At the first engagement session of Trinidad Business Leaders, from left to right are: Nirad Tewarie, Chief Executive Officer of the American Chamber of Commerce; Thackwray Driver, Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago; Heidi Alert, Chief Executive Officer (Ag.) Tourism Trinidad; and Gabriel Faria, Chief Executive Officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce

Tourism Trinidad Limited recently marked the beginning of a ground-breaking collaboration with Trinidad’s business leaders, with the hosting of a Business Engagement Session with over fifteen (15) business chambers.

The meeting took place on Tuesday January 14 2020, at the Conference Room Level 18, Tower D International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain.

According to an official statement from Tourism Trinidad, the assembled business executives were briefed on the company’s One Year Strategic Action Plan by Chief Executive Officer (Ag.) of Tourism Trinidad Limtied, Mrs. Heidi Alert, and the company’s Executive Management Team, in what is the second such stakeholder outreach hosted by Tourism Trinidad. The first session was held in October 2019 with primary tourism partners.

The rationale behind the sessions is for Tourism Trinidad to engage in dialogue with the business leaders regarding the development of a collaborative relationship, which will initiate an effort to raise awareness, shift mind-sets and enact change to usher in a new era within the local tourism industry—one in which the public and private sector can work together to ensure tourism growth and social and environmental responsibility.

In her remarks, Ms. Alert said that Tourism Trinidad welcomed the active participation of the business community as it strives to build a vibrant tourism industry and sustain its growth.

“We will be continuing to engage in this type of open and transparent partnership with stakeholders,” she confirmed, “taking cognisance that a robust and resilient tourism industry is built through collaboration among all players in the economy.”

The conversation focused on the strategies for the roll out of Tourism Trinidad’s campaigns for the key niches of sports, events and business conferences, in keeping with the company’s mandate and strategic focus.

Tourism Trinidad reports widespread agreement was obtained on the critical need for tourism buy-in at every echelon of society, to ensure the Trinidad industry’s viability and sustainability. Participants also agreed on the need for collaboration with the Chambers and Business Associations for the development of conference tourism.

Also discussed was the impact of rising national crime levels on the reputation of Destination Trinidad. The business community flagged it as an area of concern.

Among the recommendations made to improve tourist safety and security were: furthering discussions of the implementation of Bicycle Police on the island’s sites and attractions; and re-commencing the offering of Tourists Policing programs.

Other ideas and initiatives from the business chambers to assist with the long term competitiveness of Destination Trinidad included:

• Placing more emphasis on product development to assist with the growth of visitor arrivals

• Utilising the music, creativity and talent resident in our rural communities to reduce tourism seasonality

• Upskilling the tourism workforce by providing hospitality training and institutional strengthening to improve customer service delivery

Participating business associations at the engagement session included:

• American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago

• Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago

• Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce

• Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce

• Downtown Owners and Merchants Association

• Employers’ Consultative Association

• Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago

• Greater Tunapuna Chamber of Industry and Commerce

• Penal/Debe Chamber of Commerce

• San Fernando Business Association

• San Juan Business Association

• Sangre Grande Business Chamber

• Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce

• Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Service Industry

• Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association

• Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago

Story by NEWS DESK