Many kudos to our Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar for setting up an embassy in the People’s Republic of China.
This is an excellent opportunity for the Prime Minister to make an application on our country’s behalf for Approved Destination Status (ADS). Such a designation will allow TIDCO, THA, etc to undertake a variety of marketing activities to increase the awareness of T&T, this small Caribbean place, among all future Chinese visitors to our twin islands.
The Chinese government is very methodical in its approach to foreign diplomatic business and to gain ADS from China will take several years. The Chinese are now world travellers with considerable spending power and exquisite cultural and sporting tastes. Tobago as a destination market can be cultivated to attract and satisfy these very special visitors from the mainland.
Carnival, pan, mas and soca alone will not do it for the long term. It will take time, money, government involvement together with private sector entrepreneurial efforts to satisfy this new-found market.
It would also alleviate the problem of dependence on European and Scandinavian tourist traffic to the twin-island republic.
Tourism business is essential to the development and sustainability of Tobago and as such the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) representative, THA Chief Secretary Orville London, and the country’s Minister of Tourism, Chandresh Sharma, should have been part of the Government contingent to China.
Let’s befriend China, but do not forget Tobago. Tourism is its future.