Thursday 20 February, 2020

Tobago sees 8 percent increase in visitor arrivals in 2019

Tobago's marketing push has paid off. In this photo, the island made a big splash at the World Travel Market in London last year.

Tobago's marketing push has paid off. In this photo, the island made a big splash at the World Travel Market in London last year.

Tobago’s investment in the tourism industry is paying off.

In 2019, the island recorded the highest increase in stayover arrivals to the island in nine years.

The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited announced on Thursday that at the end of December 2019, statistics revealed that there were 19,542 international stayover arrivals to Tobago for the year - an 8.2 percent increase over 2018.

The upward trend looks set to continue in 2020 with arrival figures already indicating a continued upward trajectory in stayover arrivals for the island. January figures show a 21.8 percent increase over January 2019  with 2,805 stayover arrivals this year as compared to 2,303 last year.

Commenting on the recent milestone in Tobago’s journey to a rejuvenated tourism industry, CEO of TTAL, Louis Lewis, attributed the positive figures to the rebranding of Destination Tobago as Tobago Beyond: unspoilt, untouched, undiscovered, as well as a new Go To Market strategy unveiled by the Agency in 2018.

"The renewed brand identity has proven to resonate well with trade partners and consumers alike in Tobago’s source markets and complemented TTAL’s award-winning marketing campaign crafted to create positive impressions of the destination and convert those impressions to bookings. These successes were only made possible not only through collaboration with the island’s stakeholders," he said.

The performance of the Canadian market last year was a significant factor in the overall growth recorded. Canada was identified by TTAL as one of the new growth markets for destination Tobago in 2017 when the organisation was established.

By December 2018, TTAL successfully negotiated direct airlift from Canada to Tobago for the first time in the island’s history, engaging leisure carrier Sunwing Airlines which was responsible for the majority of Canadian visitors to Tobago in 2019.

Negotiating airlift was only the first step in ensuring growth from the Canadian market. In order to stimulate awareness and interest in Tobago, and to create a demand for travel, TTAL worked assiduously to promote destination Tobago in Canada and raise awareness about the available flight options to the destination.

In addition to growth from the Canada market in 2019, Germany stayover arrivals also increased by 12 percent and arrivals from the UK market saw an increase of 6.7 percent.

TTAL said it is continuing to build upon the success illustrated in 2019, by ensuring that their strategic marketing efforts continue into 2020 and beyond, complemented by product development initiatives to enhance the on-island experience for visitors.

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