The island of Trinidad has unveiled some bold goals to grow its long-under-the-radar tourism sector.
Tourism Trinidad Limited, the island’s destination marketing company, says it is planning to increase visitor arrivals by 7 percent for the 2019-2020 fiscal year period, according to a recent statement.
The island, which has one of Caribbean’s most vibrant culinary scenes, a robust eco-tourism product and a hotel stock consisting largely of business-friendly hotels focused in its capital of Port of Spain, is looking to reach average hotel occupancy of 64 percent in the same period.
For the current year, Trinidad has seen a 2 percent increase in tourism visitors, with a total of 276,269 international visitors, according to data from the state-owned TTL.
“This is an ambitious agenda for Trinidad’s tourism. Our focus is on developing a clearly identifiable Trinidad ‘brand’ to raise awareness of the destination throughout the world, deliver an outstanding visitor experience and establish Trinidad as a destination of choice,” said Howard Chin Lee, the chairman of Tourism Trinidad Limited. “To this end, we have developed a comprehensive roadmap on how we can partner with government and stakeholders to take our tourism sector to new heights.”
The company said it was also looking to develop a “framework” to help local communities build their own tourism offerings.
Officials say they’ve identified three “key niches” to grow tourism: sports, events and conferences.
Of course, it’s not easy to grow arrivals without developing new air routes, something TTL says will be a priority.
The aim is to “deliver better and more sustained connectivity, introduce new routes and airlines to the destination,” the company said.
Trinidad has a separate destination marketing arm from its sister island of Tobago, which offers a vastly different tourism product and has long marketed itself as a haven for nature lovers.
Trinidad has long been one of the Caribbean’s most developed destinations, with a surfeit of urban, business-friendly hotels (like the excellent Hyatt Regency Trinidad) and what is arguably the Caribbean’s most popular festival, its signature annual Carnival.
The 7 percent goal is a lofty one, but it’s the kind of big thinking that Trinidad’s largely neglected tourism sector needs — and what could be a major boost for a destination that teems with untapped potential.
For more, visit Trinidad.