The National Carnival Commission (NCC) is expecting more visitors for Carnival 2024, the commission’s chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters said on Monday.
The launch of Carnival will take place on November 4 at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, with a pre-show from 3 pm. The theme for Carnival 2024 is Carnival Come Back Home. Gypsy thanked the commission’s deputy chair Davlin Thomas for devising it.
The launch is expected to be approximately seven hours and will give snippets of what will be done next year, he said.
He did not divulge much but said the commission was hoping to improve on the number of people who visit the country.
“That is why we have been doing all of these outside Trinidad and Tobago promotions, to ensure that we get all of these people we really want to get into the country.
“We are doing a lot of things to attract people,” he added.
Gypsy said TT was the only Carnival in the world with characters like the blue devils, cow mas, dame Lorraines and midnight robbers etc.
“No other country has our characters and we find that when we take these characters outside of TT, the interest shown gives us the impetus to go on and do it even more.
“These characters come from our regional carnivals mostly. In the main, we have adopted so much other stuff from Brazil and wherever else into our Carnival, that we now have to call our real Carnival traditional mas,” he said.
The NCC has been encouraging the growth of traditional mas by incentivising private enterprises producing these bands.
“If you remember, at one time, these things were almost extinct. We are now trying resuscitate it and with good results,” he said.
Asked if there were going to be partnerships with hotels and airlines to encourage more visitors, Gypsy said that has always been in place.
“We have always been in constant contact with them. Let us take for instance, when we do the outside intervention, we have a sponsorship arrangement with Caribbean Airlines (CAL), and they have been doing an excellent job in terms of getting us there and back.
“We are in talks with them because we are seeing the benefits and people’s interest in coming to the country.”
Gypsy said people’s biggest complaint of travel to TT was that it was too expensive, with which he agreed.
“But I don’t know how much that is predicated on the international going ons with the airlines. So there is very little we can do other than talk and stuff. But having said that we have been holding these kinds of talks with our national carrier and they have been very receptive in terms of telling us they will try.”
While, globally, two wars were currently engaging the world’s consciousness and TT was grappling with its own crime situation, Gypsy said while these things could adversely affect what the country was doing, the inverse could happen and the outcome could be positive.
“People might want to get away from all of that and come to TT – which is a safe place.
“We have none of these things going on in here.”
Gypsy said TT’s crime situation was not only isolated to TT.
Without going in to much detail, he said, crime in TT was basically murder and was specifically directed.
“I think the law with the enforcement is doing a good job, the best that they can. Carnival in TT is a safe time.”
Gypsy said draconian times called for draconian measures. He said TT’s people liked to complain but did not want to do what was needed to ensure these things did not happen.
“As long as yuh try to pass that, nobody wants it done. ‘No. You can’t do that. You have too much human rights.’ But what about the human wrongs?
“There is a polarisation there and we have to understand that.”
Gypsy said TT needed to support some draconian measures to address its crime problem.
“Unless and until we implement draconian measures in this country, nothing would be done properly. We will have no peace because actions without consequences are things that will be going on all the time.
“We cannot use 1966 measures in order to curb 2024 or 2023 going ons. We have to change with the time.”
Gypsy said, however, Carnival was the safest time to be in TT.
He assured visitors that they would be safe and no one was going to harm or hurt them.
“We at the NCC have been doing our endeavour to try to ensure that Carnival in TT is a spectacle to behold and something people would want to see.”
He added that TT’s Carnival had been exported to many countries and now had to compete against these.
SuperBlue, Brass 2 the World and Ronnie McIntosh are among those expected to perform at the launch.
“Carnival is going to be in full effect and we want you to come. And everyone who is hearing me and reading of what is said, I want you to take it to heart and come to our Carnival.
“You have Tobago’s Carnival which is from October 27-29 and you can come to Tobago now and that is basically a prelude to TT’s Carnival,” Gypsy said.
Panorama 2024 launch will be held on November 5 at Republic Bank Exodus Panyard at 5.30 pm.
Its theme is Come Home to the Rhythms of Steel.