Tourism Ministry and bmobile promote collaboration among small Tourism Operators

A cross section of Tourism stakeholders attending the networking workshop
Port of Spain, Trinidad, August 30, 2018
"Modern tourism has become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world, one of the main income sources for many developing countries and a key driver for socio-economic progress.  However, the contribution of tourism to economic wellbeing depends on the quality and the revenues of the tourism offer" said Jason Leach, the Ministry of Tourism's Corporate Communications Coordinator.  Leach was delivering the welcome address to one hundred and sixty tourism stakeholders at a 'Business Networking Seminar For Tourism Entrepreneurs' hosted by the Ministry, in partnership with bmobile, at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre on August 23rd. 
Leach noted that the seminar, which specifically targeted Trinidad and Tobago's small tourism operators and entrepreneurs, included both theoretical and practical components of networking to assist the participants to build their confidence and social skills; establish viable connections to encourage the creation of complementary goods and services; allow for new ideas to improve processes and expands business operations; enhance the overall tourist experience; and influence the success of Trinidad and Tobago as a tourism destination.  "While the Ministry recognizes the competitive nature of business, we also believe that collaboration and partnerships may be integral to the success of small business operations", he said.
Marsha Caballero, TSTT’s Vice President of Corporate Communications welcomed the collaboration with the Ministry and the tourism stakeholders since partnerships leverage the tangible and intangible assets of all partners to create mutually beneficial outcomes.  "Our tourism stakeholders span the many sectors of our economy.  Therefore effective collaboration is required to leverage the financial, technical and promotional expertise of these many small tourism operators”. Caballero noted that the benefits of such collaborations can include improved product and service delivery; increased jobs, sales and revenues and cost sharing for projects, marketing services, staff training and development. “Ultimately this is all about how we can collectively work to improve visitor experiences and the overall sustainability of our tourism industry.”
bmobile's staff were on hand to demonstrate how the features of the free Trinidad and Tobago Yellow Pages Mobile App can work to support and advance the businesses of the tourism stakeholders.  In today's digital global economy, a growing segment of tourism customers search for information online.  The enhanced functionality of the Yellow Pages Mobile App makes it a comprehensive, easy-to-use, time-saving, one-stop-search solution for persons, inside and outside of Trinidad and Tobago, who need information on our local tourism destination options.  The features include advanced online searches by service, business type or area, click to call a telephone number, map directions that provide detailed, turn by turn directions to the premises of the company searched, real-time traffic conditions and route planning, whether traveling by foot, car, bicycle or public transportation.
The workshop was attended by an eclectic mix operators that support the tourism industry, including taxi and transport services, tour operators and tour guides, artisans, videographers, photographers, website developers, travel agencies, tourism destination/site managers, food vendors and bed and breakfast providers.  AttendeeAlex Nedd runs Tobago Waterholics based at Pigeon Point.  His company specializes in all forms of water sports but also offers a wider visitor experience that includes island tours by land and sea. "I came today because networking is key in business and is an avenue we use to expand our brand and service offering.   I'm looking specifically at how we can expand our business during our seasonal quiet times. There were other entrepreneurs I met today who may be willing to offer my tours as part of their service, as well as collaborate with my company so we can offer different tours." 
Vista Dorado Estates is a relatively new experiential tourism destination site based in Moruga where visitors can see how the special, tasty, home-grown Moruga Hill Rice is grown, prepared and cooked.  Cassie Chai-Hong, is the Administrative Director at Caribbean Sea and Air Marketing Company Limited, the parent company of Vista Dorado Estates which produces the Moruga Hill Rice.  "As a new tourism company, we need to keep improving our tourism experience as we grow.  I came to learn from the knowledge and experience of persons who already offer specialized, experiential tourism destination sites.  I also came to build new collaborations within the industry to help promote our estate so I've been talking to tour operators, persons who offer accommodation, visitor centres, craft producers and other artisans.  The workshop was very educational and the business contacts I made today will help us to expand and grown our service offering."  Senissa Jobity-Harewood, Office Manager at Island Experiences, a destination management company which offers a complete visitor experience including hotel stays, transportation, tours and restaurant recommendations was also very excited about the new opportunities the workshop provided for organisations like hers.  "We came to meet with persons who may not be directly within the industry or who may have recently opened new companies.  Our aim is to work together with them to further develop what we offer so we can continue to promote Trinidad and Tobago as a great tourism destination."

Ms. Cassie Chai-Hong- Caribbean Sea and Air Marketing Company Limited, Mr. Alex Nedd –Tobago Waterholics, Ms. Belinda Charles – Stakeholder Relations Manager, MOT and  Ms. Senissa Jobity-Harewood- Island Experience

bmobile's representative at left demonstrates the Yellow Pages app for Alex Nedd during the Tourism Stakeholders workshop

A cross section of Tourism stakeholders attending the networking workshop

Siobhan Thompson (left), TSTT's Manager Enterprise Marketing presents the winner, Grace-Ann Clarke, Founder of Ann Malina Soaps with her new tablet device.