Caribbean Has ‘Hub’ Potential Says Tobago Tourism Association Chair

Executive Chairwoman of the Tobago Tourism Association Limited (TTAL) Alicia Edwards
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There are great opportunities for multiple airline hubs to develop throughout the region, says executive chairman of the Tobago Tourism Association Limited (TTAL) Alicia Edwards.
She told a press conference hosted by TTAL and Caribbean Airlines (CAL) on Monday that because of the unique structure and location of the Caribbean, multiple hubs for travel remain a high possibility.

“Barbados in its own unique location is a hub, but the other thing that we are realising about Trinidad and Tobago is that because we are the most southerly islands of the Caribbean chain, we are now a gateway to Guyana, to Brazil, and South and Latin American. So it is not one over the other, it’s just that geographically there are the opportunities for hubs to develop in different parts of the region depending on where people are moving to,” she explained.

The media event was called to announce the official launch of direct flights between Tobago and Barbados and was held a day before Barbados hosts the 41st edition of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace.

New flights between Barbados and Tobago will run twice-weekly, with flight times of just one hour from Grantley Adams International Airport to A.N.R. Robinson International Airport.

Though there is expected to be an increase in travellers between the two islands, Edwards noted that the high cost of regional travel still remained a hindrance to potential visitors.

“A huge cost component of the ticket is the taxes and the charges that have not been waived by our governments. There have been quite a bit of discussions and agreements on paper at the level of CARICOM to reduce the level of taxes so that it would allow the cost of moving in the region to be cheaper…that has not happened.

“Part of the issue and challenge of LIAT, is that because you are really subsidising taxes that should not be there in the first place, it makes it difficult,” she said.


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