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World Travel & Tourism Council Spells Out Policy Recommendations for Trinidad and Tobago to Tap Travel & Tourism Potential

September 21, 2005, Port of Spain, Trinidad &endash; Today, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) presented the results of its economic and policy research on the Trinidad and Tobago Travel & Tourism economy to Senator Howard Chin Lee, Minister of Tourism, Trinidad and Tobago and the country's Travel & Tourism community.

The research contained economic projections for the growth of Travel & Tourism in Trinidad and Tobago and a series of policy recommendations intended to maximize the potential of Travel & Tourism to the islands' economy and tap its position as a leading catalyst for economic development and job creation.

In Trinidad and Tobago for 2005, WTTC is forecasting:-

? Demand: Encompassing all components of Travel & Tourism consumption, investment, government spending and exports to grow 8 per cent (real terms) and total US$2,616 million (TT$ 16,481 million) in 2005.  The ten-year annualized growth (2006-2015) forecast is 5.2 per cent per annum, making Trinidad and Tobago the second fastest growing Travel & Tourism economy in the Caribbean, after Grenada which is recovering from last year's Hurricane Ivan.

? Visitor Exports: Spending by inbound international visitors is expected to total TT$3287 million in 2005, representing 5.5 per cent of total exports. In Tobago alone, visitor exports are expected to total TT$257 million (US$40.8 million) which represents 95.9 per cent of the island's total exports.

? Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Travel & Tourism's contribution to Trinidad and Tobago's economy is illustrated by the direct industry impact of 4.8 per cent of total GDP and the combined direct and indirect impact of the Travel & Tourism economy which is expected to total 13.8 per cent in 2005.

? Employment: The Trinidad and Tobago Travel & Tourism industry is expected to account for 33,771 jobs or 5.8 per cent of total employment in 2005.  The broader perspective of the Travel & Tourism economy (direct and indirect), which includes the spillover employment associated with industry capital investment and government spending, is expected to account for 96,539 jobs dependent on Travel & Tourism or 16.7 per cent of total employment.  In Tobago, the Travel & Tourism economy is expected to account for 14,800 jobs in 2005, of 56.8 per cent of total employment on the island.  In general, Tobago's employment produced from Travel & Tourism is nearly four times more intense than that of Trinidad.

In order for Trinidad and Tobago to realize its potential in Travel & Tourism, WTTC's principal policy recommendations included:

·         Identify and recognize the Travel & Tourism potential in Trinidad as well as Tobago.

·         Establish a National Convention Bureau (NCB) to manage all of MICE business for Trinidad & Tobago

·         Provide a one-stop shop for Travel & Tourism investors to reduce bureaucracy and streamline the process

·         Raise awareness of the economic and social benefits of Travel & Tourism throughout all levels of the population

·         Update the Tourism Satellite Account on a yearly basis to ensure that adequate data is available to factor Travel & Tourism in to economic and employment strategies

·         Implement strategic plans through a strong Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the private sector

·         Integrate environmental management and tourism development plans to ensure that development of tourism and protection of the environment are mutually supportive

·         Pull together a concerted campaign involving government ministries, the private sector and training institutions to promote the benefits of working in Travel & Tourism

·         Increase communication between the private sector employers and Travel & Tourism training institutions to ensure that the supply of qualified tourism employees meets the varying demands of the industry, and vice versa

·         Improve air access to Trinidad and Tobago by consolidating the position of BWIA and upgrading existing airport facilities

·         Identify a body with clear responsibility for tourism product development and invest in diversifying the tourism opportunities within Trinidad and Tobago to ensure sustainability of the tourism product

·         Develop a clearly identifiable 'brand' Trinidad and Tobago to raise awareness of the country as a destination throughout the world

·         Ensure that strategic plans reflect issues specific to Tobago

At the launch in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC President said, "Trinidad and Tobago is in prime position to develop a diverse, high quality and sustainable tourism industry.  Bolstered by successful and growing energy and financial sectors, Trinidad is seeing a rising demand in business tourism.  Tobago, on the other hand, is already one of the most tourism intense places in the world. The demand is there, now is the time to build new products. We applaud the commitment of TIDCO and now TDC to development of the country's tourism and we urge the government to take on board the findings of this report.  Travel & Tourism will clearly have a very important role to play in the future of Trinidad and Tobago and the opportunities offered by this industry &endash; to the economy, to employment and to social development &endash; will be enormous."


Senator Howard Chin Lee, Minister of Tourism for Trinidad and Tobago commented, "We welcome this study from WTTC and its findings. It comes at time of new energy in our country's Travel & Tourism, with the newly formed Tourism Development Company all set to drive the industry forward.  We recognize the important contribution made by Travel & Tourism to our economy and are committed to ensuring that its considerable potential is realized."

About The World Travel & Tourism Council

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is the forum for global business leaders comprising the presidents, chairs and CEOs of 100 of the world's foremost companies.  It is the only body representing the private sector in all parts of the Travel & Tourism industry worldwide.  Its members are leaders in all sectors of the industry, including accommodation, catering, entertainment, recreation, transportation and other travel-related services.  WTTC's mission is to raise awareness of the full economic impact of the world's largest generator of wealth and jobs - Travel & Tourism.  Governments are encouraged to unlock the industry's potential by adopting the Council's policy framework for sustainable tourism development.  Travel and Tourism is one of the world's largest industries, employing some 200 million people and generating over 10% of the world's GDP.  For more information on WTTC, please visit

About the Trinidad and Tobago Research

The WTTC Research for Trinidad and Tobago is the latest in a series of research produced by the World Travel & Tourism Council using standard's developed by the United Nations Statistics Commission (called "Tourism Satellite Accounting") and a detailed independent policy assessment by leading Travel & Tourism analysts.  Research on the Report for Trinidad and Tobago began at the end of 2004.

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Olivia Ruggles-Brise

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