Trinidad and Tobago want more Canadians, but first they’ll need some direct lift
The Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Development Company Limited (TDC) launched its new travel agent specialist program yesterday in Toronto. Jamal Magloire, who played for the Toronto Raptors in 2011 – 2012 and now works for the organization as assistant coach, consultant and team ambassador, took part in the tourism industry event. Born in Toronto, he has Trinidadian heritage. Executives with Caribbean Airlines and Aviareps as well as Dr. Vidhya Gyan Tota-Maharaj, Consul General for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in Toronto, were in attendance as well.

Trinidad and Tobago want more Canadians, but first they’ll need more lift

TORONTO — Already famous for its Carnival, and with a well-established niche in the Caribbean eco-tourism market, Trinidad and Tobago now needs more lift from Canada to kickstart travel from this market. Packages wouldn’t hurt either, said travel industry executives at a Trinidad & Tobago lunch event yesterday.

A marketing campaign this winter includes the launch of Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Development Company Limited (TDC)’s new specialist program, for agents interested in learning more about this Caribbean destination. “For the most part, Trinidad and Tobago is a new destination for Canadian travel agents. Once we educate agents, the agents can then educatetheir clients,” said Allison Ferguson, with Aviareps Canada. “We want to position Trinidad and Tobago as a top-of-mind vacation destination. We need to get information out there about the eco-tourism, the adventure tourism and the events and festivals on the islands.” The two-island destination also caters to niche markets including multi-generational travel, spa and wellness, romance, diving, destination weddings and honeymoons, birding and soft adventure. Direct flights are currently available from Toronto into Port of Spain with WestJet and Caribbean Airlines.

The specialist program takes about 20 minutes to complete, says Ferguson. Agents who register and finish the program will have access to fams and other perks. “We will be partnering with hotels and there will be incentives,” she said. Program participants are encouraged to record their bookings on the website in order to become eligible for prizes.

All website activity will be monitored in real time, and the agents securing the most bookings to Trinidad and Tobago per month and per quarter throughout the year-long program will be eligible to receive a variety of rewards, from gift cards to FAM trips.

Qualifying agents will also receive a personalized full-color, printable certificate and accreditation for participating in the program, selecting to receive either four continuing education credits from The Travel Institute or 12 credits from ACTA. Local stakeholders will also be sending promotional packages and special offers for inclusion in an e-newsletter sent to travelagents who have successfully completed the program.

“We are extremely pleased to implement this program and partner with travel agents to raise the profile of our destination, while at the same time driving direct sales. The Trinidad & Tobago Travel Agent Specialist Program is a key strategic initiative of the Tourism Development Company for positioning Trinidad & Tobago as a top-of-mind vacation destination in our primary source travel market,” said Warren Solomon, General Manager of Marketing at the Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Development Company.

The course is at edu.recommend.com/trinidad-tobago.