Tobago’s tourism on brink of collapse

By Pierre Small
January 30, 2009

Tobago TourismTobago’s tourism on brink of collapse: In light of all the latest developments internationally on the economic and tourism front, coupled with bad strategic planning from Trinidad’s Ministry Of Tourism and the Tourism Development Company, it appears imminent that Tobago’s tourism sector is heading for a collapse. With Tobago’s hotel occupancy rate now at 30%, and this is the peak of their tourism season, there is cause for severe alarm. Unless the financial stability of Tobago’s hotel owners and the tourism industry is as guaranteed as death, Tobagonians are headed for very hard times that will result in an uncomfortable pattern of lifestyle changes.

It is imperative that our Tourism officials urgently come to reality. With the misguided and self destructive “Fantasy Island” strategy of attempting to position Trinidad as the business and convention capital of the Caribbean, where does that leave Tobago. What is being done to alleviate the immediate needs of the majority of Tobagonians dependant on tourism for their livelihood and protect the hotel industry from collapse. The historically false promises and unyielding policies of the Tourism Development Company cannot be tolerated anymore.

According to a newly released document by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), “the current global economic slowdown which brought the growth of international tourism to a standstill in 2008, now threatens to reverse the historic four-year gains made by the industry in foreign travel.” Pay attention tourism officials, this UNWTO body is a credible and legitimate institution, does the TDC and their advisors have a better or more credible understanding than this international body, which is comprised of the world’s leading professionals. If they did, we would not have been in constant turmoil with our tourism, past, present and future.

“The collapse of financial markets, sharp increases in commodity and oil prices and volatile exchange rate fluctuations combined to force a one per cent decline in international travel in the six months from July, a trend that is expected to continue in 2009,” the UNWTO said. The report forecasted continued stagnation or decline for this year and beyond, but noted that the high degree of economic uncertainty makes predictions of international travel difficult.” Trinidad’s Ministry Of Tourism and the Tourism Development Company is claiming that business tourism is booming worldwide, again to our detriment, they are denying and ignoring the real facts as stated here by the UN. This is why our tourism cannot move forward, “Fantasy Island thinking and planning.”

It is worthy to note the UN’s real time expectations of, “the reversal of tourism gains over the last four years.” If Trinidad’s Ministry Of Tourism and Tourism Development Company are in touch with the reality of what is actually transpiring in the international community, and in particular the business world, they would not pursue as their main focus a business tourism strategy because all businesses are in major cut-back mode. Our government should understand that as they are in the same predicament. Our tourism officials must stop their “Fantasy Island thinking and planning” mentality. Lives are dependant on a functioning and stable tourism sector. We cannot tolerate anymore the TDC’s wasting of tax dollars on strategies that will not help us now or even in the future. We need a solution that will bring stability to our tourism now. It is unacceptable to say this is an international problem and nothing can be done about it, something can be done about it, but not business tourism. Like America, change must now come to our tourism department.

19 thoughts on “Tobago’s tourism on brink of collapse”

  1. Being an ‘alien’ and living in Tobago and married to a T&T national I have discovered the daily difficulties international and local tourists receive in continous abrupt rudeness when shopping or obtaining local services. Sometime the faces that are shown to the tourists have less life in them, in terms of response, than a person in a morgue – why? When 52% of GDP income in Tobago is derived from tourism, this island is anything but serene when viewed through a tourists eyes so this is plain foolishness to sell higher than is delivered. Having made a stong statement I know will ruffle feathers and yet be positivly acknowledged by the few realsitic one has to state what is wrong and what must be changed to make it right if Tourism is to continue and be a serious market sector player?

    The answer may be more to do with dissatisfaction in income as the bare minimum is paid to most workers, especially in tourism and retail services also the cost of living, especially for food is a higher cost in Tobago than Trinidad. The primary reason for this higher cost in Tobago is all the traders that import foods from Trinidad are all small vendors with small vehicles so the associated costs of travelling between the islands is expensive both in money and time spent, so food prices increases even further. The Cove Industrial Estate could provide the facilities for a wholesaler to do the shipping in bulk and provide an efficient distribution means. It is at least worthy of evaluation with some commercial stakeholders.

    Back to the core of the problem as I have met many of the tourists from abroad as well as Trinidadians and returning Tobagonians and the level of ‘abrupt rudeness’ is similar for all so tourist cannot complain on this account as at least this is done evenly! I know many people who visited this island will not return and have said so very plainly as they have been disappointed as this is a costly effort to save for a holiday and travel so far and may likely be their holiday of a lifetime. This reaction has also come from many Trinidadians I have met when travelling on the ferry. For an international holiday maker It is a big deal for them to visit an island in the middle of the Caribbean as the journey time is always that much further when coming to the Caribbean compared to many other destinations.

    Even an extra half an hour or one hour longer in travel will put customers off this island making a holiday island that is one stop before Tobago that much more tempting as it has the tropical heat and the sand and what’s the difference from their point of view – not yours. Tourism needs what is called a Unique Sales Proposition (USP) and to be brutally honest I do not see it. So who am I to be putting out these statements I was involved in expanding the tourism businesses with many of the UK holiday firms by helping them change the business methods they employed so whilst that was some time ago the lessons of business do not become diluted over time, instead they are reinforced over time.

    Empathy is one tool that is urgently required to make a better understanding; consider what the tourist is actually spending to reach these shores and what is in their minds because they are not just tourists, they are no less than you or me. To consider visiting here they have to spend say TT$30,000 for two weeks at a local hotel which is approximately 15% of their annual family income after heavy taxation is paid. If they have children it is only the professional classes or at least higher paid workers that can afford these prices and this is still a large sum to most if not all of them. With a little empathy any parent in this nation can appreciate what that means to the family budget as can staff at airports, ticketing, immigration officers, hotel receptionists, shop assistants and government agencies all need to reflect on this if the nation is serious about getting the positive message across to those that the tourist meets! All these people are ambassodors for their country. The hotel and associated services industry need to be in a position to feel proud to be in tourism and do the job the best they can even if they consider their pay is not as it should be as only ‘the best’ can expect to improve their situation by giving shinning examples to their colleagues.

    To revert back to the topic, Why is Grenada (and other Caribbean islands) Receiving So Many of the Airlines Passengers? The Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association treasurer, Shirley McKenna recently stated in the Guardian on January 26th, “Tobago was now facing stiff competition from neighbouring Grenada. “If you are travelling from the UK, you find that about 70 per cent of tourists now come off in Grenada. Tourism in the island is growing tremendously…the quality of their marketing is also much better.” What is not considered is the reception a tourist receives at all times and I do not mean when they first arrive on the island. Of course there are a number of hotelliers and guest houses that do give their all to serving their customers with the best they have and that is aknowledged what we are dealing with here is what has not been delivered well enough to sustain tourism in hard times and further hard times yet to come as they will undoubtedly do so and I suspect they will possibly be harder than past experiences.

    Tourism cannot easily maintain sustained growth in Tourism and achieve 52% GSP even in good times when you have also invited ‘foreigners’ – please try using friendlier language than this or even the awful insensitive word ‘aliens’, to purchase land and develop it and then prevent them from selling it, since January 2006. That message has been muliplied by the thousands of tourist that visit here by relatives and friends of those caught up in this poorly managed scheme. Word gets around! This has likely achieved more damage to Tobago than any other type of bad news leaving these shores as it has restricted private people from selling their homes inlcuding many T&T nationals. Remember when one person tells two people and that escalates uniformaly down the line with each person telling two people they will within 32 levels of telling their story reach a possible three million people who will have now heard the story. News does not simply travel fast it reaches people around the world at the speed of an e-mail and bad news is more sucessful so you have to work harder than just hard for the small sucesses to accumalate in your favour as they do and will slowly all add up to success.

    The reason I beleive this so called Alien Land Act went wrong was the stakeholders were not all invited to the development nor the strategy of the original Act of Parliament and its intention – perhaps the outcome of the intention could not be easily percieved. Jealousy has possibly got in the way of much of it. It was local people that rushed to sell their lands and forced prices up and it would have been naive not to have expected that to happen. The jealous are those perhaps that do not have land to sell which is also understandable as that is a human trait. There are though many possible solutions that could still be considered and delivered even in difficult trading times. Off the top you could:

    Run a two-tier price for properties. In the Channel Islands just off the French coast where I once lived the THA equivelant do just that. In Tobago the THA could impose a landing licence to incommers to enable a development fund to build up and provide for extra needs of Tobagonians. This could cover some of the expensive external patient care that is not provided by standard goverment services. It is worthy to consider marketing all nationals that wish to return to set up their homes here in Tobago by promoting the idea, especially now the Scarborough hospital is on the horizon. Beyond returning nationals you might want to reconsider the Alien Land Act and look at how you could attract those that wish to retire here as that is a bigger business than tourism and has synergy with local tourism and its objectives – to generate income stream for businesses and employees. Much of the land purchased by THA could use a small percentage of each estate for this purpose and the extra licening could help kick-start the building programme. What if one extra home could be produced from each new-commer!

    Having spent a lifetime assiting these business sectors to change their business methods and processes to achieve greater income streams I would be willing to contribute with others to ‘brain-storm’ how Tobago could develop within its remit with some slight change of heart in how you play this complicated chess board that runnng a country or even an island is.

    Andrew Charnley
    1st February 2009

  2. All very good points raised here Andrew and I do not disagree with anything you are saying. However, not having a consistent flow of tourism traffic to the island only compounds the existing problems you have raised here. It has to be a simultaenous effort. Better and stronger marketing from the government and training of our frontline tourism staff. This would be a very good start. I am still holding firmly to the fact that Trinidad and TObago is plagued with very poor marketing. which is the root of many of our tourism ills today.

  3. Take a notice Pierre what occurs when backward governments in and out of power of particular countries and regions in the global South fail to possess a clue as to where they are as far as sound developmental goals, or are simply devoid of prudent ideas for advancement of all its citizens socially and economically? Suddenly you have to succumb to condescension and simplistic reasoning which obviously lack historical context from every tin pan foreigner / entrepreneur com business / business adviser more concerned with duping naive indigenous people for the rights to their lands and natural resources, than stated intentions of being mere tourist. There are countries such as Dubai that would encourage you to invest as much as you want in their country , but would stop short of selling their collective souls .
    You better get to work and recognize who the real enemies of your country are.
    Uncle Andrew Charnley seems surprise that Tobagonians though powerless , are finally becoming hip to the conniving games that confronts many in this section of the global village, unlike their numerous confused Trinidadian counterparts . Namely that -in the words of my good Granny Lucille N Socrates , ” all skin teeth , ain’t laugh.”
    Listen my friend without tourism , not a single person in the entire English speaking Caribbean island would be alive today, and with the exception of resource laden ,sweet T&T t,hey’ll all starve to death. As such, the people -in this case Tobagonians – would not always possess that servile , grateful behavior forever as practiced by Grenadians, upstart Bajans , and ‘Jamaican Yardees?’ The irony for Tobagonians is that in addition many have never really benefited from even 1% of the wealth that were brought into the coffers of this our twin Republic country since our fortunes were enhanced via oil and gas explorations.
    The average Trinidadians would loose very little sleep if every Tobagonian was placed in an icebox by you Eurocentric foreigners and shipped to any planet near Pluto for some unwholesome experiments, for that’s just how/who they are – primarily confuse, sometimes childish, often unconsciously selfish , chiefly spoiled folks that lacks a coherent identity. Most gets their rocks off by attempting to be global saviors ,while their own country and fellow citizens crumble in squalor – especially those that did not have the benefits of having a member of the family tree raped by someone of the old world colonial lineage.
    We in rainbow country tend to make the assertion to cut one’s nose to spoil one’s face, into an art form, and as one Kaisonian fondly say in song “ we like it so.”
    The fact of the matter is that you must have an idea as to the end game. What must be addressed fully by those that claim to be serious is , what exactly are tourist interested in when they visit a particular country like Tobago? Who decides what is needed or sets the pace, the tourist or the country?

  4. The one thing that could increase tourism to Tobago is the one thing that won’t happen. Without it, Tobago is just like any other Carribbean hot spot. Perhaps if Tobago was the Amsterdam of the Carribean that might change some things. I know, thats to extreme for a country where using profane language will get you arrested, but urinating on someones wall/ gate during Carnival is A O.K.. I say legalise it with strict stipulations and use the extra generated revenue to improve other parts of the country.
    Other than that why spend 5000 U.S. Dollars to got there when a Tourist can go to Jamaica and their “well” established tourism industry.

  5. Thanks for this article Pierre, it’s a real eye opener. How easy it is to fool Trinidadians as we continue to believe in the governments fictitious strategies without ourselves questioning their validity. Good job raising the issues here, I never would have thought about it so deeply.

  6. As a born Trinidadian, I have a very strong connection with T&T. With regards to the Tourist Industry in Tobago. One can invision a slow death of this industry.I am speaking from an independant view from abroad.Now living in the US. I visited Tobago last year,took the Boat from POS jetty round trip.
    My experience was not one that I would recommend to foreigners wanting a vacation spot.There were no trained people to handle tourist on the docks,it was like handling a herd of cattle.Having travelled to many countries around the world in the Oilfield I can make a comparitive statement
    Having formal training in the Hotel and Catering Industry is very essential to the survival of Tourism in Trinidad and Tobago. One can relate back to the 1960,s when Errol Lau and Mr Beckles turned out some of the best ambassadors from John Donaldson Hotel and Catering School,Being a student of that era qualifies me to make these statements.
    To critize is fine but a solution is much better.
    (1)First things first —Address the crime situation (Government responsibility)
    (2)Get rid of vagrants from the streets (Gov.problem )
    (3)Improve sanitation in T&T.
    (4)Begin with a grass roots program to educate locals on the value of Tourist dollars,and their safety.
    (5)Re-invest dollars in health and training.
    (6)Spend more dollars on Infrastructure and beautification.
    (7)Finally we do not offer US standards in our facilities,therefore we should make it affordable and attractive to encourage people to visit T&T.


  7. Tobago must control it’s crime situation, otherwise, it is no different from many other places where drugs and crime are prevalent. I don’t think that’s what Tobagonians want. The visibility of Tobago’s crime control and prevention goes well beyond Tobago’s borders and your customers are paying attention. Tobago once was safe, that it is not now is the greatest crime of all.

  8. I come to Trinidad and Tobago to visit family. If I were to vacation, I could find the same things if not more closer to home for less money. TNT should not prostitute itself to the tourism industry.

  9. I am a foreigner to Trinidad living there because my husband was working there. I went to Tobago with a friend and was robbed and sexually assaulted at knife-point in my vacation flat. We were not rich. We had hardly any money on us at all and no valuables, as we’d just come over on the ferry from Trinidad. However, I’m likely traumatized for life. So do you think I will ever return to Tobago? I thought Tobago was an otherwise beautiful island. Too bad, so sad. Until TnT gets a bigger grip on the crime situation, tourism is a moot point.

  10. Trinidad’s Business Tourism Strategy A Mirage

    By Pierre Small

    With the American and British economies officially in recession and at one of their worst periods in history, and US economists concerned about a Wall Street collapse, why would the government of Trinidad and Tobago think business and convention tourism is the way forward. They have claimed that business tourism is big business, however, what makes them think it’s big business for Trinidad and Tobago. What responsible and recognised indicators are they using to establish and prove their claims? Is it just hollow talk and parochial analysis because they are incapable of making our tourism work?

    The fact remains, business and convention tourism is highly uncertain and volatile with the world economic situation, it should not be our major strategic focus. It is naive for a country like Trinidad and Tobago, whose tourism for the most part is invisible to the international audience, to realistically contemplate a high-risk strategy like this. Business and convention tourism will also cost the nation an enormous amount of money whose returns are highly uncertain.

    Consider the Summit of the Americas, the government should “honestly” question those Third World Nations who have hosted this event previously, weather or not it brought them any “real” results, as far as recognition, increased tourist arrivals or increased economic activity, compared to the debt they incurred. One would be astonished, but these events don’t do what the tourism advisors claim it will do for the country. Fundamentally, this strategy is flawed and ill-advised. Whoever is advising the government and pursuing this strategy is unrealistic and delusional, they also don’t possess a profound grasp on the Trinidad and Tobago product, or the international market. This is only one of the many ill advised strategies Trinidad and Tobago’s tourism officials have been pursuing for a long time.

    Over the years, the government/TDC announced many other new initiatives and strategies, including, “applying the Dubai model in T&T, making us a financial hub, a shopping centre, an eco-adventure destination, targeting the Indian, Chinese and wealthy and affluent tourist,” just to name a few more ill advised ventures. Did any of these initiatives produce the desired results? What about our venture into the World Cup, according to our tourism advisors, ‘that will thrust us to the forefront of leisure and business tourism from the international community,’ did it? The government made claims that our business tourism is increasing, however, that is subject to interpretation. The increased activity came as a result of the obvious “temporary” energy boom and the logical spin off from it, which is now coming to a painful end! Those business folks visiting us and foreign experts advising us will now seek their next Third World targets to exploit for their dubious pitches, like the extravagant buildings we were duped into constructing.

    Why is the rest of the Caribbean with significantly less resources than us so far ahead of us in tourism.

    Trinidad and Tobago, naturally, is a potentially lucrative product, we don’t need to chase phantoms like we have been doing for many years. Get real Trinidad and Tobago, get real TDC. It would appear that decisions are not made on sound analysis and product merit, but rather on how we want our image to be perceived, without considering it’s long term ramifications. Let us not pretend to be bigger than we are by attempting to compete with countries that are far ahead of us. Let us be realistic, that is the way forward.



  12. I visited last year with my siblings for carnival.We had to wait forever to clear immigration and customs.The personnel were on edge and it seemed liked if you uttered the wrong word all hell would break loose.
    We stayed at the Crown Plaza hotel,the prices were extremely high for such accommodations.The rooms were shabby and outdated,my toilet never stopped running and the hot water wasnt.
    Port of Spain is a need of some cohesive makeover,it looks like a hodge podge of styles ,which adds to the chaotic feeling.
    The city needs to be made more user friendly.I found most people ,i came in contact with quite warm and friendly.
    I visited Tobago and satyed in a small hotel and it was ok.
    Had no problems.
    Albert Bethelmy

  13. The lines to clear immigration is the first turn off when visiting TT. I feel that Iam on a diferent planet then, no one seems to be doing anything about it. Waiting for 1 hour is unaceptable. You all must agree on this point. Also, people are rude and cannot communicate, they don;t look you in the eye when speaking. Whatever happened to welcome and thank you, or just plain a smile. I would never visit TT ohterwise, however my family still reside there. The city areas are terrible, the countryside folks are great, this, I must point out. I don;t need to say anything on the crime situation. We can all agree that the Police are ineffective, and they know it.
    You basically set up a several road blocks at the key crime areas and take the guns away, just a simple at that. TT is a great place to live, however it is getting to be at the point where it will turn unbearable with the crime situation. This must be addressed first and foremost. Anyone know what the plans are for fighting crime in TT?

  14. Here is my take on Tobago tourism, Tobago is a lovely island with friendly people, however the tourism industry is partially in shambles for a few reasons..

    A) Very greedy hotel owners who cannot provide security or attractive rooms, the room rates are very high, they have no interest in providing tour information, so when in Tobago, you must go to the beach for tours, especially cruises. They seem to believe visitors will stay inside for there holiday.
    Tobago needs resorts, with new rooms and facilities,
    B) Many Yachts would visit Tobago and spend money, but there are no marine facilities period.
    C) Upgrade the airport and port area.

  15. it certainly don’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the crime situation! Before endulging in simple rhetoric and confusion of what to do, we must first figure out why the Prmie Minister Manning is Mum on the topic of CRIME….ASK YOURselves some simple questions and answer honestly and objectively and the wool will disappear from one’s eyes…

    Questions such as:
    When was the last time Manning spoke to the nation about the crime situation?
    When was the last time law makers and legislators reccomend any new or revised angles for dealing with criminals?

    Why is the PNM resistant to increasing penalties and no bail for kidnapping, rape, robbery with a fire arm and murder?

    In my view, Manning is ducking the left hook by blatantly refusing to address the nation on the matter of crime; saving his “plan of attack” for the next general election or “Presidential” oppointment if his Constitutional reconstruction is enacted..The big players in murder and kidnapping are the ones keeping Manning safe and secure in the Presidential Palace that the hard working people of T&T built for him.

    In my view, Manning is the leader of the biggest Gang in Trinidad, the URP branch! Watch next election how many will die, be wounded, kidnapped and murdered in the name of the PNM…this is how Patrick plans to hold on to power…

    That is why i’ve always said in my heart and soul, the man they call Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson who betrayed the whole country when he turned bridge over to manning after the tie in the elections is the brain child for the current demise of the country…Abu failed when he allowed Robinson to walk out with just a wound…

    Greed and power hungry individuals like Manning, Panday and Winston are the ones killing the nation…I hope all the pilfering going on will be enough when the higher one calls on them to answer for their total disregard for human life…I hope these bastards live a long life so they can all lay in a bed in some corner of the very hospital they suffer people in and suffer along with others. Bring every penny they own and lay it at the feet of each of them and see how much someone will charge them to take some of their suffering off of them.

    They are living fat, full of power, fancy houses and luxury cars, while the real heroes of our nation have to bribe to get a surgery done or other treatments that is life saving.

    Have no fear, Trinidad and tobago will revive and those people who have been trampled upon, sacrificed themselves and their loved ones will be our true patriots. Those true Trinbagonians who wake up every morning with nothing but the burdens of our nation in their hearts, yearning to make it better for all of us but are treated with scorn and threats of jail and death, will reap the rewards of our great nation.

    Patrick Manning is the Evil that has Trinidad on the verge of destruction. His lack of empathy and common sense and the love of power and money will be the death of him. He will be remembered as the HITLER of the caribbean next to Pappa Burnham.

  16. “That is why I’ve always said in my heart and soul, the man they call Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson who betrayed the whole country when he turned bridge over to manning after the tie in the elections is the brain child for the current demise of the country…Abu failed when he allowed Robinson to walk out with just a wound…”
    Folks across the nation with some semblance of intelligence, aren’t you excited when phonies and idiots like Randy expose themselves for us to see due to the inability to disguise true motives and concerns?
    Here you have this clown that babbled for eleven paragraphs about his concerns for runaway crimes across our nation and it’s negative impact on Tourism , particularly in perennially neglected Tobago , only to have him dismissed Abu Backer’s attack on the nation and on our former PM and President as a mere aberration. Not only that , he is sad that Backer did not aim his gun for the chest or head of Mr. Robinson and not his kneesas was done on that fateful date in 1990 when the former horse police and second rate goalkeeper com religous guru destroyed our democracit efforts.
    Why end there Randy, don’t you wish that Baker should have done a follow up after the fact and betrayal by his closet collaboraters by going after his lawyer Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj that conveniently ran like a chicken to Grenada with his family, the Opposition Leader and most of his posse who conveniently were absent from Parliament that day , and square peg Noor Hasanali your esteemed Muslim President then, that coincidentally was out of the country when the shakedown occurred?
    With citizens like these , who need enemies, one might enquire?
    You allow jokers like Randy a chance, he would give every blue color criminal in our country the death sentence or jail them for life with a hundred cat-o-nine tail lashes per month in good measure, for their stupid criminal behaviors in misguided efforts to curb and or eradicate crime. However please note how silent he’ll become when we attempt to go after his numerous white color business , and political elite thugs that have drained and sucked the financial life out of our country , then settle in their new found protected homes and fiefdoms abroad ,then complain about corruption, inefficiency , and underdevelopment.
    Watch his silence as opposed to outrage if we were to present concrete evidence to show that illiterate black fools like Backer and similar miscrents from urban undeveloped neighborhoods ,have been and are still being used as fodder by nuvo rich local business conglomerates to do their dirty deeds including kidnapping and other devastating, distabalizing crimes , then force to take the convenient blame for all the ills that afflicts us.
    There therefore is only one solution to curb the influence of the Randy’s of the world, and I wish our progressive leaders across might be convinced to implement it forthwith.
    First ,they should put that secret Microsoft code in the new passport of every Trini that will track what they write on personal computers across the globe. Secondly, arrest them when they attempt to enter Rainbow Country to secretly enjoy the next Carnival, Pagwa , Diwalli, Hosay, Emancipation , or Xmas Parang festival . Thirdly, place a distinct irremovable T for traitor on their foreheads as a sign to the world for non patriotism. Finally,confiscate the 300 or more acres of land that they unfortunately inherited in Chickland , Erin , or Waterloo , Barackpore, or Manzanilla, and give it to some more deserving Brazilian Favella-like John John, Movant , Caranege national or even a foreigner that cares beyond empty , hatemongering ,rhetorical ,diatribes.
    Ahh, but I must be dreaming ! Not in my ” sweet T&T where citizens can care less if Good Friday falls on a Monday, ah lie?

  17. What are you on about ! Married to a Trinidadian and not succeeded in Tobagao with your property development project…you are bound to be bitter withy Tobago and all !!

    SAY no more…nudge nudge wink wink !

  18. I agree with the views contributed by the previous people. In addition, the local and goverment representatives , the people who have been given the responsibilities to manage our potentially gorgeous island of Tobago needs to get their heads out of the clouds and start caring about the island and its inhabitants. There is need for an appreciation for new ideas and strategies and greater community involvement. We need to be pro-active with the availability of continuous educational opportunities for all. There is a need to recognise that not all people are academically inclined and we need to value skills and encourage contributions from the less abled in society. The propblems that we are encountering with in the tourist industry is severe because of our lack of respect for ourselves and for others. I am not surprised that most passengers travelling from Europe stop off in Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, it seems like anywhere else but Trinidad and Tobago. The relvant government department leaders has lost touch with what is happening at grass root levels and with reality. They appear to be more concerned with the amount of money they can fit into their personal accounts instead of with the welfare of our island and the the wellbeing of the occupants. The legal system is greatly lacking in foresight, is too reactive, lengthy and unfair. No wonder the crime rates is so difficult to control and people do not trust it. All systems are integrated and this ailment has been progressively eating away at the core of our society over the last 5 to 7 years. We need a cleansing and an updating of our systems to enable others to trust us and invest in our society again.

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