The tourism sector is expected to receive a major boost following Government’s move to extend TAUP—Tourism Accommodation Upgrade Project—up to 2023.
In an official statement, Minister of Tourism, Senator Randall Mitchell, says the decision was taken following Government’s acceptance of recommendations from stakeholders at recently held, widespread consultations on the review of state tourism incentives.
“This move will provide a much-needed boost to the overall quality of hotel room stock in Trinidad and Tobago,” Minister Mitchell states in the release. “This is another example of Government attempting to assist accommodation providers during this very challenging period.”
Minister Mitchell said that the Government agreed to include new components such as green initiatives, the use of renewable energy and additional property exterior works, including perimeter fencing/walls, drainage and sewerage works.
“The TAUP incentive will be expanded and extended for a further three-year period from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2023. In addition, an adequate amount will be allocated for the first year, 2020 – 2021,” Minister Mitchell disclosed.
About TAUP—the Tourism Accommodation Upgrade Project
TAUP is a tourism incentive which provides a reimbursable grant to eligible tourism accommodation properties in Trinidad and Tobago for upgrade work conducted to approved tourism accommodation facilities. The project caters for two categories of accommodation facilities: properties offering 1-5 guestrooms and those offering 6-150 guestrooms.
- For the 1-5 category, properties can access reimbursements up to a maximum of 40% while the 6-150 category can access reimbursements of up to 50%.
- For properties in Trinidad, reimbursements are subject to a maximum of $25,000.00 per guestroom, while properties in Tobago can access reimbursements up to a maximum of $30,000.00 per guestroom
- Properties in the 1-5 guestroom category can access maximum reimbursements of $150,000.00 per property over the three years while the 6-150 guestroom category are allowed a maximum reimbursement of $1,500,000.00 per property over the three years.
Additionally, although a requirement of the said projects stated that applicants must not be currently in receipt of grant funds for upgrades from any other arm of the Government, an exception to that requirement was made with respect to applicants in receipt of the Tobago Accommodation Relief Grant 2020.
The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, through Trinidad Tourism Limited (TTL) continues to be responsible for the administration and implementation of all project activities related to the TAUP in Trinidad. Whilst the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) would be responsible for TAUP in Tobago through the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL)