|Joel Jack, Finance Secretary of THA|
Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Finance Secretary Joel Jack will make his first THA budget presentation on Monday and he said he is ready for the task at hand.
To date, Jack has met with members of the credit unions, the youths, the chamber of commerce, and the tourism sector.
Head of the Hotel and Tourism Association Nicholas Hardwicke told the Express yesterday that talks with the Finance Secretary have been fruitful.
“We have had extensive discussions with Mr Jack of the Tobago House of Assembly. He has absolutely reaffirmed that the Tobago House of Assembly is very committed to developing the tourism product on the island,” Hardwicke said.
Investor confidence must be encouraged, more available quality room stock, and even more critical, airlift for Tobago are the main issues that should be addressed, he said.
“We are expecting and hoping to see a very good commitment towards the marketing budget for next year, also towards the facilities necessary for securing and maintaining airlift connections,” added Hardwicke.
And while the marketing of Tobago is of paramount importance, the Government needs to also do its part.
“Naturally we want that commitment to be followed up with a very firm commitment from Government when it comes to the national budget later on down the year. Without the resources that central government gives Tobago, that really compromises any ambition that we have here.”
Hardwicke lamented the poor state of ANR Robinson International Airport at Crown Point and is hopeful for a new terminal with upgrades to the existing facility.
“The airport, the ANR Robinson International Airport, is in such an appalling state and it is the first and last impression we give our visitors when they come here. It is extremely detrimental,” he stated.
And Diane Hadad, chairman of the Tobago Chamber of Industry of Commerce, wants more results and less talk.
She said there have been promises, but what she wants to see now are those promises rolled out.