Hotels and guest houses did well during the Carnival 2013 season and will continue that trend during the post-Carnival cooldown period. This is from president of the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association Nicholas Hardwicke in an e-mail response to the T&T Guardian. Hardwicke said that during the Carnival season, occupancy levels for mainstream hotels and guest houses were in excess of 70 per cent with some hotels even being filled to capacity.
“But this will decrease significantly in a week to ten days’ time once the Carnival cooldown subsides,” he added. Hardwicke said Tobago hotels generally fill up four to five days before Carnival Monday and Tuesday with visitors from Trinidad who do not wish to participate in the festivities. He said immediately after Carnival there is an even bigger influx of visitors that comes for the post-Carnival cooldown.
He said there was a good mix or foreigners and Trinidadian visitors in hotels. He said foreigners tend to favour the larger hotels and villas whereas visitors from Trinidad generally stay at guest houses, self-catered apartments and smaller hotels. He also said hotels also saw greater number of families visiting from the UK since this Carnival coincided with school half-term holidays in the UK.
Hardwicke said Tobago should see another sizeable influx of visitors during the Easter period and again in late April for the Tobago Jazz Experience. In a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian, general manager of the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort Vince Angelo said the hotel experienced the expected number of visitors during and after the Carnival 2013 season. He said the biggest visitor arrival days were between February 9 and February 11 and it has been very busy since.
He said the weekend before Carnival Monday and Tuesday, many families came to the hotel to get away from the hectic atmosphere in Trinidad. Now, in the post-Carnival period, Angelo said visitors include Trinidadians as well as tourists from the UK and Europe. He said Trinidadians at the hotel are using this time to kick back and take it easy after the days of partying and revelry. Rooms in the hotel were also booked for weddings over the weekend.
General manager of Kariwak Village Allan Clovis told the T&T Guardian that the number of visitors to the hotel was no different from any other year. He said rooms as the hotel were full prior to and during the Carnival season. Clovis said during this the post-Carnival cooldown period, there is a mixture of visitors to the hotel from Trinidad as well as tourists from other countries.
Leslie Amedee, general manger of Turtle Beach Tobago, said in a telephone interview that during the Carnival season the hotel did very well in terms of occupancy. He said occupancy levels were around 90 per cent during Carnival and he expected them to drop to around 45 per cent by the end of February. Amedee said the hotel is now preparing to accommodate Easter visitors. At present there are not many Trinidadians staying at the hotel.
He said around this time, the hotel houses many conference and business groups, retreat groups and couples.