By twinning investigative journalism with reporting on development stimulated some very interesting perspectives from regional reporters assembled for the event.
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Carnival visitors shorten their hotel stay
Outsiders still think T&T is a part of Jamaica and the country is hardly promoted in places that count.T&T has had three Ministers of Tourism since 2010 and four chairpersons of the Tourism Development Company (TDC).
Visitors to T&T for Carnival 2014 are staying five nights during the peak occupancy period instead of the seven-night stay of years past.
These are the views of Louanna Chai-Alves, executive director, Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association.
“Carnival for the hotel industry is a five-day span and typically starts on Carnival Friday and many guests check out on Ash Wednesday. That period is what we call the peak for Carnival, which is just five days. Those days are sold out for hotels in downtown Port-of-Spain, for the bed and breakfast to the large hotels. In past years, hotels started to full as early as the Wednesday before Carnival so the period was, in fact, seven nights long. But we have seen that this time has shortened. We are now seeing an average stay of three to five nights,” she told the Business Guardian on Monday at the Hilton Trinidad Hotel and Conference Centre, St Ann's.
Chai-Alves is not sure what is responsible for visitors shortening their hotel stay for Carnival.
“As an association, it is our desire to extend that time, but there are a number of factors that must come into play to achieve that. We think it could be the economic downturn, we do not know if it is the crime. We do not know what has caused people to shorten their time,” she said.
She noted visitors made earlier bookings this year.
“A number of hotels have reported that this year, things came in earlier, so there have been earlier bookings, so by the end of 2013, the rooms were almost sold out. For the past few years, the bookings were closer to Carnival. About seven years ago, rooms for Carnival were sold out by August of the previous year,” she said.