From the letters to the editor
Why tourism plan will fall flat
Story Created: May 15, 2012 at 10:58 PM ECT
Story Updated: May 15, 2012 at 10:58 PM ECT
Changing Ariapita Avenue into a "tourist resort" is such a bad idea it should be framed. Somebody in the Tourism Ministry appears to be unaware that visitors to the Caribbean are mostly interested in sun, sand and sea. After that come the quaint houses and the local dishes.
Getting too modernised will kill off any appeal to the senses of the First World travellers. Who wants to pay through the nose to see food courts and stores that they can seen back home?
There is nothing special about our shopping malls. Absolutely nothing. Been there and seen bigger and better than we can ever afford to build.
Where will the influx of visitors originate? Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, the UK, the US, Iceland, Finland, Sweden—are all struggling with high unemployment rates and sagging economies.
Caribbean holidays are too expensive, have always been too expensive and will continue to be expensive because of the vast distances to be covered just to get here. Spare a thought for the fact that visitors' visas are hard to get for the US simply because they cannot afford to have Trinis taking the small jobs. It is survival of the fittest in the US and all of Europe.
The rich and famous might come to see our Carnival, but by and large, most of our Carnival and year round visitors are returning residents. The cruise ship clientele only stop off for one day. The cruise ship industry is having just as hard a time as anybody. The average man in the street is remaining at home or only travelling within a certain affordable range.
Take another good look at the map of the world and appreciate that, realistically, T&T is at the furthest and most expensive end of the Caribbean Sea.
Am I raining on the Minister of Tourism's parade? Is he planning to have goat racing down Ariapita Avenue? And, is it true that the new boardwalk in Chaguaramas is made of plastic? No sand to sift between your toes?
And last, but by no means least, how are we going to transport the visitors to Debe for the doubles in the heavy traffic, and back in time to get aboard the ships?