The government of the twin-island republic has suspended the arrival of cruise ships for the remainder of the 2019-2020 cruise season.
In a statement on Thursday, the Ministry of Tourism said that it has been closely monitoring the evolving situation as it relates to COVID-19 and its overall impact on the tourism sector and as part of the urgent measures to protect citizens, the decision was to suspend cruise ship arrivals for the remainder of the season which ends on April 24.
“Given the rapid infection of COVID-19 globally, the potential economic loss from the epidemic entering Trinidad and Tobago will outweigh the potential loss associated with the decision to suspend the arrival of cruise ships for the rest of the 2019-2020 cruise season.”
According to Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell, the “public health and safety of our citizens are of utmost importance and there is urgent need to place safeguarding measures in place to protect our citizens from the potential devastating effects of a COVID-19 epidemic.”
“[The] industry has faced similar challenges and has emerged stronger and more resilient for it.”— Tourism Minister, Randall Mitchell
He added that the Ministry will continue to work with all stakeholders including cruise line executives, tour operators, agents and port officials to ensure that all relevant parties are kept abreast as the situation evolves.
“The Destinations have benefitted from a successful cruise season due in the most part to enhanced collaboration with all stakeholders. Continued engagement and dialogue are important in moving forward as we address this urgent threat to our industry and country,” he said while adding that the “industry has faced similar challenges and has emerged stronger and more resilient for it.”