Burris assures millions owed to Tobago Festivals’ service providers will be paid

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Burris assures millions owed to Tobago Festivals’ service providers will be paid

Secretary of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and the Arts Tashia Burris has revealed that the THA is owing service providers with the Tobago Festivals Commission $3.2 million for events put on in 2023.

Burris told the assembly yesterday that the funds are owed for the Tobago Carnival, Jazz Festival, Blue Food Festival and October Carnival showcase.

However, she gave the assurance that all providers will be paid, adding her division is awaiting funding to ensure this happens.

She gave the breakdown as follows:

National Carnival 2023 $135,469

Tobago Jazz Festival $503,561.46

Tobago Blue Food Festival $48,202

Tobago October Carnival $2,545,967.43

Burris added: “As the Tobago Festivals Commission Limited receives its releases from the Division of Tourism, they have prioritised the oldest payments to be paid first, so they have recently received releases for the end of first quarter and they cleared up the majority of outstanding payments they had for the older events.

“In this case it would be national carnival and the Jazz Experience. So, those outstanding balances should be the first ones paid when they receive releases for second quarter,” she said.

“Unfortunately, I’m not able to give a timeline, as I don’t have an exact date when releases would become available. We have done all that we can do in the division to submit our request in a timely manner, so we are simply waiting on the releases to come and when they do these service providers would be paid as soon as,” she said.

The division is also working to clear payments for the Tobago Heritage Festival by the end of the month.