Stakeholders got together to witness the ceremonial signing of contracts for the ongoing Tourism Accommodation Upgrade Project (TAUP) at The Brix, Autograph Collection in Port of Spain on Wednesday 16th November.
TAUP is a tourism incentive which provides a reimbursable grant to eligible tourism accommodation properties in Trinidad and Tobago for upgrade work conducted to approved tourism accommodation facilities. The project caters for two categories of accommodation facilities: properties offering 1-5 guestrooms and those offering 6-150 guestrooms.
For the 1-5 category, properties can access reimbursements up to a maximum of 40% while the 6-150 category can access reimbursements of up to 50%.
Six tourism accommodation properties signed contracts to access grants under the TAUP initiative which provides an incentive to owners/operators of tourism accommodation properties to upgrade their facilities. The incentive is in the form of a partial reimbursement grant and is available to eligible small-medium sized tourism accommodation properties with 1-150 guestrooms.
The grant recipients include Cara Hotels, Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Par-May-La’s Inn, Royal Hotel, Sundeck Suites and Tradewinds Hotel.
Chief Executive Officer (Interim) of Tourism Trinidad Limited, Carla Cupid, said that the improvement in the quality of room stock will positively redound to an increase in the overall competitiveness of Destination Trinidad and an enhancement of the visitor experience.
She noted that, “our continued efforts must result in no empty seats, no empty hotel beds and a beautiful Trinidad overflowing with memorable experiences.”
Senator the Honourable Randall Mitchell, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts said that government’s commitment, as well as ongoing collaboration with stakeholders to strengthen the destination’s product, has contributed to a stable environment that stimulated the investment of millions of dollars into the sector.
Minister Mitchell urged accommodations providers to reinvest in the improvement of their hotel rooms as this will assist with stimulating the economy through the creation of jobs, especially in the manufacturing and service sectors. He also emphasized the need for stakeholders to tell the positive stories of Trinidad and Tobago in order to encourage more visitors to the destination.
Since its inception, TAUP has facilitated approximately TT$20.7 million in upgrade works for Trinidad properties and provided over TT$6 million in reimbursements. 15 properties have benefitted. In Tobago, TAUP has facilitated approximately TT$9.3 million in upgrade works for Tobago properties and provided over TT$4.5 million in reimbursements. 19 properties have benefitted.
The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, through Trinidad Tourism Limited (TTL), continues to be responsible for the administration and implementation of all project activities related to the TAUP in Trinidad. Whilst the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) would be responsible for TAUP in Tobago through the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL).
NOTE: For properties in Trinidad, reimbursements are subject to a maximum of $25,000.00 per guestroom, while properties in Tobago can access reimbursements up to a maximum of $30,000.00 per guestroom. Properties in the 1-5 guestroom category can access maximum reimbursements of $150,000.00 per property over the three years while the 6-150 guestroom category are allowed a maximum reimbursement of $1,500,000.00 per property over the three years.
Jasen Rodriguez, Chief Financial Officer of Crews Inn Group and Tourism Trinidad Limited CEO, Carla Cupid
Cornell Buckradee, Manager, Investment and Business Development, Tourism Trinidad Limited delivers Vote of Thanks