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THTI CEO: Market Tobago
Aggressive international marketing is needed to attract tourists to Tobago, says Stephen Sheppard, CEO of the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Institute (THTI).
Speaking at a special dinner for industry stakeholders at THTI’s headquarters in Blenheim, Mt St George,on Wednesday night, Sheppard said while statistics showed that international visitor arrivals to Tobago are on the decline, neighbouring Grenada has recorded 100,000 visitors annually. He said Grenada achieved this through a two-year marketing campaign featuring the Pure Grenada brand.
“I was in South Africa last year and I saw Grenada on television and in some strange places in the US I see Jamaica. I don’t see Trinidad and Tobago, I don’t see Tobago,” he said.
Sheppard said research should be done into the Clean Green Safe and Serene logo promoted by Tobago in to ensure that all the factors are met and shortfalls are addressed.
“There is something special about Tobago. We have to package that and we will become very, very rich,” he said.
Sheppard said Tobago should also start selling more than visitor accommodations.
He said stakeholders will be asked to partner with the THTI to set up an advisory committee on it academic content to ensure what is being taught is in line with industry demands.
He said the THTI will be doing its part in the tourism thrust when its first golf tournament comes off in July.
“We plan to create a unique experience for golfers and spectators, because golfing is not typically a spectator sport in Tobago but we will make it that by infusing THTI’s culinar and hospitality expertise into a golf tournament.
“We are targeting a wider audience of spectators and patrons to enjoy golf,” he said.
Sheppard said the THTI plans to produce an online cookbook featuring ingredients from Tobago. This will also create a marketing environment and branding platform for advertisers, he said adding that funds raised will go towards supporting the institution.
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