TOURISM Minister Stephen Cadiz went on a tour of potential tourist destinations in South Trinidad yesterday, promising to assist in improving the facilities, and make them more attractive.
Cadiz began his tour in La Brea, accompanied by People's National Movement (PNM) Member of Parliament Fitzgerald Jeffrey.
He visited beaches in Vance River and Vessigny before touring the Pitch Lake in La Brea.
He also visited the proposed site for the waterfront project in San Fernando.
"We went to La Brea first to see what existed, the condition of it now and the possibilities of tourism," he said.
Cadiz said the Pitch Lake will be revived and improved to facilitate local and foreign visitors.
"What we will need to do to is to revive the Pitch Lake as an attraction. It does need work, there are a lot of things that we can do there," he said.
The museum exhibit and visitor centre at the Pitch Lake will be also rehabilitated.
"We would also be revamping the way the tours are done. I wanted to see for myself and I had that opportunity today to do that," he said.
The Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin, Cadiz said, would contribute to the development of La Brea.
"A thing that I was interested in also, is this whole issue of the Point Fortin highway.
It is going to cut down on the drive time to Point Fortin and passing La Brea by hours. It will also open up that whole region to visitors both local and foreigners," he said.
Cadiz said his visit was appreciated by the Member of Parliament and La Brea residents.
"The MP was very elated that we had come. He told me that this is the first time a Tourism Minister had come down to La Brea. That made me feel a little good, that we are going down the right path to building a proper tourism product," he said.
Cadiz, led by San Fernando Mayor Navi Muradali, then walked along King's Wharf, San Fernando, where a boardwalk is expected to be constructed.
"The San Fernando Waterfront project is back on the front burner. From what the mayor said it is over 50 years now they have been planning a waterfront in San Fernando.
Just like Port of Spain previously, San Fernando suffers from residents not having proper access to the sea. The residents park in not-so-safe areas and have to walk through bush and mud to get to the sea whether it is to sit by the sea or to swim," he said.
Cadiz has advised the San Fernando City Corporation to devise a "doable" project and funding would be made available.
"(Muradali) is looking at around $5 million in the first phase to start and complete that phase in a year. It's something that will change the face of the waterfront area in San Fernando," he said.