Surfing group objects to planned hotel at Rocky Point, Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A screen grab of a 2021 video showing the planned $500 million Marriott development for Rocky Point, Tobago. –

A LONGSTANDING member of the Mt Irvine Board Riders Organisation says the body does not support the proposed construction of a $500 million Marriott-brand hotel and property development at Rocky Point.

In a letter to the editor, David Achong, who has been living in Tobago for the past 50 years, described the issue as “very contentious.”

Achong took aim at Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce vice-chairman Demi John Cruickshank, who, at a recent news conference, “promoted his organisation’s support for the hotel based solely on the fact that Tobago needs more hotel rooms.”

Cruickshank, he said, suggested that those in opposition to this hotel, essentially do not want or understand the need for development in Tobago.

But Achong said, “There is no one I know, who does not want development for Tobago, especially in the tourism sector, in which hotels play a significant role, but not the only role, as the results of the past have shown the unsustainability of the decaying and decrepit 100-plus room hotels that litter Tobago’s southwest.”

He added the surfers, whom he claimed are the longest users and stakeholders of Rocky Point, are specifically opposed to the creation of this real estate development with a proposed 200-room hotel at the Rocky Point site.

Achong, who claims he has been surfing for the past 44 years, said the members of his organisation see Rocky Point as a resource, “a priceless, irreplaceable resource that, as is, generates millions in foreign exchange annually and supports the livelihoods of divers, conservationists, tour guides, fisherfolk, surfers and vendors.”

“It costs nothing to build or maintain, yet also supports cottages, guesthouses, hotels and restaurants. Who in their right mind would risk the destruction of such an asset, when the science & economic data reveals its unfeasibility as a hotel site?”

The hotel is being constructed by Superior Hotels Ltd on approximately 28 acres on the western side of Grafton Road and south of Pleasant Prospect.