Trinidad and Tobago needs US$300 million to promote its tourism product.
This was disclosed yesterday by recently appointed Tourism Minister Stephen Cadiz.
Cadiz was in Tobago to meet with stakeholders in the tourism industry.
Airlift, room stock and the need to boost marketing in Tobago were issues discussed when Cadiz met with president of the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association Nicholas Hardwicke, chairman of the Tobago Chamber of Commerce David Wong, and other officials in the tourism sector.
Cadiz said the current lack of coordinated marketing for Tobago will soon be a thing of the past.
"But the marketing and promotion, for instance, for Tobago has been done by the THA, has been done by the TDC, has been done by the Ministry of Tourism, and therefore we have too many fingers in the pie," Cadiz said.
From 2005 to now, Tobago has suffered a 75 per cent dip in visitor arrivals, and while 450,000 visitors came to the country in 2011, international arrivals to Tobago were around 25,000.
Tobago, he said, was suffering and the problems plaguing airlift needed to be addressed immediately.
"And we will be working with Caribbean Airlines to see as an immediate fix, what can they do and of course, the other international airlines like (British Airways), Virgin. We already have Condor and Monarch coming in direct," Cadiz said.
He said the room stock in Tobago needed to be increased. Tourism accounts for US$2 billion in the country's economy and employs tens of thousands of people.
"If we need to get a 1,500 room stock, we at least need another six hotels the size of the Magdalena," Cadiz said.
—see Business Express lead story