Minister Mitchell urges cruise visitors to enjoy our unique tourism offerings
More than 3,500 passengers on the Caribbean Princess Cruise line arrived at the Port of Port-of-Spain this morning, marking the start of the 2019/20 Cruise Season in Trinidad.
They were greeted to the sweet sounds of live parang, calypso and steelpan music, Moko jumbies as they entered the Cruise Ship Complex, Port-of-Spain during the official welcome ceremony.
In a statement following the ceremony, Tourism Minister, the Honourable Randall Mitchell, said the Ministry’s Strategic Plan for the cruise sector is to increase visitor arrivals to 100,000. He insisted the sector must do more to increase the economic value which will trickle down to tour operators, service providers, tour guides and craft vendors.
According to Minister Mitchell, the Ministry and Tourism Trinidad Limited will continue to collaborate and negotiate with cruise lines to market and promote Trinidad as a cruise Destination, and also increase cruise calls to the Destination. “We will continue to market Trinidad and Tobago as a differentiated Cruise Destination and further enhance our tourism product,” he stressed.
He said: “We are recognized for our unique ethnic and cultural mix together with the warmth and generosity of our citizens, which contribute to all other aspects of our tourism product offerings.”
Minister Mitchell also points to “the geography, topography and landscapes – natural and built- which enables us to differentiate the type and breadth of experiences afforded to our cruise visitors.”
He said the unique experiences include “visits to Caroni Bird Sanctuary and the world-renowned, Asa Wright Nature Centre.”
Minister Mitchell said: “A tour around the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, which is one of the largest roundabouts in the world, and is surrounded by the Magnificent Seven historic buildings, can be one of our most exciting shore excursions for cruise visitors.”
He is also encouraging visitors during their short stay to enjoy our steelpan, calypso and other music genres, including Chutney.
“Find time to enjoy our culinary delights,” he suggested.
Doubles, bake and shark, beastly cold fresh coconut water, locally produced cocoa wine and other cocoa products were sampled by the visitors.
Tourism Trinidad Limited’s Chairman, Mr Howard Chin Lee, in his welcome remarks, thanked the visitors for choosing Port-of-Spain. Mr Chin Lee said Trinidad was “blessed with great attractions, excellent festivals, mouth-watering cuisine and warm welcoming people,” which he added, “were all the ingredients to become one of the Caribbean’s leading tourism destinations.”
There was a buzz of excitement as craft vendors, taxi drivers, visitor guides and others were eager to serve the visitors. Many of them were taken to popular sites and attractions across the country via authorised taxi and tour operators.