Highlighting a renewed focus on tourism as a major player in the economy of Trinidad and Tobago is the official opening Jan. 15 of the 428-room Hyatt Regency Trinidad in Port of Spain.

Jason Baptiste, marketing manager for Trinidad and Tobago, described the new property as "the lynchpin in the waterfront project in Port of Spain, being developed in phases."

The government hopes to position tourism as a key contributor to its Gross Domestic Product, comprising at least 15% of the country's GDP within a few years.

Trinidad and Tobago plan to expand their hotel inventories by 17% over the next 18 months, according to Baptiste. This will include the June opening of the 120-room Carlton Savannah Hotel and a second, unnamed 109-room property later this year, both near the airport in Port of Spain, as well as several properties in Tobago.

New airlift to both islands "has increased our visibility and we need more rooms," Baptiste said. Delta launched weekly service between Atlanta and Tobago on Dec. 15 and increased its nonstop service Dec. 20 between New York (Kennedy) and Port of Spain to five flights a week.

In addition, both air and ferry service between the two islands has increased and Tobago's Crowne Point Airport currently is being renovated and expanded.

"We had a flat year in 2007 in terms of visitor arrivals, but 2008 already looks very strong," said Baptiste.

Helping the arrivals numbers out is the Carnival period, which began its celebrations this month and runs through Feb. 4. "All our hotels and flights are full right now, and we anticipate at least 50,000 visitors during the Carnival period," he added.

In addition, Trinidad will host its fourth annual Jazz Festival April 25 to 27 as well as the Caribbean Hotel & Investment Conference May 6 to 8.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

Comments

From Our Partners

Crystal Cruises – What’s Next, 2020 & the 30th Anniversary Collection
Crystal Cruises – What’s Next, 2020 & the 30th Anniversary Collection
Watch Now
HAL_AlaskaCruising_Hero
Capitalizing on a Peak Year for Alaska Cruising
Read More
2020 Elite Island Webinar
More Family Fun in St. Lucia @ St. James’s Club Morgan Bay
Register Now

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI