via Caribbean Airlines (CAL), which accounted for a total of 57,240 domestic arrivals to the destination.”
International passenger arrivals in October 2022 were 1,661, of which 1,178 were stay-over arrivals, she added.
“With the introduction of Tobago carnival in October 2022, this month was actually the only month in 2022 which recorded an increase in stay-over arrivals over pre-pandemic levels, from 1,086 in 2019 to 1,178 people in 2022, representing an increase of eight per cent. Therefore, total visitor arrivals for the period stood at 58,418 people.”
Giving a breakdown of arrivals by air, Burris said British Airways operated five flights, bringing a total of 691 passengers while Caribbean Airlines operated nine services out of Barbados, which accounted for 181 passengers.
CAL, she said, operated six services out of JFK, New York, bringing 545 people. The airline also operated two services out of Miami, bringing 108 people, while Virgin Atlantic had five services and brought 11 people. Private aircraft brought 26 people.
On the inter-island ferry service for October 2022, specifically during the carnival festivities, Burris said a total of 31,862 passengers were recorded.
“This was also the result of additional ferry services that we lobbied for and quite effectively so because it accommodated this influx of travellers.”
She added from October 24-November 2, ferries made 62 trips to Tobago, carrying 23,178 passengers and 8,105 vehicles.