When thinking of the Caribbean’s most notable cruise spots, Tobago may not be the first getaway to pop into agents’ heads, but surprisingly enough it has emerged as one of the region’s fastest growing cruise spots and now it has the numbers to back it up. In fact, Tobago tourism officials recently released stats reflecting a 100 percent increase in cruise calls for 2008 and projections for $329 million in cruise revenue for the 2009-2010 season.
Initiatives that give Tobago an opportunity to grow and prosper within the cruise industry are moving full steam ahead with the support and guidance of the Tobago House of Assembly, according to a recent release. More cruise lines such as Celebrity Cruises, Fred. Olsen, Holland America, Ocean Village, Princess and Windstar are expected to make 60 calls at Tobago (up from 34 calls last season) from October through April 2009, bringing an estimated 100,000 cruise visitors to the island.
The first step to putting Tobago on the map of North American cruisers began with the completion of the $2.7 million Scarborough Jetty expansion project that allows larger cruise ships— up to the Voyager Class— to dock, and encourages more cruise lines to include Tobago on their Southern Caribbean itineraries. The increase in calls also has a positive impact on the economy of Tobago. With larger vessels docking, there will be more passengers, which translates into more local employment opportunities and increased spending by visitors.