Saturday, February 24, 2018

Ferry hiccups choking Tobago tourism*

Tobago hotels are seeing record low tourists on the island, especially with the inter-island ferry frequently hiccuping, Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association (THTA), the island’s largest private sector grouping of hotel and restaurant owners, confirmed last Friday.
The inconsistency of the ferry service is affecting Tobago tourism “because our international arrivals have dropped from 87,796 in 2005 to 19,000 in 2016. We have been depending on the Trinidadian visitor. The lack of confidence by Trinidadians to be able to get to, through and from Trinidad to Tobago is now a major concern to the industry in Tobago, as the next few months are usually our peak period for Trinidadian visitors,” THTA said via email. This is consistent with a 2014 Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) January 2014 bulletin: “Most visitors to Tobago are residents living in Trinidad.”
THTA said: “Occupancy in Tobago has been decreasing for the last 10 years. We averaged 36.3 per cent occupancy for hotels and 29.9 per cent for guesthouses.”

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