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Cudjoe: Tourism will drive future economic activity

Published: 
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Minister of Tourism Shamfa Cudjoe speaking at the launch of the 2017/2018 Cruise Ship season yesterday at Cruise Ship Complex, Dock Road, Port-of-Spain.

The Government is using tourism as one of the sectors that will drive the economy in the future said Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe.

“Through this consultative process, it is a step in the right direction for the future, of not only the tourism sector, but also for the overall economic development of the country.”

Cudjoe spoke yesterday at a stakeholders consultation on T&T’s Tourism Regulatory and Licensing Authority Bill 2017 at the Arthur Lok Jack School of Business, Mt Hope.

Some of the participating agencies in the draft bill include the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, T&T Bureau of Standards, Ministry of Tourism and Tobago House of Assembly.

She said the consultations follow a number of sensitization sessions with several stakeholder groupings that were conducted over the last few months in recognition of the tremendous importance of obtaining feedback from the players in the industry who have vested interest in the sector.

She quoted form the latest World Travel and Tourism Council Annual Report which shows that travel and tourism’s contribution to world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) outpaced the overall global economy for the sixth consecutive year in 2016 rising to a total of 10.2 percent of world GDP.

“Today, the business volume of tourism equals or even surpasses that of oil exports, food exports or automobiles. Tourism has become one of the major players in international commerce.”

She added that this is an example for T&T which is going through one of its worse economic recessions in its history.

“As this country faces one of its most severe economic downturns, this news is indeed promising. The tourism sector has the ability to touch every other sector , transforming our economy, creating opportunities for the key players in the sector.”

She called on those in the local hotel industry to raise their standards as there are tourists and travelers who come to T&T and are not happy with the service they get.

She even read some negative comments from Trip Advisor of some foreigners who used the local hotels and vented their displeasure on the hotel review website.

Some comments touched on themes as poor value for money, some hotels are too expensive, poor customer service and even scalding hot water in one hotel room in T&T.

“We can no longer afford to ignore the positive impact a properly regulated tourism sector can have on our economic development,” Cudjoe said.

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