Tobago’s TIC Destination Award virtual certificate. (Image courtesy Tobago Tourism Agency Limited)

Tobago has been awarded Silver in the Travel Industry Club (TIC) Destination Awards held in Germany on September 13th.

A statement issued by the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) says the award is clear recognition of TTAL’s evolved strategy for the industry in response to COVID-19, and on-island initiatives aimed at repositioning the destination for recovery.

TTAL explains that Travel Industry Club (TIC) is an influential association of travel leaders in Germany—the largest outbound tourism country in Europe, and a key source market for many long-haul destinations such as Tobago.

The TIC Destination Award honours a country/island/city/region that has changed in the past months, evolving their tourism development and marketing strategies in areas of hygiene, safety and sustainability since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Winners are selected after a rigorous pre-selection process and anonymous voting by a jury made up of experts from all segments of the travel industry as well as trend researchers, management consultants, agencies and publishers.

The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited’s submission for Tobago was awarded Silver (2nd place) in the Destination Award category, surpassing big players such as Germany’s most popular holiday destination, Bavaria; strong destination leaders like Tenerife and Slovenia; and competing long-haul destinations including Columbia. The Gold award went to the Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park in Germany.

Tobago’s submission included details on the WTTC “Safe Travels” stamp, tourism sector relief grants, responsive international marketing campaigns, and on-island sustainability initiatives, including the Blue Flag and Green Key certification programs.

Officials at TIC commended Tobago’s award-winning presentation, stating the following in their congratulatory letter to TTAL CEO Louis Lewis:

“Among a list of established destinations and well-known finalists such as Tenerife, Columbia or Bavaria your [Tobago’s] application and presentation really stood out and convinced the jury with a well-rounded concept including new trends like sustainability, an approach clearly differentiating Tobago from other Caribbean destinations, a very likeable presentation, and a lot of commitment, also shown by the participation of yourself across time zones.”

TTAL says this significant recognition by Germany’s Travel Industry Club has placed a positive spotlight on Tobago in its second-largest source market. In addition to the island being featured on TIC’s online platforms and promoted within their extensive networks as award winners, this win will help raise the profile of the destination amongst key travel trade influencers in Germany, and position Tobago to take advantage of the European country’s booming travel and tourism economy.

“The TIC is a network of influential practitioners in the largest outbound travel market, and one of the countries with the largest GDP contribution in Travel and Tourism. They know what they are about when it comes to travel and tourism, therefore placing Tobago top of mind within this network in times of uncertainty helps to build partner confidence, credibility for Tobago and opportunities for recovery,” Sheena Des Vignes, Marketing Coordinator at TTAL noted in the release on the Agency’s win.

She added: “It has been difficult to continuously keep the destination relevant with trade and consumers considering our current on-island COVID-19 challenges, so aligning with this award was one of the many tactical decisions TTAL made to keep Tobago front of mind to the right audience, with the right message, as an investment in current and future plans for recovery.”