Burris: Creatives must market Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Tourism Secretary Councillor Tashia Burris. Photo courtesy THA

THA SECRETARY of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation Tashia Burris says the THA is looking to use its artistes to create content to market Tobago in the future.

At the post-executive council media briefing on Thursday, Burris said the recent October carnival highlighted the talents of the island’s creatives.

“I must give special kudos to the creatives, because this carnival unearthed a lot of talent in the space, and I think persons have seen the content that has come out,” she said.

“When you see how our creatives have come to the fore, it means that we have been doing ourselves a disservice in the tourism sector from a government standpoint, because we have been expending tonnes of money to foreign companies to create content to market Tobago, when we have our home-grown creatives who can more than get the job done.”

So, she said, “The policy shift now for us is to spend that money locally on the talent that is residing here, because they are now able to be the best reflections or the best ambassadors for the greatest little island on the planet. Who better to sell your island than a Tobagonian?”

Burris said in the days before the carnival, several surveys were done in conjunction with the Central Statistical Office (CSO) and Tourism Trinidad Ltd (TTL).

The CSO and TTL, she said, polled visitors who came into the country at Piarco Airport and the ANR Robinson Airport.

Burris said the information gleaned from these polls would be used to plan a bigger and better festival for visitors in 2023.

“Part of the information that would come from those surveys would be what the economic benefit of the carnival would be, because I think we continue to have to justify the investment to some people who may not be aware of everything that goes into planning, executing and understanding that for every dollar we spend on the carnival, it brought back $10 in terms of somebody coming into the space and spending their money in Tobago. “That money is staying in Tobago. It is not leaving and going anywhere else. That money is residing within our economy in Tobago.”