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Tobago Business Chamber

Martin George & Company > Tobago Business Chamber

Royal Caribbean cruise gets mixed reviews from Tobago stakeholders

Tobago stakeholders have mixed views about the decision of Royal Caribbean International cruise lines to include Trinidad and Tobago as one of its destinations in the 2021/2022 season. While some welcomed the move, others were sceptical given the country’s challenges to contain the spread of covid19. Tobago Chamber president Martin George said although the organisation is always eager and willing to welcome cruise ships, “we have to question and wonder at this point in time, if all the necessary safety protocols are in place to really allow the docking of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in TT.” He added: “If it is that...

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Tobago Chamber: Make Tobago VAT-free zone

With Budget Day set for October 5, the Tobago Business Chamber is proposing several ways in which the Government can stimulate Tobago’s economy. One such proposal is to make Tobago a VAT-free zone. In a WhatsApp voice note on the Chamber’s budget proposal, chairman Martin George said changing the island’s VAT-status is not a new proposal as the Chamber “floated” the idea before. “We are requesting that Tobago be made a totally VAT-free zone. It is not impossible. You have places like Panama, where they have within the country a declared duty-free zone. We think that will also help to stimulate greater investment...

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Tobago Chamber to Govt: ‘Please reopen beaches, bars’

Tobago business chamber chairman Martin George wants the Government to ease its covid19 restrictions for beaches, bars and food establishments in Monday’s budget presentation as a means of generating some much needed economic activity on the island. In an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus, beaches remain closed to the public while bars and restaurants are offering pick-up services only. The Prime Minister has said the Government will review these restrictions on October 11 if the rate of new covid19 infections decreases significantly. But in a Whatsapp voice note on Friday, George said with the borders still closed to the international...

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Hotels started getting financial relief

Head of the Tobago Business Chamber, Martin George, says some of the hotels on the island have started getting the financial relief stimulus packages being offered the state to cushion the effects of COVID-19. Speaking on Power 102’s Power Breakfast Show, he said that persons have applied for those relief packages and that there have been challenges with the administration of it as they took quite some time to get themselves initially organised. But he said he is pleased with the interaction the Tobago Tourism Agency is having with the various stakeholders on the sister isle. “In fairness to them they have been trying...

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Tobagonians: Alleged TRHA wastage part of squandermania culture

Several prominent Tobagonians- two politicians and two business owners, have strongly condemned the Tobago Regional Health Authority’s (TRHA) alleged wastage of over $100 million taxpayers funds. A Guardian Media article on September 9, showed the purchase of a $34 million MRI bore too small to fit the average-sized Tobagonian and the supply and installation of a $70 million Catheterisation Laboratory for heart patients, which was never used. Its lack of operation forced the island’s heart patients to travel to the Eric Williams Medical Science Complex in Trinidad for treatment. The spend occurred during the People’s National Movement’s Orville London-led era. Under the Tobago...

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Tobago Chamber: Make Tobago VAT-free zone

With Budget Day set for October 5, the Tobago Business Chamber is proposing several ways in which the Government can stimulate Tobago’s economy. One such proposal is to make Tobago a VAT-free zone. In a WhatsApp voice note on the Chamber’s budget proposal, chairman Martin George said changing the island’s VAT-status is not a new proposal as the Chamber “floated” the idea before. “We are requesting that Tobago be made a totally VAT-free zone. It is not impossible. You have places like Panama, where they have within the country a declared duty-free zone. We think that will also help to stimulate greater investment...

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Tobago Chamber head: ‘We want more flights’

The Tobago Business Chamber is urging the Government to increase the number of flights between the two islands. At a news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, on September 12, the Prime Minister announced the covid19 restrictions that were in place from August 17-September 13 will continue for another month, as there had been no significant let-up in new infections. He said restrictions on beaches, churches, gyms and in-house dining at restaurants will remain until October 11. Airline travel between the two islands has also been restricted, with CAL operating one flight per day. But in a WhatsApp voice note, the Tobago Chamber’s...

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Health Secretary: Scarborough cath lab ‘not in operation’

“It’s not an easy task but we’re very committed to treating with operationalising the cath lab.” THA Health Secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine made this admission in answer to a question about the status of the catheterisation laboratory at the Scarborough General Hospital. She spoke during Tuesday’s virtual Division of Health media briefing. The question was asked in the wake of a recent newspaper report that the $70 million cardiac lab for heart patients in Tobago has not been in use for five years. Davidson-Celestine said: “The cath lab is not in operation currently and we’re working very hard to ensure that we can utilise that...

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