The Trinidad and Tobago Development Company welcomed some of its Canadian travel partners to celebrate the holidays with an appreciation dinner last night, marking the end of a successful 2014 while preparing to make the New Year even better.
Allison Ferguson of Avia Reps (representing Trinidad and Tobago tourism in Canada) recapped a strong year for the destinations in Canada. A roadshow in Western Canada brought Trinidad and Tobago to travel professionals in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, where Ferguson said the destinations were very well received as new travel locations to offer clients. A visit by the Tobago House of Assembly to Toronto last August also drew many travel representatives, she added.
“It’s a new product and travellers are eager to go somewhere different; they’re more educated and like to go off-property,” she said, highlighting attractions such as eco-tourism and opportunities for activities like ziplining that the islands offer. “Everyone has 'been there and done that' so I think they’re looking to do something a little bit different.”
Increasing numbers of Canadians are also visiting the islands, said Ferguson, following the addition of a WestJet flight to Trinidad and Tobago this past year.
Trinidad and Tobago were also represented at the 2014 Ottawa Food and Wine Festival, with one of the event’s busiest booths drawing attendees eager to learn more about the food and beverages – rum in particular, through a partnership with Angostura – offered by the destinations. Ferguson said that Trinidad and Tobago was one of only a handful of tourist boards at the event.
For 2015, Ferguson said that Trinidad and Tobago will return to Ottawa for both the Food and Wine Festival as well as the Ottawa Travel and Vacation Show. In addition, the destinations’ roadshow will travel through Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada next summer, showcasing the attractions of Trinidad and Tobago (particularly the region’s culinary offerings) to agents in those provinces. More FAM trips are also being planned for the spring, said Ferguson, allowing more Canadian travel partners to experience the destinations first-hand.
PHOTO: (Front) Ian Grant, Sales Director, Alitours; Christopher Stubbs, President, One World Vacations; Sara Pulla, Director of Marketing and Product, Total Vacations; (back) Allison Ferguson, Marketing/PR Director, Avia Reps; Jackie Bishop Martin, President, Journey The Globe.