Monday 9th January, 2017 (Port Of Spain)
: It’s not often that a magazine can speak of publishing without interruption, year in, year out, for over 25 years. But that’s exactly the case with the travel guide Discover Trinidad & Tobago, which unveiled its latest issue (its 28th) at the World Travel Market in London last November, as part of the official T&T contingent.

“The first step in choosing a vacation destination is the information search,” said Warren Solomon, CEO (Ag) and General Manager, Marketing, of the Tourism Development Company (TDC). “Travellers look for information on where to go, what to do and how to get it done. Well-researched and -written guides like Discover Trinidad & Tobago fulfil an important role in that information search, and are a significant element of the destination marketing mix.”

The 2017 issue of Discover Trinidad & Tobago features a distinctive dual-cover design — one cover for each island. On the Tobago side is an image by Giancarlo Lalsingh of a leatherback turtle hatchling making its way to the open sea. The Trinidad side displays an image by Wendell Stephen Jay Reyes of the Gasparee Caves in Chaguaramas. Inside, the magazine helps readers discover where to stay, dine, lime, party, and shop; and what to see and experience (including sites, festivals, arts and culture, sports, and eco escapes). There’s also a national calendar of events; info on getting here and getting around; tips for safe and sustainable travel; T&T history and society in a nutshell; maps; and more. The magazine has been distributed across Tobago and Trinidad, and overseas.

Discover Trinidad & Tobago is part of a larger publishing success story in T&T, where magazines and publishers often fold rapidly. It was the first magazine project of Media & Editorial Projects Ltd (MEP Publishers), which itself celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016.

“To start with, it was just me and Jo and a tiny office[Co-founder Joanne Mendes] selling the ads and me writing the content from scratch. That was 1990,” explained MEP co-founder and veteran journalist Jeremy Taylor, who was also Discover T&T’s founding editor. “Discover was MEP’s first regular publication.There were no other systematic visitor guides to T&T available then, and it really felt we were breaking new ground.”

The market is much busier these days, but MEP always has an eye to the future. “We aim to be wherever our readers are, so we’ve focused not only on having a portable print edition, but also on our web and mobile presence,” explained Caroline Taylor, the magazine’s current editor. “All our content is reproduced on our website, which we’re expanding to include more regular coverage and features. We also launched a companion mobile app last year, so readers can download issues for offline use.”

Next, MEP will be turning attention to another silver anniversary that’s fast approaching — Caribbean Beat will also mark a quarter century in March, with some special initiatives in the pipeline.