Sunday, January 3, 2016

WE AREN'T SERIOUS ABOUT TOURISM (and probably never will be)

How would you like to go to what was represented to you as a first class hotel and find that it's beach was as filthy as is shown in the above picture? You wouldn't? What a surprise! But take a look at the next picture of the same beach:

Yep! It's really dirty isn't it. But you are paying at least US$250 per night (or more for the privilege of staying in the hotel. (And yes, those deck chairs that you saw in the above picture are for the hotel's guests to sit and savour the wonderful view of the filthy beach).

And where is this 'nirvana'? Take a look at the last photograph below. Recognize the place? That's right! It's none other than the Magdalena Grand ... one of Tobago's premier hotels proudly owned and operated by the Government of Trinidad & Tobago!
All three pictures were taken on New Year's Day this year by a foreign visitor to Tobago.  She was a guest at the hotel and was distressed at the filth that was on the beach. She told me that the cost of her holiday was certainly not cheap. She said that complaints to the manager of the Magdalena as well as to the staff of the hotel were met with shrugs and the statement that they could do nothing about it. Really? The manager could not even complain to Chief Secretary Orville London? Maybe he had tried before and Mr. London had told him to shove it. Maybe he hadn't complained at all. But how could Messrs. London & Co. (otherwise known as the Tobago House of Assembly or THA) not know about  the filthy state of this beach outside of one of Tobago's top hotels. Do they care?

Just the other day the new Tourism Minister made a visit to Tobago and was reported to have gone to the Magdalena Grand. This beach didn't get dirty overnight. Didn't he see it? If so, what did he do about it?

I asked my friend if she would come back to Tobago again. She smiled and shook her head. "I don't think so," she smiled.  And that said it all! Either we wake up and smell the coffee or we don't. But don't tell me that we are serious about developing tourism as a possible source of foreign exchange when we so clearly don't give a damn about the tourists or providing them with a clean and safe environment.


  1. Great piece! You are so right! And nobody will listen! That is our tragedy!!

  2. Robin, we aren't serious about tourism, crime issues, corruption and fraud issues in T& T.
    Everything is left in a lawless manner.
    People's values are on only one mindset: get money- however / whatever/ beg, steal or borrow.
    Sink the country, kill people and live like animals.
    I wonder how long we can survive like this? Can we?

  3. I wish TT citizens would wake up. We are stuck in a 3rd world mentality as we spend the oil money. Dern they are not developed to chose for whom to vote. Voting is a form of cleaning up your culture and society that is why I related it to voting.

  4. Most Hoteliers and operators try and maintain the area by raking the beach or combing it and keeping the debris off, of course this takes more money but at the end of the day their short sighted gain is their huge loss..

    I used to watch Trini's eat KFC on the beach at Mayaro and then throw the box on the side of the road.. it is a cultural thing unfortunately.. it is how they are brought up.. don't care attitude, that starts at home and carry's forward into life..

    How do we change that? That is the big question.. personally I think the best way is to shame people.. have people take videos of those who carelessly throw rubbish anywhere and post these videos on those beautiful electronic signs throughout T&T.. that will make someone think twice before throwing rubbish anywhere scared that they will get caught in the act and be ridiculed by all to see..
    Fight fire with fire...

  5. Robin I couldn't agree more, I've been to Magdalena and the hotel facilities are probably the best I've seen in Tobago BUT the beach is in deplorable condition. I couldn't ever justify spending the price again.

  6. Dam fools to build a hotel on that side of the island much maintenance sea blast and the sea naturally purges its waters on that coast. Stupid!

  7. In Florida there are lots of beaches like that one. But they clean it and people love them. That beach in front of the a Magdalena Grand is a beutuful coast to walk and see From Scarborough till the peninsula. Also is a great beach for extreme sea sports.
    With a little effort Tobago will have the best hotel in the Caribbean.

  8. The beaches is only part of the problem. The garbage collection in Tobago is horrendous. The bins are overflowing and the dumping problem is everywhere. And while the beaches outside the hotels are deplorable the entire situation regarding tourism is wanting. Service is a bad word period.