Amazing Attractions Drive Trinidad & Tobago's Strong 2015 Visitor Arrival Numbers
PHOTO: Trinidad visitors can explore the Gasparee Caves. (Photo by Brian Major).
The dual-island nation of Trinidad & Tobago is enjoying a strong visitor surge in early 2015. The Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Development Company (TTTDC) is reporting a 20 percent increase in first-quarter visitor arrivals for the southern Caribbean destination.
Moreover, Trinidad’s 19.6 percent increase in January visitor arrivals is exceeded only by Aruba’s 21.7 percent growth during the same period, according to Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) data.
While its 412,537 visitor arrivals in 2014 places the dual-island nation in the middle tier of Caribbean tourist destinations, Trinidad’s cosmopolitan people and culture, distinctive cuisine, eco-tourist and adventure-themed activities, and of course its world-famous Lenten carnival celebration, are resonating with travelers in 2015.
“This increase is very promising and we have embarked on a number of activities with a view to continuing this trend for the rest of the year and for years to come,” said Warren Solomon, TTTDC’s general manager of marketing. Solomon added that TTTDC will partner with stakeholders and its New York-based consulate general to host “Trinidad & Tobago Day in Manhattan” in July.
Trinidad & Tobago will host a variety of festivals in 2015. The Tobago Heritage Festival celebrating African traditions will begin July 17 with celebrations culminating in a J’ouvert festival and street parade on Emancipation Day (Aug. 1).
In October, Tobago will host the Blue Food Festival, featuring local chefs presenting creative, indigenous cuisine and culinary creations featuring the commonly used local ingredient dasheen, which turns blue when cooked. Trinidad’s large East Indian community sponsors several Hindu festivals, including Divali, also known as the Hindu Festival of Lights, scheduled for November in 2015.
Travelers can obtain updated Tobago information via a Tobago Travel Guide app for smart phones introduced last year. The app is available at the Apple App Store or Google Play and guides users to Tobago beaches, attractions, restaurants, hotels, events and activities.
The app also features an image gallery, a “Deals of the Week” section, social media and e-mail links and daily weather forecasts. The app's local maps are accessible even without an Internet connection. Tobago also offers several free Wi-Fi zones, including Store Bay, Pigeon Point, Gulf City Mall at Lowlands, Scarborough Esplanade and the cruise ship and ferry terminal.
Trinidad is an adventure traveler’s paradise, with mountains, white-sand beaches and a coral platform on Tobago’s southwestern tip. The Gasparee Caves, a network of underground caverns featuring geological formations that include stalactites, flow stones and fringed curtains, can be found on Gaspar Grande Island off Trinidad’s western peninsula. Cave excursions depart from Chaguaramas Heritage Park and offer cave tours and swimming in the caves’ crystal pool.
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