Last week, Tourism Trinidad Limited held an official welcome ceremony to launch the 2019-20 cruise season as the Caribbean Princess docked at the port of Port of Spain with some 3,600 passengers.
For this November 2019 to April 2020 cruise season, Trinidad will be receiving 70,000 passengers from 27 vessel calls (among them, two new cruise lines and three new cruise vessels). This number is up from the 59,000 passengers received last season.
At the official cruise reception, the Chairman of Tourism Trinidad Howard Chin Lee, said, “today’s travelers are looking for new experiences—especially Millennials (or as we like to call them…the disrupters), who are actively seeking out authentic experiences in exotic, far-flung destinations and want something cool to share with their friends on social media”.
To offer cruise-goers an authentic experience, the sounds of parang, steel pan, colorful Moko Jumbies and Maypole dancing greeted the passengers on the quayside as they disembarked. Inside the Cruise Ship Hall, sampling stations of Maracas Bake and Shark, Doubles, Coconut Water and an exhibition of Lopinot’s cocoa and coffee heritage (with chocolate and cocoa tea tasting) were set up.
Chairman Lee emphasized the need for Trinidad to find innovative ways to further enhance and use its tourism assets to disrupt Caribbean cruising and capture significant market share beyond the 4 percent increase of last year. “Our Port is one of a few to offer cruise ship docking in the capital city, with immediate access to duty free shopping, gift shops and boutiques, and easy access to our financial district,” he said.
In the coming months Tourism Trinidad will be working hand-in-hand with regional corporations, tourism action groups and industry partners to address major issues impacting upon the visitor experience, such as destination improvement and skills development. The company says it will be undertaking hospitality and service quality training across communities, agencies and service departments, sharing best management practices; and focusing on all the individuals who come into direct contact with international visitors (immigration, customs, transport, shops, restaurants and hotels and even within the communities).
The long-term aim of Tourism Trinidad is to build a sustainable service culture thorough continuous training, product development and enhanced service delivery.