Tobago to get tourism fund by year-end
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, Thursday November 29 2012 – As the tourism dependent island of Tobago gears up for the start of this year’s high season, tourism players have been given some good news in time.
Minister in the Ministry of Finance Vasant Bharath announced during the media launch of the Trade and Investment Convention 2013 at the Hyatt Regency that the government’s Loan Guarantee programme and the TT$100 million Tobago Tourism Development Fund (TTDF) to benefit hoteliers in Tobago will be operational before Christmas.
“I want to assure the people of Tobago,” he said, “that the fund will be operational before Christmas so that small hotels who are in partnership problems and who need to update and upgrade their hotels will have access to those loans before Christmas,” Bharath told the media.
Bharath said he met with Chairman Ruthven Jaggassar and Chief Executive Officer Brian Awang of the Export-Import (Exim) Bank — the executing agency of the loan and fund — prior to the media launch on the loan guarantee programme.
The fund will be held in a recently incorporated company named the Tobago Tourism and Business Development Company Limited, TTBD. Tourism Minister Stephen Cadiz who launched the funding programmes in August reportedly told Trinidad’s Newsday by telephone that they are aimed at revitalising Tobago’s tourism sector.
The objective, he said, is to bring back tourism arrivals to Tobago to the level they were at in 2005 and eventually surpass that figure.
The TTDF, Cadiz said will benefit small hoteliers who need to upgrade their facilities, while the loan guarantee programme is targeting new hotels. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)