Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 2nd 2016 Contents A12
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, February 2, 2016
RHONDA KRYSTAL RAMBALLY
Several hotels and guest
houses in the country s capital
and its environs are fully booked
for the carnival season.
Calls to several hotels in and
around Port-of-Spain indicated
that there was full occupancy
with some rooms having been
booked since last September.
This is an optimistic picture
for T&T, considering the slow-
down in the local economy.
Chief Executive Officer of the
Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and
Tourism Association (THRTA),
Brian Frontin, said so far there
has been a 95 per cent occupancy
The association has 30 mem-
ber hotels---20 in the Port-of-
Spain area and ten in other parts
He said 20 accounted for close
to 1,700 rooms, while the other
ten accounted for about 600
According to information on
the Tourism Development Cor-
poration s Web site (TDC), T&T
has an accommodation capacity
of approximately 7,500 rooms,
of which roughly 47 per cent are
located in Trinidad.
It stated that most of the
rooms in Trinidad are found at
hotels, guesthouses and bed and
breakfast establishments, while
in Tobago room types are found
at the aforementioned in addition
to villas, apartments and con-
Regarding hotel occupancy over
the past four years, the TDC said
rates in Trinidad have been about
10.1 percentage points lower than
the average rate for the Caribbean.
"In 2012 hotel occupancy in
Trinidad was close to 60 per cent,
thereby reducing the gap relative
to the Caribbean to just over six
"Occupancy in Tobago con-
tinues to hover below 40 per
cent for the fourth consecutive
Countdown to Carnival...
Hotels, guest houses fully booked
As of mid-January, Frontin said
hotels in and around Port-of-Spain
were trending around a 95 per cent
occupancy rate and would likely hit
98 to 100 per cent by Carnival.
Most of the international chains
such as Hyatt, Radisson, Hilton and
Marriott are represented by the
THRTA, along with Cascadia Hotel,
Crews Inn, Kapok and Normandie,
"We'll look at that period
specifically from February 5 to 10,
which is when the peak bookings will
probably come in," he said.
He said the other hotels spread
across Trinidad were trending around
45 to 50 per cent.
Frontin, former chairman of the
TDC, who assumed the position of
CEO of the association last
November, said on an average guests
booked stays ranging from five to 14
He said, "Some people come in
fairly earlier to do some of the fetes
just before and go straight in for the
Carnival, while some just come
literally for the weekend."
He said the occupancy rate was
also in line with last year.
The US continues to be the
primary source market for Trinidad,
accounting for 40 per cent of arrivals,
followed by the Caribbean with 20
per cent and Canada with 13 per
"That tends to be the kind of mix
in terms of arrival of guests," Frontin
On Thursday, regional airline Liat
announced the removal of fuel
surcharges on all new tickets booked.
This takes effect on March 1.
"Now you're going to have reduced
airfares so people will travel more."
Frontin said each year close to
450,000 people visit Trinidad. "It
means people are seeing our value
without any aggressive marketing."
Asked if he felt enough was done
to promote Carnival, Frontin said it
was a known activity and there
would be the risk of having capacity
He said, "If someone were to call a
hotel in Port-of-Spain now, he'd can't
get a room so the fact we're at 95
per cent tells me that those who
know that Carnival is in February
have already made the financial
commitments to come."
He said the "economics" showed
that people who commit to Carnival
have already booked and would be
HOTEL ASSOCIATION---'PEAK BOOKINGS THIS WEEK'
Alicia's Palace said it was fully booked. The guest
house has 42 rooms and offers a five-night package
from U$S1,800 to US$2,200 starting from Fantastic
A front desk staff member said most guests were
"The response was good despite the economic
climate," she said.
Monique's Guest House in Maraval, just a few
minutes from the St Andrew's Golf Club, was also fully
booked, since last September.
With 20 rooms, the guest house caters for 74
The reservations attendant said, "The bookings are
all outside of Trinidad with the exception of one and
guests have booked five nights and more, which is
She added there had been no cancellations since the
bookings were made in September.
Crews Inn Hotel in Chaguaramas also said it had full
At the Carlton Savannah Hotel, the T&T Guardian
was told, "Things have been looking really well."
The hotel has 163 rooms. Staff member, Precious
Bravo, said bookings were local and foreign.
Tony's Guest House in Petit Valley was just about
80 per cent occupied when contacted on January 23.
Owner Anthony Mayers said he was hopeful things
would pick up in the next two weeks.
"There are usually lots of last minute calls, so
hopefully things will pick up soon."
His guest house caters for foreigners only, many of
whom he said were "repeat guests."
This guest house has six rooms that can
accommodate up to 25 guests.
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