Diane Hadad

Chairman of the Tobago Chamber of Commerce Dianne Hadad is calling on the Government to relax the stipulations for travel between Trinidad and Tobago.

Hadad said the Tobago bubble does not make any sense and the airbridge and seabridge need to be more active in order to boost domestic tourism.

Speaking on CNC3’s The Morning Brew earlier this week, Hadad said Tobago’s economy and tourism sector are being affected and called on the Government to relax the COVID measures for inter-island travel

“Even Trinidad cannot come to Tobago as we speak, so is it that we have plans for the opening of the borders so that the wall between us can be broken down and that we can enjoy at least some part of the movement of people which creates the consumption which is what tourism is all about,” she said.

Hadad said due to the COVID-19 restrictions, reduced flights and sailings, Tobago’s tourism industry is non-existent at this time

“We have one flight in the morning thirty-four persons, one in the afternoon thirty-four persons, with a long list of who is entitled to get on board the plane first. So clearly, there is no room for tourism there and the boats are operating not at full capacity and because of the fear factor promoted around COVID and we came to a serious lockdown in July and early August, it just ended when we were just starting to enjoy a little bit of life and economics,” she said

Comparing the domestic flight arrangements to the repatriation flights leaving T&T during the pandemic, Hadad called on the Government to cease the fear-mongering and reopen the local borders

“The flights from Trinidad to Tobago and back are operating at half capacity and you have to sit in a certain arrangement. However, Caribbean Airlines, Trinidad or Port-of-Spain to New York, left with full capacity and everybody sitting next to each other and then my understanding beyond that, the flights that went to London and so with BA, they all were full capacity with everybody sitting next to each other, so I think we need to get back to reality,” she said.

Commenting on Tobago’s Budget allocation of $2.134 billion, Hadad said she was not surprised by the amount given to the island.