MP calls for 'true cost' of Tobago Jazz
Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial is calling for an expenditure and revenue account of the Tobago Jazz Festival, which reportedly cost some $7.3 million to host.
The MP is also calling for clarification on whether the figure quoted by Tourism Secretary Nadine Stewart included the costs of payments to international acts.
In an interview at her Chase Village, Carapichaima office, Ramdial said while Stewart, along with Tobago Festivals Committee Chairman George Leacock were quoted saying that the jazz event was successful, there has been no evidence to validate this claim – especially when hotel occupancy rates were reportedly down.
“I want to ask for an Expenditure and Revenue account for the hosting of the Tobago Jazz Festival for the year 2018. The Tobago Hotels Association would have also reported that there was a 50 percent occupancy rate on the island so it was not 100 percent.”
“The full potential of deriving revenues from this event, with respect to tourists coming to Tobago and making bookings to hotels and guest houses would not have been maximised in terms of revenue generation,” she said.
Ramdial said this uncertainty would be put to rest if an account of the expenditure of the Tobago Jazz Festival was produced.
“I know that the THA under the watchful eyes of Ms Nadine Stewart and Mr Leacock would have given the assurance publicly to give an account with respect to revenue generation.
I am making the call very early as to getting the Expenditure and Revenue account in a timely manner,” she said.
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