The Tourism Industry now demands more meaningful involvement and more responsible and sustainable tourism practices. Local communities and Non Government Organizations today have a very important voice in the way in which tourism is developed and resources allocated. It is this more responsible and sustainable tourism that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago wishes to develop and promote. Tourism provides entrepreneurial opportunities for small operators, can foster balanced development and empower rural communities, youth and women, and can dynamise other sectors of the economy, particularly the agriculture sector.
The Tourism Industry includes everything that a traveler does on a trip – eat, sleep, party, attend a conference, rent a car, take a taxi, shop, change foreign currency etc. It means that all of the economic activities of farmers, fishermen, cooks, shopkeepers, bartenders, tour guides, banks, hotels, carnival bands, entertainers, electricians, customs, immigration and literally every job that impacts directly or indirectly on tourism are all part of the tourism value chain. For specialist events, sports, and weddings the value chain is even greater.
It is clear that the tourism industry is far-reaching and is indeed everybody’s business. It is also important to recognize that the travel and tourism industry is global, highly competitive and unstable. We must be able to continuously undertake our research and market intelligence, anticipate change, be prepared and not be caught off guard in the management of the industryThe tourism sector is as significant to the Tobago economy as the oil and manufacturing sectors are to the Trinidad economy. In 2007, domestic arrivals to Tobago were 11. 4 imes larger than international stay-over arrivals, demonstrating the critical importance of the domestic market to the development of tourism in Tobago. In addition, most of the tourist accommodation establishments in Trinidad and Tobago are locally owned, allowing locals to meaningfully benefit from the sector. This underscores the need to ensure that quality and value for money is produced by these establishments so that they are financially viable, environmentally sustainable and generate measurable economic benefits for local people.