Fueled by Sunwing, Tobago Begins Tourism Comeback

tobago sunwing tourismThe Coco Reef resort in Tobago.
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The island of Tobago is quietly making a tourism comeback after years away from the travel radar. 

Tobago reported 19,542 international stayover arrivals last year, which represented an 8.2 percent increase compared to the previous year. 

And the trend is continuing so far in 2020, according to the Tobago Tourism Agency. 

January figures show a 21.8 percent increase compared to the same month in 2019, with 2,805 arrivals last month. 

The Tobago Tourism Authority recently rebranded the destination as “Tobago Beyond: unspoilt, untouched, undiscovered,” a decision the agency credits as partially responsible for the upward trajectory. 

The lion’s share of the island’s growth, however, came from the launch of the Starfish Tobago resort and nonstop flights from Toronto — Sunwing’s first entry to the market.

That was borne out in the numbers: After sending just 223 tourists to Tobago in 2018, Canada sent 2,171 travelers to the island in 2019, making Canada almost single-handedly responsible for the growth in arrivals. 

Indeed, the Canadian market was a significant driver of growth to the island last year. 

For Tobago to get to the next level, though, it will need to attract travelers from the United States — and that means managing to secure direct flights from America. 

— CJ