Trinidad and Tobago to boost tourism sector

Trinidad and Tobago’s travel and tourism sector accounted for over 96,000 direct and indirect jobs according to a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Following a launch of the report Tourism Minister, Howard Chin Lee, said the Tourism sector will contribute more than 15 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually by the year 2020.

Howard Chin Lee said, “the Government is committed to getting the most from the travel and tourism industry”.

The WTTC forecasted a 5.2 percent sector growth per annum over 2006 to 2015, making Trinidad and Tobago the second fastest growing travel and tourism economy in the Caribbean. They made several policy recommendations for the country to achieve its fullest potential. These included raising the awareness of the economic and social benefits of Travel and Tourism among the population, providing a one-stop shop to reduce bureaucracy and streamline the process for travel and tourism investors, and to develop an identifiable “brand Trinidad and Tobago” to raise the country’s profile worldwide.

President of the WTTC, Jean-Claude Baumgarten, said “Trinidad and Tobago is in a prime position to develop a diverse, high quality and sustainable tourism industry.” He added, “Trinidad is seeing a rising demand in business tourism. Tobago on the other hand, is already one of the most tourism intense places in the world.”

Mr. Baumgarten urged government to adopt the recommendations of the report saying that, “Travel and Tourism will have a very important role to play in the future of Trinidad and Tobago, and the opportunities offered by this industry – to the economy, to employment, and to social development – will be enormous.”

The report was done using standards developed by the United Nations Statistics Commission called the “Tourism Satellite Account System”, which provides a scientific measurement of the tourism industry’s contribution to a country’s earnings, and guides the strategic planning and marketing strategy for the tourism industry.

It has been adopted in several countries including Malaysia, Canada, Croatia and Turkey.

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