Story by LOYSE VINCENT
Tourism stakeholders in Tobago say they have to go back to the drawing board as they are forced to watch their earnings disappear as a result of COVOD -19.
Only yesterday CEO of the Tobago Tourism Agency, Louis Lewis, announced that the industry will suffer approximately 88 million dollars in losses due to the fallout from the disease. Those directly involved say they are looking for a light at the end of the tunnel.
Guardian Media spoke today with a couple of the entrepreneurs who operate at the Store Bay Beach facility. They told us that on a normal day, the facility would be alive with visitors, vendors, and even those seeking escape, but there was no one to enjoy the beautiful waters and tranquil scene.
Shop owner, Martha Archer has been in business for 25 years. When she spoke with Guardian Media today, she was in the process of packing away the goods at ther shop, Delightful Pleasures, indefinitely.
“I am just here to take down some goods and put them in a bag so that they won’t absorb so much dust,” she explained. “I anticipate it is going to be a long haul. As for what is going to happen for me from here I’m not sure, because I don’t know what will happen in terms of moving forward.”
Artist Anthony McKenna has been selling paintings in the Pigeon Point area for over eight years. He said he would remain optimistic.
“Well, as you can see, there is no one around and I depend on the tourist for my business,” he said. “Things have dwindled down to nothing, but I am here still doing my work.”
McKenna said he lives within walking distance from the area and he plans to continue painting and expanding his portfolio until conditions improve
Meanwhile, the owner of “Jimmy’s Guest House” at Crown Point, Lyla Mustapha, was less hope-filled.
She revealed that all of the single, two- and three-bedroom self-contained units she has on offer are vacant. Lyla Mustapha described the situation as tragic and said she is still looking for a way to maintain staff, while staying in business until conditions improve.