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Minister of Tourism, Culture & the Arts, Randall Mitchell argues his point as the debate continues on the Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority Bill, 2021.

Carnival stakeholders are being urged to use T&T’s new link with KLM Airlines to export the Carnival industry to the Rotterdam Carnival and jobs will be opening up ahead with hotel construction and operations.

Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell indicated this in yesterday’s Senate debate of the 2022 Budget.

Noting the recent resumption of KLM Airlines to T&T after a 20-year absence, Mitchell said the TT-Amsterdam route will open possibilities for market expansion, trade and tourism to the Netherlands and surrounding areas. This includes West Africa and India.

The winter flights ahead will offer the potential to market Carnival and T&T’s sea, sun and sand offerings to Europe.

Part of the Ministry’s thrust—improving its Carnival offerings—includes a focus on attracting visitors for a Band Launch season.

Mitchell encouraged Carnival stakeholders to link with the Rotterdam Carnival and develop T&T’s Carnival potential there and “export our culture, Carnival workers, artistes and musicians to Rotterdam Carnival. Mitchell said local artistes will continue to be encouraged to be cultural ambassadors.

“The US does it, Jamaica does it and T&T must also.”

Among marketing T&T festivals, work will be done with the Emancipation Support Committee to link with the US’ Juneteenth observances. The latter is the US June 19 holiday to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people. T&T missions overseas will work with diaspora populations to market T&T also.

He said a lot of hope is expected for Tobago tourism going forward with private sector hotels. By 2025 some 852 new high-quality rooms are expected with 1,000 new jobs in operating of the Marriot resort and Comfort Inn plus with the new ANR Robinson airport terminal.

He said 750 will be employed in the construction of the Marriott’s 200 rooms, villas and condominiums.

Also, 250 people from Tobago will be trained to work there. The four-star project being done by a local consortium – Superior Hotels at Rocky Point costs $500m, Mitchell noted Marriot is the largest hotel brand globally and Tobago will benefit from its marketing reach. Comfort Inn will be open before year-end. Radisson opens next year.

Construction begins in January for the Hampton by Hilton at Piarco. This involves 250 workers with 70 others when the hotel becomes operational. The 103 room hotel costs $65m.