TTCSI president Lara Quentrall-Thomas

The president of the T&T Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) Lara Quentrall-Thomas is calling on the government to say what is its plan for the tourism sector.

She says in this country many opportunities can be derived from different forms of tourism, for example, education tourism and eco-tourism, coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, speaking on CNC3’s The Morning Brew yesterday Quentrall-Thomas expressed disappointment in what she has heard from the Government regarding the sector thus far.

“From my own scanning and reading of the manifesto I didn’t see a lot for tourism Trinidad and that does worry me.”

She said the flagship tourism event, Carnival, will be impacted significantly and also the revenues that are usually derived from it.

She expects that if it does happen at all, it will be on a much smaller scale.

“I’m really not convinced yet how Carnival is going to happen.”

The TTCSI president also called on the Minister of Finance Colm Imbert and his team to consider the services industry and to go back to pledges made in the Government’s 2020 manifesto.

Some of those said were tax credits, soft loan programmes for small and micro enterprises (SME), reserving 20 per cent of government business for SMEs, incentivising entrepreneurs in the services sector.

“There are so many things in the manifesto that we want to see in the budget and we also really appeal once again for some support and incentives, not necessarily grants and loans but tax incentives for those in the sectors most significantly impacted by COVID,” she said.

She expressed the hope that the services sector can still contribute to the national GDP, (gross domestic product).

“I think in terms of business activity there’s been a lot going on in the services sector but if you actually measure it in terms of revenue that’s probably where we are going to see a drop.”

She said for many of her members the past few months has been squarely about staying connected to clients and suppliers.