From a major investment in the small hotels market to a new flight and expected records in cruise numbers, 2009 is shaping up to be a huge year for the island of Tobago. The Tobago House of Assembly has announced the allocation of $2.3 million to small boutique hotels as a means of bringing them up to three-star status. In light of the destination’s continued development, Mount Irvine Bay Hotel and Golf Club is investing over $3.1 million in renovations and the addition of 35 new rooms. Additional expansion projects include the Crown Point Beach Hotel adding 25 rooms and the Coco Reef Resort & Spa adding 25 luxury suites.
In the sky, Delta Air Lines resumed non-stop service to the island on December 20. On the water, the government of Trinidad & Tobago launched the country’s first water-taxi system on December 29. To aid in this venture, the government acquired four ferry-type vessels that include the Su, the HC Milancia, the HC Katia, the Olivia. The Su has a capacity of 449 passengers with the remaining three ferries holding 150 each. Additionally, Tobago is estimating the island’s highest cruise arrivals, with 61 calls and over 70,000 passengers for the 2008/2009 season.