President Weekes calls on T&T to tap into vast potential of tourism
President Paula Mae Weekes is calling on Trinidad and Tobago to tap into its vast economic potential of tourism and make full use of our other abundant natural resources.
In her World Tourism Day message, the President said that tourism in Trinidad and Tobago, unlike in our Caribbean neighbours, has long been undervalued due to our traditional reliance on the energy sector.
The volatility of the energy sector makes tourism a viable prospect, she said.
"Our ideal location below the hurricane belt, peerless hiking trails and rich variety of flora and fauna allow us to go beyond the traditional sun, sea and sand offerings. Trinidad and Tobago is home to wetlands, mangroves, coral reefs, turtle nesting grounds and over 470 species of birds. To successfully promote this country as an eco-tourism destination, it is critical that all citizens play their part in stewarding and conserving our natural heritage so that it can be a reliable source of income and form part of our international appeal," she said in her statement.
"We also have in our arsenal, our Carnival and creative industries, modern sporting facilities and specialist medical care, all of which attract visitors and investment, from across the region. As we celebrate World Tourism Day, let us explore the full potential of tourism to stimulate economic growth and provide a better and more sustainable future for all."
The President said World Tourism Day recognises the social, economic, cultural and political potential of tourism to address the world’s most pressing challenges.
"This year’s theme, "Tourism and Jobs—A Better Future For All", highlights the key role of tourism in sustainable development and job creation. Tourism is a significant employer of women, young people, and persons living in rural communities and provides critical opportunities for decent and stable work. As one of the fastest-growing economic sectors in the world, tourism generates about 19 percent of jobs worldwide and comprises 10 percent of the global GDP," she said
"Despite natural disasters and the global financial crisis, the growth of the tourism industry has accelerated in recent years due to a decline in the price of air and sea transport and improved labour rights in countries around the world. International tourist arrivals are expected to grow at an average of three percent annually until 2030, according to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). "