The Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts says he and the Ministry are working to ensure Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival remains “at the forefront of the global Carnival landscape”.
On Monday 28 September 2020, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced that Trinidad and Tobago will not host Carnival 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister Randall Mitchell agreed that it cannot be business as usual, noting that it is critical the country’s health and safety is not jeopardized.
““We will continue to prioritize the nation’s health over short-term economic gains. But we also recognize what Carnival means to Trinidad and Tobago,” he points out. “Currently, we are engaging engage stakeholders to explore how Trinidad and Tobago can retain its time and space on the international Carnival calendar, to solidify this country’s position as the home of Carnival,” Minister Mitchell explains.
Minister Mitchell reports that over the past few weeks, the Ministry has been in discussions with key Carnival stakeholders and the National Carnival Commission (NCC). During these meetings, it was clear there is a need for Trinidad and Tobago to retain its place on the international Carnival calendar, he notes, to ensure future economic and social benefits and to solidify our position as the home of Carnival.
“Trinidad and Tobago must take the lead and provide the world with a benchmark to follow for how such a festival can still hold worldwide attention. It is imperative that whatever is envisaged takes into consideration our new normal without flouting any of the health guidelines in place,” he stated.
The Minister assures that Ministry is working to ensure Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival remains at the forefront of the global Carnival landscape, and will lay the foundation for an even bigger and better Carnival 2022.
In the statement, he also points to the fact that Trinidad and Tobago successfully hosted the recent Caribbean Premier League (CPL 2020) Cricket Tournament, which provided a blueprint for staging large scale events during the pandemic.
Minister Mitchell says the Ministry and its stakeholders will apply the lessons learnt from that experience to other tourism and cultural events.