Photo: (L to R) Mrs. Yolande Selman, General Manager, Product Development, TDC; Ms. Juliana Boodram, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; The Hon. Stephen Cadiz, Minister of Tourism; Assemblyman Tracy Davidson-Celestine, Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of Tourism & Transportation; Mrs. Belinda Charles, Business Enhancement & Facilitation Specialist, TDC; and Mrs Denise Aleong-Thomas, President, Small Tourism Accommodation Owners of T & T (STAOTT) SCARBOROUGH, Tobago (March 4, 2013)
– Small business owners within Tobago’s tourism industry will be able to improve their performance and profitability through the Institutional Strengthening, Capacity Building and Strategic Planning Programme. This according to Assemblyman Tracy Davidson-Celestine, Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of Tourism and Transportation, who expressed her confidence in the initiative at the programme launch on February 26, 2013 at the Villas at Stonehaven.
The capacity building project is coordinated by the Division of Tourism and Transportation and the Tourism Development Company (TDC) under the umbrella of the Small Tourism Enterprises Programme (STEP). It targets the Tobago Bed and Breakfast Association with the aim of strengthening the association’s presence in the industry.
The programme will cover a range of topics, including management, marketing and customer relations. Among the objectives is the establishment of a 3-year strategic plan that will bolster the sector and make members self-sufficient and sustainable contributors to the economy.
“It will give our members the opportunity to become more professional and to offer what the visitors want,” said Ean Mackay, owner of Adventure Eco Villas and a member of the Tobago Bed and Breakfast Association.
Davidson-Celestine noted that Tobago experienced a 2 percent increase in international arrivals in 2012 but acknowledged the need for Tobago to also increase its competitiveness. She cited the Institutional Strengthening, Capacity Building and Strategic Planning Programme as an avenue through which this objective can be accomplished.
“It offers you the opportunity to better yourselves and your organization’s capacity to deliver the required goods and services,” she said to the members of the association during her address.
The programme was executed in consultation with Gbest Trading Company Limited. It was initially conducted in Trinidad and it will run for a period of six months in Tobago.