Major hotels and guest houses in and around Port of Spain are booked solid this Carnival season, the Express learnt on Friday.
The staff at the Hyatt Regency hotel, Capital Plaza, Carlton Savannah and several smaller guest houses told the Express they had no room to spare.
Neema Persad-Celestine, marketing manager at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, in a brief telephone interview, said they had reached their occupancy levels.
“The hotel has 428 rooms. We are fully booked for the Carnival period and it is similar to what we did last year.”
She added that some of the rooms were double occupancy so that the average number of guests this Carnival season was at least 856 people.
“It may be more than that because we also have a triple occupancy rate so some people may have also booked triple occupancy rate,” she added.
Calls to the reservations desk at Capital Plaza yielded similar results.
“We have a total of 243 rooms, all of which were booked for the Carnival season,” an employee said.
Things were not much different at the Carlton Savannah where employees said all of their 120 rooms which are double occupancy were booked up. This, they said, meant that they would be servicing approximately 240 guests over this Carnival period.
And while Hilton Trinidad said they could not divulge information on their occupancy status, calls to smaller guest houses found them singing the same tune as the hotels who gave information on their reservations — all their rooms are booked.
Monique’s Guest House was one such guest house. With a total of 20 rooms, all of them had been grabbed up by visitors to the island for the Carnival season.
A brief telephone interview with head of corporate communications at Caribbean Airlines, Clint Williams, yesterday confirmed the influx of travellers to the island for this year’s Carnival celebrations. He described the trends as “very positive”. “Travel into the island from key ports of New York, Miami and Toronto have been very strong.
“We have put on additional flights particularly on New York, all of which were quickly picked up by passengers in the system and the trend looks to be an increase year over year, not an increase I can put numbers to right now but we have seen an increase.”
And among the estimated thousands of foreign arrivals are several well-known American celebrities, including Tahiry Jose, star of VH1’s reality show Love & Hip Hop New York; actor and writer Anthony Anderson, actor, screenwriter, producer and director Damien Dante Wayans; writer, television producer, director and actor Craig Wayans; Salim Akil, an executive from Sony, and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.
It is also rumoured that American film and television actor Morris Chestnut, famous for his roles in Boyz N the Hood, The Best Man and its sequel, The Brothers, and Two Can Play That Game, is in the country for the greatest show on earth.