Friday, December 21, 2012

Stop the blame game, says Hardwicke

The relationship between the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and the government is tiresome and it is about time both parties put aside their differences and work together.
This is the view of President of the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association, Nicholas Hardwicke. He noted that it is clear from previous meetings that more work with the stakeholders involved for improving the tourism sector is needed.
Responding to questions about the possible fallout from the decision by Virgin Atlantic to pull-out its summer flights to Tobago, Hardwicke noted that there is no need for the blame game that has been going on between the Minister of Tourism, Stephen Cadiz and the Secretary for Tourism and Transport, Oswald Williams. He said now more than ever, both parties must work together to ensure the situation never happens again.
Hardwicke believes, the recent introduction of Caribbean Airlines flights to London was one of the contributing factors to the Virgin Atlantic suspension of flights, explained Hardwicke. He also mentioned that Virgin Atlantic recently added a new flight to Cancun, Mexico thus eliminating the need to keep servicing Tobago.
Another factor in the suspension is the inability of Tobago to provide sufficient room stock to host the level of guests being brought over at a decent rate, stated Hardwicke.
He said that other countries offer a better room stock at a better price and that discourages potential tourists from choosing Tobago.
On the issue of the installation of CCTV cameras in Tobago by the Ministry of National Security in an effort to make Tobago a safer place for tourists and locals alike, the tourism head believes that while this is a valuable measure, if there is not sufficient and qualified manpower monitoring the cameras, then it is of no use.
He added that enforcement of the law is crucial to ensuring a higher level of safety on the island. He also believes that the police force must be well equipped with the resources, equipment and training if it is to be effective.
He is disappointed that the government has not allocated enough in the budget for this and is also disappointed that measures such as traffic wardens which were mentioned in the budget, have not been implemented.

Reproduced from TobagoNews

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