Tobago’s tourism struggles

The I Love Tobago sign at the Scarborough Esplanade. File photo by Ayanna Kinsale
The I Love Tobago sign at the Scarborough Esplanade. File photo by Ayanna Kinsale

THE EDITOR: Tobago is breathtaking. Tobago is unique. Tobago is beautiful. Green but not so serene? Why is it that Tobago is not overrun with visitors 24/7?

Apart from the few cruise ships and Trini tourists, it is an expensive destination situated at the very end of the Caribbean and closer to the Equator.

Most importantly, the further your destination the more expensive the return flight ticket. World tourism died during the pandemic and is now only getting back on track.

And indeed, how will Tobago attract the more wealthy visitors? The wealthy visitor is not into Bed and Breakfast-only accommodation. At all.

It is not only about ramping up the advertising. What happens when you arrive in Tobago? How many five star hotels are available and offering the best of everything all year round?

This will have to include in-house dining and nightly entertainment within the hotel and regular available local entertainment if you choose to dine out.

At this point in time I am unaware that Tobago has the equivalent of an Ariapita Avenue which is on par with foreign entertainment areas with good restaurants and nightclubs.

Tobago missed out on that very important Caribbean tourism franchise called Sandals. Too financially painful to dredge up that huge mistake made by Tobagonians way back when? Sandals took off their sandals and never looked back.

I have said it before. Five star hotels will need extensive staffing. Presumably many workers would have to be from Trinidad.

Where will the many necessary fully qualified hotel staff live? Returning to Trinidad every night is not feasible. Ask yourself this: How many young Tobagonians actually want to work in the tourism industry? Not as many as long ago?

I do not believe that CAL is being hard hearted. A plane is not a PH taxi or a maxi taxi. You cannot park and wait for passengers.

The crux of the matter is that only 60,000 citizens live in Tobago. The island is a lovely special occasion destination for Trinidadians.

Weekend trips to Tobago just to go on a beach lime is not being realistic.


Diego Martin


"Tobago’s tourism struggles"

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