The Tobago Heritage Conservation Society is converting years of research, mapping and archaeological retrieval into a tourism project aimed at transforming Tobago into one of the most sought after destinations for cultural tourism.
The group, led by Gabriel de Gaetano, is working with local and international organisations to increase awareness of where these ruins are and what were their functions as part of an enhanced Tobago tourism product.
Years of research have been digitized into a coded map which has been classified according to the type of ruins at each site, then further subdivided into what they were used for. The group has recorded more than 200 sites on the island,
de Gaetano, who is also director of Tobago Affairs at the European Business Chamber, has been living in Tobago for 30. He said based on research collated from local and English based anthropologists Tobago has a lot to offer in the area of heritage built assets.
“You are going to draw a map in the Richmond to Concordia area you are going to see what they have and you can develop a nature trail and now you have a built tourism asset, you have agricultural production, you have plants, so particularly people can create tourism in their area they can do tourism activities and they create a small business,” he said
Committee member Louis Villian said Tobago’s turbulent past makes the island rich in history, which transcends colonial artefacts into natural heritage sites such as the Buccoo Reef, the Rain Forrest. He said each nationality left their mark on the island in one way or another.
“We have found ruins in when the initial colonial powers fought over Tobago the English the French the Dutch, Tobago kept changing hands we have historical facts when the Americans came,” he said.