Tobago’s Tourism Secretary wants ‘all hands on deck’

Tobago’s 2015-2016 cruise ship season, which closed in May, was one of the best in the island’s history, bringing ashore roughly 106,000 people.

And with Condor Airlines flights out of Manchester and Munich—scheduled to begin in the coming European winter season, from November 1, 2016—bringing an additional 14,500 seats to the island, the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA) Division of Tourism and Transportation (DOTT) is hoping to induce an upsurge in air travel as well.

This was disclosed by Secretary of Tourism and Transportation Assemblyman Tracy Davidson-Celestine at Wednesday’s post Executive Council media briefing at the Administrative Complex, Calder Hall.

The Secretary explained that there will be two direct weekly flights out of Munich with a winter rotation of 25, providing a capacity of 6,125 seats for the season. The flight out of Manchester, with a larger aircraft, will do 26 rotations with a capacity of 8,450 seats.

“If we can sell half of those seats we can see a 25 percent increase in arrivals this year,” Davidson-Celestine said. “But we have to do the hard work and sell the seats. As we say ‘Tourism is all ah we ting’ and therefore we have to all put our hands on deck and ensure this winter period is an improvement on last winter.”

The Tourism Secretary said a marketing campaign by Condor for the flight out of Munich is currently being executed. The campaign includes an online newsletter for consumers and trade partners, an in-flight video, and a magazine feature on Condor flights. It also comprises advertising in and around train and bus stops, as well as online banners with Condor’s preferred partners.

She said the hotels, tour operators, bed and breakfast owners and the airline must now work to fill those seats.

“We [at the Division of Tourism and Transportation] are doing our part,” Davidson-Celestine stressed. “We have brought the flights here, we are putting marketing behind those flights, but the point I want to share is that we are all in this together.”

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