Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 16th 2017 Contents ANNALISA PAUL
Renewed efforts by the Ministry
of Tourism to showcase T&T as an
ideal travel destination is already
reaping success as the 2017/2018
cruise season promises to be a
bumper one with 71 calls sched-
uled to put into port.
Of icially declaring the season
open yesterday as she welcomed
the early-morning arrival of 3,756
passengers aboard the Caribbean
Princess in Port-of-Spain, Tour-
ism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe said
despite the recent destruction
wrought by Hurricanes Irma and
Maria, all was not lost.
She declared, "Cruise tourism
is still alive and kicking in the Car-
ibbean, all is not lost and we are
open for business."
Cudjoe added, "Not just a hand-
ful of islands in the Caribbean,
but 70 per cent of our territories
are still open for business."
With rebuilding efforts under-
way in islands such as Dominica,
Turks and Caicos, Montserrat,
and St Kitts and Nevis, Cudjoe
reinforced that tourism was the
backbone of many Caribbean
nations as she quoted recent
sentiments by chairman of the
Caribbean Tourism Organisation,
Hugh Riley who said, "If you want
to help the Caribbean, you should
travel to the Caribbean."
Cudjoe described the cruise in-
dustry as the fastest growing seg-
ment of worldwide leisure travel,
having experienced an average
passenger growth rate of seven
per cent per annum since 1980.
She said for the period January
to June 2017, Caribbean cruise ar-
rivals stood at 15.3 million, which
was a four per cent increase for
the corresponding period in 2016.
Admitting the recent natural
disasters had, "Put a damper on
this year's cruise season," Cudjoe
said it had also managed to bring
the region closer as governments
and people worked together to re-
build and promote the viability of
the Caribbean brand.
She said T&T had originally
been scheduled to receive 47
calls---23 in Trinidad and 24 in
Tobago---but negotiations by
local shipping stakeholders had
resulted in an additional 24 calls
being added to the books, with 23
in Tobago and one in Trinidad.
The 71 calls from vessels operat-
ing Seabourne Cruise Lines, Car-
nival UK, TUI Cruises, Fred Olsen
Cruises, Thomson Cruises and
Princess Cruises among others,
is expected to generate passenger
arrivals of approximately 60,958
in Trinidad and 75,451 in Tobago.
Providing a taste of T&T's local
culture and culinary delights for
visitors yesterday, Cudjoe prom-
ised, "We want to wow our guests
from the moment they arrive so
that they return again and again."
Passengers were able to sample
treats from The Lopinot Choc-
olate Co, doubles and coconut
water as they danced to the steel-
pan music of the Caribbean Air-
Cudjoe expressed delight after
speaking with one of the visitors
who said it was his 85th cruise to
the Caribbean and 39th to T&T,
but the welcome, "Had been the
best he ever received."
The minister said over 20 vis-
itor guides were trained and
would be strategically stationed
around the capital as vessels put
into port over the next few weeks.
She said efforts were also being
made to secure translators as per-
sons from as far away as Germany
and Italy were expected.
Monday, October 16, 2017
Cudjoe says expect
season in 2018
Despite hurricane damage to region...
Commenting on the opening of
the 2018 cruise season, chief ex-
ecutive of icer of Carvalho's Agen-
cies, Charles Carvalho noted that
steps were underway to bring
back the allure of T&T as a cruise
destination of choice in the re-
He said, "We are trying to make
T&T what it was years ago."
Carvalho added that in the
1970's, Trinidad was the "mecca"
of cruise shipping in the Carib-
He said: "People did not even
know Barbados, St. Lucia and
Grenada, they had known Trini-
"Trinidad was a home port des-
tination for ships going to South
America but that has gone be-
cause other destinations devel-
oped faster than we could but we
are trying to bring that back."
Carvalho pointed out that they
had redoubled efforts in recent
weeks to encourage ships looking
for ports of calls to come to T&T,
following the hurricanes.
He said, "We went to them and
said T&T has the space and we
had some negotiation to make it
happen, but many of them are on-
Captain of Caribbean Prin-
cess Marco Fortezze, who will
celebrate his 55th birthday next
month, agreed T&T had "some-
thing special" to offer to visitors.
Originating from Fort Lauderd-
ale, Florida, the Caribbean Prin-
cess departed Trinidad at 5 pm
yesterday, headed for Curacao.
...Efforts afoot to restore T&T's glory days
Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe
speaking at the launch of the
2017/2018 cruise ship season
yesterday at Cruise Ship Complex,
Dock Road, Port-of-Spain.
PICTURE ANISTO ALVES
Tourists disembark from the Caribbean Princess yesterday where they
were given a Trini welcome with doubles and Carnival characters.
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