Pandemic recovery: Tour operators are working on a staycation campaign


Tour operators and other service industry players are struggling to rebound from losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trinidad and Tobago Service Industries Coalition (TTCSI) CEO Vashti Gayadeen told a Joint Joint Committee (JSC) meeting today that around 75% of the service sector has been affected.

Additionally, it has been reported that some members have not received wage subsidies due to various aspects of non-compliance.

Mark Edgehill, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Service Industries Coalition, said people were being denied wage subsidies because they were laid off on April 29, while the subsidies applied to people who lost their jobs from May 1.

“For example, when the last lockdown was launched, the last day of work would have been April 29 [but] the subsidy was to start the following Monday if you lost your job, starting on May 1. We’ve had people who, their last day of pay was April 29th, so when they applied saying their last day of work was the 29th, they were denied their wage subsidies because they didn’t didn’t lose their jobs on May Day. It’s completely ridiculous.”

He said clarification on these issues was needed.

He said people reported receiving wage subsidies for 2020, but for 2021 he said, “Less than 10% who applied received their subsidies.”

As a result, he said the issue has been raised with the Ministry of Commerce, which is the line ministry for TTCSI.

Additionally, he said efforts were being made to help more people comply.

Gayadeen said there is a drive within the industry for tour operators and other service industry players to improve and bring their services back online.

“They contact us to help them. They want to build back better. They want to plan a full staycation campaign. This staycation campaign needs to involve a virtual element, so it’s not just about having protocols in place for domestic tourism, but… if you have a virtual campaign, you can also market services and products for a market internationally so that we can attract new visitors to destinations when we reopen.”

Edgehill said stay tourism is an area that tour operators see as a precursor to catering to the international market.

In addition, the TTCSI has launched its “Go Global TT Services” campaign, to help companies to be able to export their services. The TTSCI is working with exportTT to help market these services.


Comments are closed.