Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Tobago Fashion Coda—a win for Brand T&T
Tobago Fashion Coda, the all-inclusive fashion, food and music experience on April 24 at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort, has found itself in the spotlight of national development. The show has now become a hub in attracting a myriad of industries, creating a synergy that can only contribute to supporting the non energy sectors.
The show will highlight T&T headline designers and their collection of resort wear; the musical talents of the Mighty Sparrow, Ken “Professor” Philmore and Oscar B and Vibes, featuring Princess Adana; and the culinary art of the Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute.
But for the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), a partner for the experience, the opportunities the cultural and creative industries have to offer—ranging from design, fashion construction and accessories, makeup artistes, hair stylists, infrastructural and artistic design. Participation in this event, the THA noted, can also lead to bringing to the surface, an entrepreneurial spirit. Such diversification, the THA says, can only serve to strengthen the Tobago economy.
At the launch of the event which took place at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Tourism, Trinidad, on March 21, Secretary of Community Development and Culture, Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus looked at TFC from a tourism development perspective.
“At a time when visitor arrivals are increasing to Tobago and continued aggressive strategies are being pursued by the Division of Tourism and Transportation of the Tobago House of Assembly to diversify our visitor base, we recognise that added to our beautiful landscape of sand, sea and rainforest that boasts to be clean green safe and serene, our rich culture is indeed the icing that must be maximized.
“The Assembly also looks at the fashion dynamic as an attractive package that can boost the tourism sector,” she said. The show, which is produced by DG Events, has that tourism element to it. DG Events CEO Don Grant said: “Tobago Fashion Coda is a new marketable product for Tobago’s tourism. The event will blend the best of Tobago with the best of fashion, food and entertainment. It promises a glimpse into how Tobago can be rebranded for a new clientele.”
This signature event, he believes, is the ideal networking opportunity for a sophisticated audience. Especially with the core of Tobago Jazz Experience following this event, it is anticipated that Tobago Fashion Coda will open new avenues for increased visitors to the twin-island paradise.
John Murphy, general manager at the Magdalena Grand Golf and Beach Resort, was in praise of Grant’s efforts. Like last year, the Magdalena Grand is a sponsor of this event. At the Trinidad launch, Murphy expressed awe for the work done in producing the show.
“These types of presentations are complex and therefore require a great deal of hard work and co-ordination. Last year was a success, from all indications thus far 2014 will be even better. Thank you, Don, we all appreciate your passion, expertise and commitment to delivering a first class evening,” said Murphy.
Tobago Fashion Coda, therefore, can assist in further promotion of the Tobago destination—with the support of THA, Ministry of Tourism, Advanced Dynamics Limited, Angostura, NLCB and Magdalena Golf and Beach Resort. But of course, guests attending the Fashion Coda are in for a treat of food, fashion and entertainment. Direct benefits of Tobago Fashion Coda include:
• Live streaming to the world. Advanced Dynamics/ Carnival TV now has a database of 200,000 unique viewers, in 2013 with limited promotion the Tobago Fashion Coda garnered 4,000 viewers. With a wider promotional window, this will certainly increase for 2014.
• Tobago Fashion Coda brings potential growth and development for the Tobago Jazz Experience—complimenting its marketability.
• Tobago Fashion Coda also has a pop-up shop element where guests and visitors to Tobago can purchase items from the runway designers. The shop is opened for on April 23 and 25 between 1 pm and 6 pm, as well as two hours immediately after the show on April 24.
• Increased brand and country recognition to regional and international audiences. The Advanced Dynamics/Carnival TV internet package features not only the fashion event, but also showcases the island’s sites, sounds and events.
• As visitors for Jazz are invited to spend an additional night, tourism and economic benefits accrue to the country—additional hotel nights and direct spending by visitors.
• Employment opportunities—Designers, hotels, taxi services, food service, craft, models, hair stylist etc.
• The event presents a positive, fashion forward image of T&T to the global community.
• Social benefits—an increased sense of pride for citizens.