Archive for the 'Tourism' Category

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Need for Transparency in Tourism

Derren JosephWhy do I go on and on about tourism? The answer is that in the Caribbean, tourism is everything. It is the biggest generator of income and the biggest employer. Even oil-rich Trinidad has energy, manufacturing and service sectors that are heavily dependent on regional markets. These regional markets would collapse without tourism. Ask any Trini that travels regionally about how grocery shelves up and down the Caribbean are stocked with Trini brands. Our island neighbours buy smoothies and enjoy free Internet access at Rituals. Our island neighbours often bank at Republic Bank or get insurance from known Trini insurance companies. To understand tourism trends, is to understand the ups and downs of our regional economy. Our region is one inextricably linked market–despite what politicians say.
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The Rise of Airline Web Sites

By Derren Joseph
July 05, 2011

Derren JosephWithin the last year, much has been happening in the airline industry. Of specific interest is the decision by one of the world’s largest airlines to take legal action against two of the three largest content distributors. Content distributors, better known as Global Distribution Systems (or GDS) take fares from the airlines to the travel agents (both online and offline players) so that they can be offered for sale to customers like you and I. Specifically, American Airlines (AA) has decided to file a civil antitrust suit against two of the three big GDS’ to stop what AA describes as “exclusionary, anti-consumer and anti-competitive business practices” of the named GDS’s. What does this have to do with us in the Caribbean one may reasonably ask? On the surface, I see three key changes coming if AA has its way and withdraws some of its fares from these GDS’.
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We need cheap flights

By Derren Joseph
June 01, 2011

Derren JosephRegional tourism-dependent economies continue to feel the stress of the global economic slowdown. It is a slowdown that is severely impacting our neighbours in a way that we in Trinidad may find it hard to imagine. Last October, an IMF report reminded us that Caribbean countries are among the most highly indebted countries in the world with five of the 13 Caribbean countries having public debt-to-GDP ratios of more than 100 per cent with an additional four having debt levels above 70 per cent.
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So much to do in T&T

By Derren Joseph
May 23, 2011

Derren JosephLast week, I was trying to get to Anguilla for a meeting, only to be told while transiting through Antigua that the Anguilla airport was closed. Apparently the air traffic controller was not feeling well that day. Thanks to LIAT’s excellent customer service however, passengers were put up in a fairly decent hotel and treated to dinner. Thank you LIAT. The next morning we flew out to St Maarten, to catch the ferry across to Anguilla. While on board the ferry I looked around at the bankers from Barbados tapping away on their BlackBerry smartphones while the French tourists took lots of pictures, and then it struck me. What a resource we have in Trinidad with our inter island ferries and our Water Taxis! I look forward to seeing links on airline/tour operator/travel agency Web sites that allow incoming visitors to buy ferry/Water Taxi tickets while booking their flights/hotels. Those of us who use the local Water Taxi may take it for granted but for a visitor to our shores, that ride would be an amazing and memorable experience. The view alone is incredible. Added to which, our ferries are among the more modern boats in this part of the Caribbean, making for a much more comfortable experience than other islands.
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A diamond in the rough

By Derren Joseph
May 15, 2011

Derren JosephLast week I had an interesting conversation with a final-year UWI student. She was doing research on music tourism. As we spoke, we wondered to what extent is music tourism similar to what we in the Caribbean context, loosely term as festival tourism.
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Plebian Carnival

By Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 09, 2011

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOh what a difference an election victory makes. For time immemorial we were told by some that the steelband could never be considered as the national instrument—there was always the dholak—and that carnival was not really the national festival. They always sought to convince us that devali was comparable to carnival and emblematic of the national consciousness; hence the need to promote devali in the same way in which carnival is promoted. Somehow carnival was too black.
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Greens to get $$ – No Black Staff Please


On December 31, 2010, TV6 News reported that the Greens requested not to have dark-skinned doctors and nurses attend to Mrs. Green at the Mount Hope Hospital.
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Excitement over New Low Cost Carrier

By Derren Joseph
October 24, 2010

JetI think it was back in 2007 when I was working at Caribbean Airlines that I first heard about plans for a new Jamaica based Low Cost Carrier (LCC). The rumor was that it was born from the experience of Digicel Executives who were island hopping during the 2007 Cricket World Cup. They saw inefficiencies with the existing players and decided to turn this into a business opportunity. A December 7th 2007 article in the Jamaica Gleaner however, dismissed talk that Digicel was an investor but rather a sales partner.
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Tourism in Las Vegas and Trinidad

By Derren Joseph
October 12, 2010

Las VegasOne of the top stories in last Sunday’s New York Times was about the tourist Mecca of Las Vegas facing its deepest slide since the 1940s. As I read the story, I reflected on what is happening in our tourism accommodation sector here at home. Let us first touch on what is happening in Las Vegas. Firstly, visitor numbers are down as its usual customers cut back on recreational travel which is natural during a recession. Secondly, real estate and room rates are down. Thirdly, there is rising tourism unemployment as Nevada’s unemployment rates are now the highest in the US. In short, the overall tourism economy in the state of Nevada is under pressure.
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Tourism from Carnival to Divali

By Derren Joseph
September 16, 2010

CarnivalOn August 26th, there was an interesting article in the International Tourism press. President of the Sychelles, James Michel called upon his tourism industry to engage with the government to map out a new national tourism development plan. On the face of it there is nothing special about such an announcement but three things about that article that struck me.
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