Last update: 10-Dec-2013 1:42 am
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Tourism stakeholders happy about JetBlue
Stakeholders in the tourism sector have welcomed plans by United States carrier JetBlue to begin flying the Port-of-Spain/Florida and Port-of-Spain/New York routes next year. Executive director of the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association, Louanna Chai-Alves, said the group welcomed any addition to the airlift to T&T as it will boost tourist arrival. She said it will also assist business tourists from those two destinations to find seats easily.
“We hope it will keep the airline rates at a reasonable level. With more competition the rates tend to stay in line. We think it would be a great contributor to giving access to the markets,” she said. “The more people we could bring in—whether it may be meeting and conventions or leisure business will certainly go well for the entire industry.” Chai-Alves said Caribbean Airlines Ltd and American Airlines would fly those routes but due to the diaspora market there are fewer seats available. She said another airline would mean increased seats and visitor arrivals.
Lisa Shandilya, general manager of Chancellor Hotel, St Ann’s, said she welcomed JetBlue into the T&T market since most tourists come from those two destinations. She said having other airlines available gives the visitor options.
“With me I have had several bookings already for the hotel next year. They (the visitors) want to come in earlier. If CAL cannot bring in the extra people certainly this carrier would be able to do so,” she said. In a September 16 statement, JetBlue officials confirmed plans to start non-stop flights on the Port-of-Spain/Florida route from May 1, 2014 and the Port-of-Spain/New York route from February 24.
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