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Unreliable Travel Blamed for Low Tobago Bookings


Tobago hoteliers are reporting between 30 and 50 per cent decline in room occupa

Tobago hoteliers are reporting between 30 and 50 per cent decline in room occupancy and believe regular visitors to the island are losing trust in the reliability of the airbridge and seabridge.

The air and sea travel service have been flooded with complaints and problems for most of 2017, resulting in a downward spiral of visitor arrivals and potential revenue.

The seabridge issue first reared its head, during the months of June, July and August 2017 which are considered to be the peak time in which hotels earn the highest revenue.

Nick Hardwicke, President, Tobago Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association in a telephone interview, confirmed that occupancy levels are “historically” low given the time of year. He suggested the reason for the decline is due to the logistics on the inter-island route.

Owners of the Cabo Star, vice-President of Bridgemans Services Group Andrew Purdey, as well as members of the Port Authority and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had appeared before the Joint Select Committee of Parliament to answer questions about the vessel and the route. The issue did not stop there and continued unabated with the airbridge at times having to pick up the slack left by the inefficiencies on the seabridge.

Sean Clarke, Manager, Plantation Villas said the logistics between the islands left much to be desired. He said even though Caribbean Airlines Ltd was able to pick up the slack by the seabridge chaos, there is dire need to address the problem. He also agreed that regular visitors are saying that it is easier to go to Barbados or St Lucia or other destinations than Tobago.

Source: The Guardian (Trinidad & Tobago)

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