Initiatives that give Tobago an opportunity to grow and prosper within the cruise industry are moving full steam ahead with the support and guidance of the Tobago House of Assembly. More cruise lines such as Celebrity Cruises, Fred Olsen, Holland America, Ocean Village, Princess, and Windstar are expected to make 60 calls at Tobago, up from 34 calls last season, from October 2008 through April 2009 bringing an estimated 100,000 cruise visitors to the island.
“Traffic is continuing to build. We are seeing a 100% increase in calls over last season,” says Henry Yaniz, Tobago cruise consultant. “We are well on our way to reaching our goal of making Tobago’s cruise business year round instead of seasonal.”
The first step to putting Tobago on the map of North American cruisers began with the completion of the $2.7 million (USD) Scarborough Jetty expansion project that allows larger cruise ships, up to the Voyager Class, to dock and encourages more cruise lines to include Tobago on their Southern Caribbean itineraries. The increase in calls also has a positive impact on the economy of Tobago. With larger vessels docking, there will be more passengers which translate into more local employment opportunities and increased spending by visitors. The 2009/2010 season is expected to bring in $329 million (USD) in revenue to the island.