Doubles, calypso for 3500 visitors as 2019/2020 cruise season starts
More than 3,500 passengers on the Caribbean Princess Cruise line arrived at the Port of Port-of-Spain on Thursday, marking the start of the 2019/20 Cruise Season in Trinidad.
They were greeted by a live parang band, calypso, steelpan music and Moko jumbies as they entered the Cruise Ship Complex during the official welcome ceremony.
In a statement, Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell said the Ministry’s Strategic Plan for the cruise sector is to increase visitor arrivals to 100,000.
He insisted the sector must do more to increase the economic value which will trickle down to tour operators, service providers, tour guides and craft vendors.
According to Minister Mitchell, the Ministry and Tourism Trinidad Limited will continue to collaborate and negotiate with cruise lines to market and promote the island as a cruise destination.
“We will continue to market Trinidad and Tobago as a differentiated Cruise Destination and further enhance our tourism product,” he said.
“We are recognized for our unique ethnic and cultural mix together with the warmth and generosity of our citizens, which contribute to all other aspects of our tourism product offerings,” he added.
Minister Mitchell further pointed to the geography, topography and landscapes – natural and built – which enables us to differentiate the type of experience afforded to cruise visitors.
He added that this includes visits to the Caroni Bird Sanctuary and the world-renowned, Asa Wright Nature Centre.
“A tour around the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, which is one of the largest roundabouts in the world, and is surrounded by the Magnificent Seven historic buildings, can be one of our most exciting shore excursions for cruise visitors.”
The Minister went on to encourage visitors to enjoy the music and cuisine during their short stay.
“Find time to enjoy our culinary delights”.
The visitors sampled doubles, bake and shark, fresh coconut water, locally produced cocoa wine and other cocoa products.
In delivering his remarks, Tourism Trinidad Limited’s Chairman Howard Chin Lee thanked the visitors for choosing Port-of-Spain.
He said the country was “blessed with great attractions, excellent festivals, mouth-watering cuisine and warm welcoming people,” which he added, “were all the ingredients to become one of the Caribbean’s leading tourism destinations.”
There was a buzz of excitement as craft vendors, taxi drivers, visitor guides and others were eager to serve the visitors. Many of them were taken to popular sites and attractions across the country via authorised taxi and tour operators.