Tobago wins silver for Most Desirable Island

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine, second from right, collects the Wanderlust Travel Magazine’s silver award for Most Desirable Island from Wanderlust Travel editor-in-chief and CEO George Kipouros, second from left, at the conclusion of World Travel Market in London, England, Wednesday. Also present were Tourism Secretary Tashia Burris, right, and Tobago Tourism Agency Ltd chairman Alicia Edwards. – THA

TOBAGO has been awarded a silver award for Most Desirable Island from Wanderlust Travel Magazine, at World Travel Market 2022 in London, England.

Wanderlust Travel magazine’s editor-in-chief and CEO George Kipourus presented THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine with the award on Wednesday at the close of WTM.

A photograph of Kipourus presenting the prestigious award to Augustine was posted on the Office of the Chief Secretary’s Facebook page. The award ceremony took place at the Tower of London, one of England’s most prominent historical sites.

Wanderlust is one of the UK’s leading independent travel magazines. Each issue highlights exciting destinations and experiences off the beaten path.

Tobago Tourism Agency Ltd (TTAL) executive chairman Alicia Edwards, who is among Tobago’s contingent at the WTM, said the award provides “excellent validation” that the agency is making the right decisions in terms of its marketing strategy and the niche markets in which the island continues to operate.

Edwards said the award is an indication that the island’s ongoing strategy to revive interest in destination Tobago among the UK travel market was bearing fruit.

She said, “This award is like icing on the cake for us, coming unexpectedly at the end of WTM…It’s really wonderful to have this win after a difficult couple of years, and we will be building on this as we go forward.”

Edwards said Tobago’s incredible natural beauty and unique, authentic experiences set it apart from regional competitors, including Cuba and St Lucia, which placed fourth and seventh, respectively, as well as reputable island destinations such as Bali Bali.

She said the Most Desirable Island, won by Palawan, an island in the Philippines, was a reader-voted award, where 50,000 of real Wanderlust readers – some of the best travelled in the world – nominated and voted for their destinations of choice.

Edwards said Lyn Hughes, Wanderlust founding editor, visited Tobago’s stand at WTM on Wednesday to personally congratulate the Tobago delegation on winning the award.

She said Hughes was thrilled to see Toabgo take the silver award.

Hughes was quoted as saying: “One thing that really helped our readers become aware of Tobago is that we did a webinar, working very closely with the tourism board. I know that within the Wanderlust team, it was one of our favourite webinars over the last year. We absolutely loved it and we found the people involved in it such a pleasure to work with.”

Hughes added, “I think that webinar, along with some of the other things done over the years to highlight Tobago, really paid off and struck a chord with our readers as a spot that they may not have considered before, but since they found out about it, they knew that it was the destination for them.”

Commenting on the silver award, Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association vice-president Carol-Ann Birchwood-James said it could be used to further market the island as the ideal tourism destination.

“It is always wonderful news when we win awards because we can use the awards to continue to market our island of Tobago,” she told Newsday.

“I am sure it would have been an award off the beaten track because we are an unspoilt destination and we hope to keep it like that. It is always good news and I congratulate the people and the governance of Tobago for receiving an award like that.”