A great location in the tropics, excellent blend of cultural diversity and a unique business-pleasure experience - Trinidad and Tobago is looking very attractive to major international hotel and resort brands. This was the testimony of hotel experts who attended the recently held Tourism Investment Roundtable hosted by InvesTT, the national investment promotion agency. Delegates from Choice Hotels, Hilton, Melia Hotels International , and Wyndham Hotel & Resorts, representing among themselves over 44 sub-brands across the globe, were brought together with 18 local property developers and owners to discuss the potential for increased brand representation in Trinidad and Tobago.
Unlike the “typical” Caribbean Holiday narrative, the sun, sea and sand offering does not fully characterize the Trinidad and Tobago tourism product. According to one senior brand representative at the Roundtable, “Trinidad and Tobago’s culture is its biggest strength- the combination of Carnival, beaches, rainforests, mangroves and business creates a genuinely unique experience for visitors.” The destination caters for the interests of both the business traveler and the vacationer making it an ideal destination where these two often dichotomous demands can be satisfied at the same time. In summary, these attributes make Trinidad and Tobago’s tourism resilient to economic cycles and global trends.
The current radar on local tourism has underscored the infancy of its development and the identification by InvesTT of untapped opportunities available to fill existing gaps in the hotel and resort sector. Trinidad and Tobago’s tourism investment offering provides a range of attractions to the visiting tourist including beaches, bird watching, eco-sports, water sports, historical sites, easy access to business amenities and abundant opportunities to immerse oneself in the local experience of leisure, culture and cuisine.
The expansion of Trinidad and Tobago’s hotel industry will be fueled by lucrative opportunities for franchise development and property acquisition. Global hoteliers want to establish themselves “where the needs are.” Having been introduced to most of what is available in Trinidad and Tobago, the visiting hoteliers are already excited about the great scope and investment potential for hotel / resort brand incorporation here. International financier IDB Invest was also on board to provide perspectives on the economic development impact criteria of tourism projects that would attract financial support.
The Tourism Investment Roundtable was an excellent preamble to InvesTT’s upcoming participation in the Caribbean Hotel and Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) during 21-23 May in Miami, and served to strengthen the country’s value proposition as a destination for tourism investment.
The matchmaking event was a success with the promotion of at least 12 investor-ready opportunities and a total of 30 B2B meetings held. Our international guests also toured sites in North, Central and South Trinidad which left them with a positive impression of the country’s tourism growth potential and an eagerness to get up and running almost immediately. It is expected that the local connections made will lead to franchise/ management agreements and hotel developments in the near future.