The 2015-2016 cruise ship season, which came to a close on May 3, was a fruitful period for the island.
According to Secretary of the Division of Tourism and Transport (DOTT) Tracy Davidson-Celestine, it was “one of the most successful cruise seasons in the history of Tobago.” She was speaking during the weekly Post Executive Council media briefing at the Calder Hall Administrative Complex (May 18, 2016).
“During that season,” Davidson-Celestine explained, “we had approximately 106,000 persons that would have come ashore…this is the [greatest] number of passengers to ever visit Tobago on cruise-ships [in one season] and the growth in the sector has continued.”
The Secretary said passengers spent on average “at least $74 US a day, and that does not include the amount spent by the [ships’] crews as well.”
The Secretary congratulated the taxi drivers, tour operators, and port staff who “collaboratively [came] together to ensure that the cruise season is a successful one.”
“Our estimated calculations suggest that for that season alone, about $52.4 million TT dollars was spent on the island during the particular season.
“I’m pleased that there was a trickle-down effect, and so you find that quite a bit of monies went to the small-man—the maxi and the taxi drivers, the restaurateurs, the craft vendors, the street vendors, those who are renting bicycles, and those who have bars, and so on.”
The Secretary said 250 to 300 passengers flew in by chartered plane from Germany to Tobago biweekly to join cruise ships at the Scarborough Port. A similar number of passengers disembarked from cruise ships to fly back to Germany.
The Secretary said the revenue earned will help stimulate the island’s economy.