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Frontin to head TDC
Tourism Minister Stephen Cadiz has called on the newly-constituted board of the Tourism Development Company to start marketing Trinidad and Tobago as one brand. And he has mandated that they make the islands both significant and exciting for international tourists, too.
He said the twin-island State could no longer be promoted through its individual facets, but rather using the many diverse elements that contribute to a unique traveller experience. Cadiz made the remarks at Friday’s installation ceremony of the new TDC board at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad. It’s the third time the board has been reconstituted since May 2010. Back then Stanley Beard was appointed chairman under then line minister Dr Rupert Griffith.
But conflict among the directors caused the Cabinet to dissolve the group and appoint another with the hope of achieving greater cohesion with hotelier Rajiv Omar Maharaj Shandilya at the helm. When Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced a Cabinet reshuffle eight months ago, Cadiz replaced Dr Griffith as Minister of Tourism. Dr Griffith took over the new Science and Technology Ministry.
But Cadiz and Shandilya reportedly could not see eye-to-eye. Shandilya resigned his post in the final week of Carnival 2013. His resignation took effect on Ash Wednesday and Frontin was tipped as his replacement.
‘No room for complacency’
A former banker, Frontin resigned his post as chairman at the Evolving Tec-knologies and Enterprise Development Company (eTeck/InvestT) to take up the challenge to develop this non-energy sector. The Persad-Bissessar administration has given priority to tourism in an effort to diversify the local economy away from its dependence on oil and gas.
Cadiz said, “Today, value conscious consumers are spoilt for choice. In international source markets we have witnessed the consolidation of the trade. There is more on-line travel buying and the fight for market share is vicious as traditional markets struggle for economic survival. Our challenge in T&T, therefore, is to be a relevant, significant, exciting and inspiring player in the market place.
“We have to work harder and smarter to compete for our ‘share of voice’ with big Caribbean brands such as Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, as we build our brand positioning via global and local channels.”
He said T&T must embrace change and turn the present day challenges into opportunities for growth. “The tourism product of T&T and our destination marketing and branding must be drastically improved. There is no room for complacency.
“On the contrary, there is need for innovation, re-appraisal and improvements across the board. With emerging and developing tourism destinations, T&T must offer sustainable and high quality tourism for the sector to sustain itself and prosper into the future.”
New TDC board
Brian Frontin, Madhavi Teeluckchan,
The reappointed directors are: Janelle Penny Commissiong-Chow, vice-chairman; Carol Ann Brichwood James; Cheryl Dubay-Tewarie; Dyanand Maharaj; Feroza Khan-Abdul; Premanand Badallo; Ryan D’Arcy.
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