Rishi Sankar: Ah Trini Travelogue

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Tourism in Trinidad … here’s 10 quick thoughts for improvement.

Posted by Rishiray on April 22, 2013

The TT government is trying to make tourism in Trinidad a viable industry. When I see articles like this in the newspapers, http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2013-04-15/tt-moves-prop-falling-tourism-industry … I really wonder what is the in the brain of the leaders – like our Tourism minister talking about a “Coming home year”. The idiocy of the idea is just rampant – why would anyone want to come to Trinidad, when the global awareness is so poor? When Trinis won’t come home … you know you have a problem. However, I can’t solve all that is wrong with tourism in Trinidad, in an article, but I can offer 10 thoughts on improving the tourist experience in Trinidad

  1. Support the idea that every Trini is a brand ambassador, both at home and abroad. Only when we can truly go outside in the world and send people to our country, without fear of our friends being shot or being able to find a reliable taxi at midnight, can we start selling the country.
  2. A clean country is a clean people. Trinis are notorious litterbugs … it’s disgusting through Port of Spain, Chaguanas or San Fernando and see so much trash on the streets. Cleanliness is one of the first items, tourists mention when they’ve visited a place. Have you ever heard that Canada or Singapore are dirty places? Think about it …
  3. Here’s an idea … actually enforce the litter act and have fines/deterrents for people who litter and burn trash
  4. Create a taxi stand at the airport – not just hustlers. A taxi is usually the first interaction, that a visitor has with Trinidad. Poorly trained or shady taxi drives instantly put a visitor on the defensive, and sets the tone that all Trinis are thieves or out to rip them off.
    1. Institute metering at the airport for taxis.
    2. Have clearly marked prices/signs for taxis.
    3. Ensure that only accredited airport taxis can pick up passengers at the airport.
    4. Have a positive/negative feedback mechanism for visitors using taxis. If places like Uzbekistan and the Philippines can have it, then we sure can too.
  5. Trinidad is not just Carnival … we have culture, architecture and some amazing food. Here are some ideas off the top of my head …
    1. A Trini food tour going for Doubles in Curepe, Aloo Pies/Saheenas in Debe, lunch at Breakfast Shed, herb picking in Paramin etc would be a phenomenal idea for the TDC to implement.
    2. Tours of old Sugar plantations, rum distilleries and old building associated with the trade … another nice to have.
    3. How about cultural tours of Indo-Trini, Afro-Trini and Sino-Trini cultures
    4. Pub crawl or party bus going through different bars on Ariapita Ave? If the Latin Americans can perfect this … why not us?
  6. How about a tourist information booth at the airport that works and that has well trained staff?
    1. I’ve heard that pamplets and printed materials work with people who read? Can we assume that tourists read?
  7. Communicate a plan with the masses and get the people involved. Trinis are notoriously “laissez faire”, but if we incorporate the business people into the plan and explain how the long term viability of tourism will help everyone, then maybe Trinis would get off their asses and help, but I know we are a people who have to be “incentivized”.
  8. Use Caribbean Airlines in the same way that Iceland uses IcelandAir … weekends from London or Toronto are the same price. Subsidize airfares from countries where you want to increase the tourist quotient. Trinidad has zero or little international brand awareness outside very specific communities. Think about it …
  9. Work on a social media/online campaign that makes sense … want to see a great one? Visit the ad campaign channel for Newfoundland & Labrador
  10. Sponsor social media discovery of tourism in Trinidad. Bring in travel bloggers and media specialists to highlight all that Trinidad has to offer!

Have some ladoo .. šŸ˜€


5 Responses to “Tourism in Trinidad … here’s 10 quick thoughts for improvement.”

  1. Goodness, these are some of ideas I have been having myself, Trinidad has so much to offer, but the powers that be aren’t doing anything to assist. I really hope things start to change, in the meantime I will keep on doing my part. On another note, your blog is awesome,

    • rishiray said

      Hi Garvelle,
      We do have a lot to offer back home, but only if it is packaged appropriately, with the corresponding infrastructure and political support.
      Thanks for stumbling on the blog šŸ˜€

  2. Manoj Juyal said

    superb one!!!

  3. WatchingYou said

    I would put item #2 in the #1 position just because it is all I think about whenever I travel around Trinidad…rubbish, rubbish and more rubbish!! It’s a real shame.

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