Last update: 05-Dec-2013 1:31 am
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Imagine how tourism can be boosted
On a Saturday morning around 9.30 am, I was traveling east on the Churchill Roosevelt Highway heading for Mayaro as I had not been there for about two years. When I got to Wallerfield, just before the turn off to the Eastern Main Road, I remembered reading in the newspapers that the government was about to build a road, bypassing Valencia, connecting to the road that takes you to Sangre Grande. That bypass road should have been built 20 years ago, but say what. On that morning the traffic into Valencia was not that bad but the road from Valencia to Sangre Grande, onto Manzanilla and onto Mayaro was rough, uneven, with pot holes, really terrible.
After a two-and-a-half hour drive I finally arrived in Mayaro to join family and friends at a house on the beachfront. Mayaro is such a beautiful place, not for its sea water, but for the miles of beach and the constant breeze. Imagine if the Government got together with the Tourism Development Company (TDC) and encouraged an international hotel chain to invest, by putting down a four star hotel in Mayaro, with golf course, tennis courts, etc. Imagine what that would do, not only for foreign tourism, but also for local tourism. I believe once that is in place, it would encourage a lot of smaller hotels to set up shop. This would help with the employment of locals, as construction and tourism employ a lot of people directly and indirectly.
But before we talk about developing the tourist industry in Mayaro, the first thing that needs to be done, is the upgrading of the roads, starting from Valencia/Sangre Grande to Mayaro/Guayaguyare, not forgetting also upgrading the roads to Toco and Matelot. Imagine when tourists arrive in Trinidad with the intention of spending a vacation in Mayaro, they could have the option of not only staying in the Mayaro area, but also of taking a drive to Sangre Grande, do some shopping or head to Toco and enjoy the beautiful scenic drive and sea bathing in that area. Imagine if there was another option for those same tourist where they could board a ferry and sail from Toco to Tobago to spend the day. Tourist who are also vacationing in Tobago could take that same ferry to Toco and do the opposite by taking that scenic drive through Toco to Sangre Grande and on to Mayaro. Imagine one day we get a government which has foresight, and is serious about development of the tourism industry in T&T, this would only be the start of the icing on the cake.
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