Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, Ancil Dennis, has appointed a 12-member task force to develop plans for a safe and sustainable tourism sector in Tobago.
Called the ‘New Normal Task Force,’ they will be responsible for designing and executing a plan for the phased and sustained reopening of the destination.
The Task Force, which will function for a period of one year, will be chaired by Tourism Manager Cherry-Ann Edwards-Louis alongside her deputy Dr Tiffany Hoyte, the current Acting County Medical Officer of Health.
Other members include Louis Lewis, Tinelle Des Vignes, Bridgette Smith, Christopher James, Rene Seepersadsingh, Ted Grieg, Shinelle Smith, Davia Chambers and one representative each from the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago and the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago.
Dennis said, “Tobago is known for rest and relaxation but during this closure, it allowed for a period of reflection and, therefore, we must now be known for recovery and resilience. This New Normal Task Force is part of an overall strategy to facilitate the recovery of the tourism sector and the Tobago economy by extension and also the resilience of the tourism sector as it relates to future shocks and similar events in the future.”
The Task Force will be responsible for the development of plans to address the health, safety and environmental sanitation concerns in the tourism sector post-COVID-19, as well as generate recommendations and guidelines to enhance the health and safety of locals and visitors, and the quality, reputation and sustainability of Tobago’s Tourism Sector.
It will also guide the implementation of these standards and protocols, in keeping with the public health guidelines of the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development, Ministry of Health, and the Caribbean Public Health Agency to provide visitors with the assurance that Tobago is a healthier, safer option for accommodations and services.
This is in addition to designing and executing a plan for the phased and sustained reopening of the destination in collaboration with Central Government and industry stakeholders.
Dennis said he was heartened by the appointment of the Task Force and believes that it will augur well for the Executive Council’s overall strategy towards recovery from the pandemic that has significantly and negatively impacted the tourism sector and the Tobago economy.