Categorized | Letters, Regional

Letter: We need to improve our tourism package first

Published Caribbean News Now on October 28, 2016

The following letter written to the newspaper in Trinidad raised questions as to the readiness of Trinidad as a Tourist Destination. It got our interest as we ponder Montserrat’s readiness or lack thereof and how funding towards this very goal was approved and provided for this very purpose since 2008-09.

In some instances in this letter, the conditions are not the same, but the caption is very appropriate and questions remain valid.
Dear Sir:

A newspaper article indicated that there was interest in marketing Trinidad and Tobago as a tourist destination. While Tobago has an excellent product, the same cannot be said for Trinidad. Apart from Maracas and Las Cuevas, which are average as beach destinations go, the rest of Trinidad needs a lot of rebuilding before we invest in marketing Trinidad as a tourist destination.

The buildings around the Queens Park Savannah are in a state of disrepair, our capital city is overrun with rodents, vagrants, criminals, faeces on the sidewalk and poor drainage. Our city parks are either fenced around or homes for vagrants. Certainly, we could not be encouraging tourists to visit our capital city. 

letter-to-the-editor-picPerhaps we may want to encourage tourists to visit us for carnival. If the tourist manages to get through the crowds without getting robbed, he or she will find that there are very little viewing galleries with toilet facilities and proper seating. Walking through the streets with the smell of pee on the walls and sidewalk certainly is not encouraging for most tourists.

Our attraction must then be our eco-tourism package. Having made the trip to the top of El Touché one of our highest mountain top, I can say that what could have been a fantastic panoramic view of Trinidad turned out to be a view through thick shrubbery and trees. There were no signs along the treacherous path, no guides and no welcome at the top indicating the summit and elevation. Moreover, there was no viewing tower above the trees. 

Our wonderful hiking trails are unsupervised, our caves are undeveloped for safe visitor exploration and our beaches lack basic facilities like changing rooms, parking and security. 

The Caroni bird sanctuary is a hustler’s paradise, with tours by poorly dressed men, operating dirty looking boats with noisy outboard motors. There is no proper reception area, no gift shops, no restaurants, no place to purchase pictures of one’s trip down river. The beautiful beaches at Scotland Bay, Chaguaramas and Chacachacare are littered with plastic bottles and garbage. 

If we are serious about making Trinidad a tourist destination and making tourism a major contributor to the income of Trinidad and Tobago we need to first invest in developing our destination to attract families. That can only be done successfully by partnering with local and foreign investors who understand the standards required for international attention.

God bless our nation.

Steve Alvarez

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Published Caribbean News Now on October 28, 2016

The following letter written to the newspaper in Trinidad raised questions as to the readiness of Trinidad as a Tourist Destination. It got our interest as we ponder Montserrat’s readiness or lack thereof and how funding towards this very goal was approved and provided for this very purpose since 2008-09.

In some instances in this letter, the conditions are not the same, but the caption is very appropriate and questions remain valid.
Dear Sir:

A newspaper article indicated that there was interest in marketing Trinidad and Tobago as a tourist destination. While Tobago has an excellent product, the same cannot be said for Trinidad. Apart from Maracas and Las Cuevas, which are average as beach destinations go, the rest of Trinidad needs a lot of rebuilding before we invest in marketing Trinidad as a tourist destination.

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The buildings around the Queens Park Savannah are in a state of disrepair, our capital city is overrun with rodents, vagrants, criminals, faeces on the sidewalk and poor drainage. Our city parks are either fenced around or homes for vagrants. Certainly, we could not be encouraging tourists to visit our capital city. 

letter-to-the-editor-picPerhaps we may want to encourage tourists to visit us for carnival. If the tourist manages to get through the crowds without getting robbed, he or she will find that there are very little viewing galleries with toilet facilities and proper seating. Walking through the streets with the smell of pee on the walls and sidewalk certainly is not encouraging for most tourists.

Our attraction must then be our eco-tourism package. Having made the trip to the top of El Touché one of our highest mountain top, I can say that what could have been a fantastic panoramic view of Trinidad turned out to be a view through thick shrubbery and trees. There were no signs along the treacherous path, no guides and no welcome at the top indicating the summit and elevation. Moreover, there was no viewing tower above the trees. 

Our wonderful hiking trails are unsupervised, our caves are undeveloped for safe visitor exploration and our beaches lack basic facilities like changing rooms, parking and security. 

The Caroni bird sanctuary is a hustler’s paradise, with tours by poorly dressed men, operating dirty looking boats with noisy outboard motors. There is no proper reception area, no gift shops, no restaurants, no place to purchase pictures of one’s trip down river. The beautiful beaches at Scotland Bay, Chaguaramas and Chacachacare are littered with plastic bottles and garbage. 

If we are serious about making Trinidad a tourist destination and making tourism a major contributor to the income of Trinidad and Tobago we need to first invest in developing our destination to attract families. That can only be done successfully by partnering with local and foreign investors who understand the standards required for international attention.

God bless our nation.

Steve Alvarez