Thursday 20 February, 2020

Tobago Tourism Agency dismisses claims of plagiarism

The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited has denied that it plagiarised the tourism campaign of another Caribbean destination.

The TTA’s denial follows similarities highlighted following the release of images and slogans from British territory Anguilla’s destination launch last weekend. The Caribbean island's slogan is ‘Beyond Extraordinary’. 

Responding to concerns in the public domain regarding the close likeness in campaigns, the Agency’s Chief Executive Officer Louis Lewis at a press conference on Monday sought to clarify what transpired.

Speaking at the Agency’s head office in Scarborough yesterday, Lewis outlined the process of developing Tobago’s current brand strategy.

The process, he said, began last November with local and international stakeholder consultations, which were precursors to the branding exercise that involved extensive market research.

The Agency then conducted a “soft launch” of the brand in the United Kingdom in October 2018 in both Ireland and England, a brand launch in Tobago later the same month, and an international brand launch at the beginning of November at World Travel Market (WTM) in London.

Lewis assured that TTA took a “very careful, studied approach to arrive at the branding for Tobago.”

Lewis said the matter was one of an unfortunate coincidence.

“What I think transpired, at best, may be an unfortunate coincidence. There are many similarities between Tobago and all the other islands in the Caribbean, so it is not inconceivable that you can find synergy between taglines chosen by other destinations.

However, he categorically denied that there was any plagiarism involved in the sister isle’s “Tobago Beyond” destination rebranding.

 “I must emphasise that at no point did we imitate any other destination, because our intention was always to stand out. Thus we are in the process of paying particular attention to the implementation of our marketing strategy to ensure that Tobago comes up as a destination of choice when people are searching for options in the Caribbean.”

Lewis further stated that in July 2018, several firms were invited to bid for the process of branding the destination.

The selected firm, UK based Gravity Global, he said, does not currently represent any other Caribbean destination.

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