Tobago records its one millionth visitor
By JULIEN NEAVES Tuesday, July 1 2014
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STOLEN CARTS: Acting Police Sgt Dexter Martin of the San Fernando City Police pack some grocery trolleys yesterday, seized from street vendors on High...
TOBAGO has reached a tourism milestone with a record one million visitors to the island in 2013, the first time in the history of the sister isle.
Secretary of Tourism and Transportation Assemblyman Tracy Davidson-Celestine reported that there were 1,001,752 visitors last year which surpassed that of many other Caribbean islands, such as Saint Lucia, which had 952,390 in the same year.
Last October she reported that domestic arrivals in 2012 amounted to 962,883, up from 923,061 in 2011, or an increase of approximately 40,000 visitors. Between 2012 and 2013 there was a similar increase in visitors of about 40,000.
Davidson-Celestine had disclosed the figures in her budget contribution at the Assembly Legislature on Thursday night, the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) stated in a release yesterday.
During her contribution she pointed out that the domestic market continues to be a key influencing factor in the fortunes of Tobagonians. She noted that the increase in numbers came despite the reduction in services by some major airlines to Tobago.
“We are pressing on despite the delicate state of the industry in all our source markets,” she said. She added, “Tobago is performing admirably”. Davidson-Celestine also reported a 100 percent increase in cruise ship calls and visitors for the 2014/15 cruise season.
“Providing all goes well with the port we anticipate 42,000 passengers up from 18,000 in the last season,” she said.
She said that the island was on a steady course of growth, adding for the first seven months of the financial year, October 2013 to April 2014, there was a nine percent growth in international arrivals when compared for the same period a year ago. In the last five months there has been consecutive growth averaging in excess of 20 percent, with December 2013 leading by an impressive increase of 45 percent in international arrivals.
Davidson-Celestine also disclosed that occupancy levels were also on the increase with stakeholders enjoying up to 74 percent and reporting the best winter since 2006.