Management of Magdalena Grand Resort meet with THA officials

THA Chief Secretary Orville London right) welcomes Magdalena Grand General Manager Vince Angelo to Thursday’s meeting at the Calder Hall Administrative Complex, Scarborough. Looking on are Nikolas Eastwick-Field, President (second from left); and John Murphy, Executive Vice President of efmHospitality Solutions, Miami-based operators of the Magdalena Grand. Photo THA Info Dept.
The Management of the Magdalena Grand Resort in Lowlands, Tobago has apologised to the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) for the cancellation of an Awards Function of the Division of Finance scheduled for the hotel on December 14 2011.

It has also given the commitment that there will be no reoccurrence of the incident in future.

Top executives of the hotel met for some 90 minutes with THA officials led by Chief Secretary Orville London at the Calder Hall Administrative Complex on Thursday (January 5 2012) to sort out the problem which led to the Assembly promising not to hold any of its events at the resort until it had received a commitment that the relationship between the Magdalena and the Assembly will be conducted in an environment that speaks to respect for the THA and speaks to professionalism.

Following the meeting London said the Magdalena management was very up front on the issue. “They admitted that a mistake was made and they accepted that it was something that should not have happened. They gave a commitment that it will not happen again. We accepted that as professionals around the table and we got down to the business of treating with how the hotel and the Assembly can work together in the interest of the people of Tobago.”

He said he had every confidence that the Magdalena will not allow a situation like that to occur again regardless of any pressures that might be brought on the property. “We accepted that until something happens that will convince us differently. We are operating on the premise that the Magdalena will function in a manner that will guarantee the integrity of the THA and the people of Tobago. As far as we are concerned that based on the assurances given by the management of the Magdalena I will consider this an unfortunate phase, a phase which we can now learn from and move on,” London said.

London said he wanted to place on record the Assembly’s appreciation for the very frank and honest manner in which the discussions were conducted. “The Magdalena management accepted the fact that there was a misstep and gave us the commitment which we have accepted that something like this will not occur again and that we can be very comfortable whether as the THA or the people of Tobago that the Magdalena Grand will be conducted with the strictest professionalism.

“As far as I am concerned the issue is now closed,” he added.

London said despite the significant challenges the hotel will be fully functional within a short time and was most interested in and excited about its initiatives in relation to marketing and making the property as attractive as possible as well as the impact the property could have and will have on the marketability of Tobago in these challenging times.

HE said the Division of Tourism and Transportation will continue to hold discussion with the Magdalena management and was certain that the relationship will be intensified to the mutual benefit of both Tobago and the hotel.

Magdalena Grand General Manager Vince Angelo said he was looking forward to working closely with the THA Division of Tourism to make the Magdalena Grand a success not only as an independent resort but also the island of Tobago “It is very important that the impact that we make in tourism on the island is an impact that is one that is lasting and is very clear in terms of our commitment to servicing quality and the delivery of that servicing quality to all of our guests coming from around the world.”

He said his team was very much appreciative of the discussion, describing it as fantastic in terms of moving forward and also about the future items that they will be discussing to keep the relationship very strong. “I am looking forward to that moving forward,” Angelo stressed.

Tourism and Transportation Secretary Oswald Williams said he was particularly pleased with the outcome of the discussion. “I have been saying all along that the Magdalena Grand is key to the revival of tourism in Tobago. It is the largest hotel on the island and holds the key to improvement of the room stock,” Williams said.

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