Descriptive study of Trinidad as a tourist destination

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Title: Descriptive study of Trinidad as a tourist destination
Author: Schurland, Leslie Desiree
Abstract: The purpose of the study is to evaluate the way in which travel agents who are members of the Institute of Certified Travel Agents (ICTA) in the United States perceive Trinidad as a tourist destination as compared to the other Caribbean Islands and the Bahamas and Bermuda. The Republic of Trinidad is the southernmost of the Caribbean Islands and lies off the northeast coast of Venezuela, on the South American mainland. Trinidad's lack of identity, as perceived by the travel agents in the United States, results from not being well known as an unique tourism destination. The sample consisted of 300 retail travel agents who had successfully completed a geography program on the Caribbean and the Bahamas and Bermuda offered by ICTA in 1990. An analysis was performed with SPSS-X to determine which islands had the highest rank and which islands had the lowest. This ranking was determined by assigning weighted values to the respondents' first, second and third choices. After analyzing the data, it appears that travel agents in the U.S. lack knowledge about Trinidad as a tourist destination, even though Trinidad has tourist features and facilities that are available at other leading Caribbean destinations. The perceptions of the ICTA travel agents produce an image which influences the recommendations made to clients about Trinidad as a destination. There are two types of perceptions, accurate and inaccurate, which affect the creation of an image for a destination. In this study both types were a factor. The following recommendations are made to the Trinidad Government to improve tourism to Trinidad: an Image Study should be done by the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) to determine the current image of Trinidad, and on the basis of the study, efforts should be made to build a strong and favorable image. The travel agents in the U.S. need to receive regularly updated information about new tourist facilities and attractions in Trinidad if they are to sell Trinidad as a viable destination. Trinidad should emphasize that it has a stable political environment following the July 1990 coup attempt. Emphasis should be placed on promoting the present democracy and its stability. The local population should be educated through mass media (television and radio) and seminars as to the importance of tourism to Trinidad's economy to create a positive attitude about the tourism industry. The Trinidad Hotel Association and Tourism Development Authority should work together to educate all the people involved in the hospitality industry. Finally, based on the image study results, specific marketing strategies should be planned and implemented to promote Trinidad as a destination which is very close to South America. The proximity to South America might be a major potential tourism asset to be developed, as might the South American market. Trinidad has an appealing culture, an interesting history and viable tourist attractions. These qualities should, as in The Caribbean, and The Bahamas and Bermuda, be used to promote Trinidad as a top tourist destination.
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/10715
Date: 1992

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