Chief Secretary concerned about the Vanguard Hotel

Chief Secretary Orville London
THA Chief Secretary Mr. Orville London has expressed his concern about the level of uncertainty and unpredictability that surround the future of the 225-room Vanguard Hotel at Lowlands, Tobago.

“All of us are aware of the very close link between the completion of refurbishment of the Vanguard Hotel and the future of our tourism industry in Tobago,” he told Tuesday’s post Executive Council media briefing.

He stressed that he was not over stating the case when he said that the longer the decision took for the hotel to be refurbished and a signal sent to the international community, the more Tobago’s tourism plant was at risk. “It is untenable that after so many months we do not have as we speak some definite word as to what is going to happen to the Vanguard Hotel,” he added.

Mr London said the Assembly has been discussing with the decision-makers in the Central Government about the issue and wanted to make a public appeal to them because of conflicting information coming from some Ministers about the hotel’s completion and readiness by mid to late 2011 and from others who said they were not certain what the situation was. “I think we need to have some degree of predictability to the process and we are appealing for that because we in the Assembly are doing what we can,” he said.

He said in the case of airlift, it was well known that the Assembly was able to bring Caribbean Airlines’ New York flight to Tobago on a weekly basis and there was some hope where the United States market was concern. However, he added, where the European market was concern, especially the United Kingdom market the numbers were not encouraging because the product, especially the high end room stock, the product was not as attractive as could be.

“We really want some sort of predictability in the shortest possible time,” London stressed.