Trinidad’s Dynamic Sporting Scene

Trinidad has a healthy appetite for sport. Drive past any recreation ground or open field on an evening or weekend and you’ll see people engaged in some type of sporting activity, most likely football or cricket. Sporting events in Trinidad are more than just occasions to support home-grown teams – they’re also an opportunity to turn up the music, share some eats and drink, and generally lime the day away. But Trinidad has its share of activities to please adrenalin junkies as well.

On beaches and on village and city savannahs it’s common to see “fete-matches” in progress, whether it’s “small-goal” football, rugby or cricket, and during international football and cricket matches the action on the field is often matched by equally enthusiastic partying in the stands.

But if your game is motor racing, cycling, adventure racing, power boat racing, basketball, kayaking or keeping in shape at the gym, you needn’t skip a beat: Trinidad has the facilities – and fellow enthusiasts – to keep you on the right track.

National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) govern various sports and manage the development of athletes. As a result, the country has been well represented on the international stage in track and field, football, cricket, hockey, boxing, martial arts, swimming, motor sports and shooting. In 2010, the country’s athletes won 44 medals at the Central America and Caribbean Games, easily breaking the previous 1966 record of 24.

The sports calendar is packed, with tournaments and meets throughout the year. While sports tourism is not yet fully developed, many events do include foreign competitors.

T&T has always been a quiet force in track and field, with athletes winning coveted hardware at the Olympics and other international meets. Its athletic prowess lies largely with sprinters like Richard Thompson. Locals get to see their stars in action at the annual Hampton Games, held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain: participants have included Jamaican phenomenon Usain Bolt and American sprinter Maurice Green. There are 45 clubs nationwide: the Southern Games at Guaracara Park is one of the biggest annual meets. National Amateur Athletics Association: 645-6976,  www.naaatt.org

Increasingly popular, efforts to start a professional basketball league have encouraged interest. Professional or not, basketball is played nightly on community courts nationwide, as well as in seven zonal leagues and on national teams. The Sport and Physical Education Centre on the university campus in St Augustine seats over 1,000 people and is often heavily booked. There are other venues in Maloney, Pleasantville, and Port of Spain (the Jean Pierre Complex). A Miami Heat court opened in Fanny Village, Point Fortin last year. Major events are the Super Ten (October to early December) and the National Club Championship. National Basketball Federation: 646-1663,  www.nbftt.org

Perhaps the only sport to rival football’s popularity, cricket has gained new interest and new fans thanks to the Twenty/20 format in which the national team is considered a regional powerhouse, despite its third place finish in the Caribbean T20 tournament in 2010. This is also the home of Brian Lara, the former West Indies captain who has held just about every record available to a batsman. Introduced by the British in the 1800s, cricket has become a West Indian institution. The Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain is one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful cricket grounds and the venue for international Test and One-Day International matches. Cricket is also played on savannahs and village pitches all over the country. The Oval hosts international as well as regional and top local league games, and has been home of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club since 1896. Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Association: 636-1577,  www.ttcricketboard.com

T&T has seen a cycling resurgence of late. The Beacon Cycling Series and West Indies vs the World are highlights of the racing calendar, which includes the Easter International Grand Prix and National Championships (at the Arima Velodrome). Trinidad & Tobago Cycling Federation:  www.ttcyclingfederation.com

Trinidad cannot match Tobago as a diving destination, but there is diving all year. The best is around the islands off Chaguaramas, particularly Chacachacare, sheltered from the muddy waters of the Orinoco. The north coast and Gulf of Paria are other sites. Dive TnT conducts all-day diving trips most weekends. Contact a dive shop like Rick’s Dive World or Dive TnT to ask about current conditions before you make solid plans. Dive Specialist Centre, T: 628-4524 • Rick’s Dive World, T: 628-1913

Drag Racing

Drivers and fans eagerly awaiting a new track in Cunupia. There are five different rallying locations in south and central Trinidad, e.g. the popular Zig Zag and Indian trail tracks in Couva. The Rally Club hosts legs of the Caribbean Speed Stages Rally Championship; American autocross defensive driving competitions, Solodex, are held in the car park of the Santa Rosa race track, as are Karting events. Zorce Magazine:  www.zorce.com  • Trinituner:  www.trinituner.com

“People from all over the world come to Trinidad to fish tarpon,” says Sid Johnson, of the Trinidad & Tobago Game Fishing Association. “You can find tarpon in these waters all year round but they are particularly active during the rainy season.” On-shore fishing in Trinidad is popular in Chaguaramas, Las Cuevas, Galera Point and the Nariva river mouth. Popular boat-fishing spots include the Chaguaramas islands, where fishermen “troll” for carite, kingfish and cavalli and “bank” for redfish, salmon and croakers (or grunt). Pelagics such as marlin, sailfish, tarpon, kingfish, and wahoo are highly prized. Fishing tournaments are held year-round. Trinidad & Tobago Game Fishing Association: 632-6088,  www.ttgfa.com

A close second to cricket in the heart of Trinidadians, who follow the fortunes of the national team with a great deal of (often anguished) interest. Several of our talented footballers are also doing us proud at international club level. Trinidadian footballers Carlos Edwards and Kenwyne Jones currently play in the English Premier League. Trinidad and Tobago was the host of the highly successful FIFA World (men’s) Under-17 championships in 2001 and Women’s Under-17 FIFA world championships in 2010. And our Soca Warriors team represented T&T as the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup in 2006.

With a male and female national team (Soca Princesses and Soca Warriors), professional and secondary school leagues, and clubs for children of all ages, football is a truly national sport.? The Hasely Crawford and Marvin Lee stadiums are home to Trinidad’s football team: Pro League matches (April-December) are played there and at the Larry Gomes (Arima), Ato Boldon (Couva) and Manny Ramjohn (Marabella) stadiums.

Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation (TTFF): 623-7312,  www.ttffonline.com  ; T&T Pro League: 645-4489,  www.ttproleague.com

Trinidad has three 18-hole courses: Moka’s St Andrew’s Golf Club, Trincity’s Millennium Lakes and Petrotrin’s Pointe-à-Pierre Golf Club. Nine-hole courses exist at Brechin Castle, Usine St Madeleine and Chaguaramas.Chaguaramas Development Authority: 634-4227,  www.chagdev.com  ; Millennium Lakes Golf & Country Club: 640-TEES,  www.milleniumlakes.com ; Trinidad & Tobago Golf Association: 629-7127,  www.trinidadandtobagogolfassociation.com

Horse Racing

Santa Rosa Park is Trinidad’s only horse racing track, and it has an AmTote betting system. Thoroughbreds pound the dirt nearly every Saturday and public holiday (2008 saw 46 race days). There are about forty race days annually, all on public holidays or Saturdays. They include New Year races, Derby Day, Diamond Stakes, Midsummer Classic, President’s Cup and the Santa Rosa Classic. Santa Rosa Park: 646-2450,  www.santarosapark.com  ; Trinidad & Tobago Racing Authority: 646-1986

Horse riding

Dressage and show jumping instruction is available from Bays & Greys Riding Centre (Santa Cruz), Jericoe Stables (St Ann’s), and Goodwin Heights (the St Ann’s 250-acre former coffee and cocoa estate in of Margaret “Muffy” Auerbach). For trail riding, contact Hidden Valley (Chaguaramas) or Bonanza Stud Farm (Arima). Trinidad & Tobago Equestrian Association:  www.ttea.4t.com  , [email protected]

River kayaking is best in the wet season when rivers are full. The Yara and Marianne Rivers on the north coast are popular spots (Eric Blackman rents kayaks at the mouth of the Marianne). Caribbean Discovery Tours takes visitors kayaking in the Nariva Swamp. The Godineau River takes you through saltwater mangrove swamps and freshwater marshland. For sea kayaking, the Kayak Centre in Chaguaramas offers the sheltered waters of Williams Bay, and provides equipment. Take extra care in rainy season. Kayak Centre, T: 633-7871 • Caribbean Discovery Tours, T: 624-7281 • Eric Blackman (Marianne River), T: 669-3995

Martial arts

A plethora of martial arts is practised, including kung fu, karate, bushido, aikido, judo, jujitsu, tai chi and kickboxing. Several dojos teach martial arts styles, from Kung Fu to WuShu. Purple Dragon, founded by Professor Don Jacob, teaches Trinidad’s only indigenous form of Karate, Don Jitsu Ryu, and operates several schools locally. Other styles: Capoeira, Bushido, Aikido, Judo, Ju-Jitsu, Tai Chi and Kickboxing. Purple Dragon: 675-1688,  www.purple-dragon.com  ; Shoto Kan Karate Do International Federation:  www.skiftt.com

Motor sports

Rally Trinidad is perhaps the biggest motor sports event in T&T, attracting fans and competitors each March from all over the region. Rally Tobago entered its second year in 2010. The Trinidad and Tobago Rally Club (TTRC) hosts legs of the Caribbean Speed Stages Rally Championship. Drag racing is popular, though it is yet to find a permanent base. There are five different rallying locations in south and central Trinidad.

Mountain biking

A popular and challenging sport in Trinidad. Trails in Chaguaramas are ideal for beginners. Chaguaramas’ forest paths, old military and agricultural roads are a popular mountain biking area, offering an encounter with exotic flora and fauna while negotiating varied terrain and trails. Other locations include the Santa Cruz valley and Matura to Matelot stretch. For a lung-burster try the Blanchisseuse to Morne La Croix Road. Bikes can be rented from several places, but there are no trail maps, so check with a guide like Kerry Williams in Chaguaramas. Trails are muddy and slippery after heavy rain, so the best time of year is the dry season. Kerry “Max” Williams, T: 735-5634 • Geronimo’s Cycle and Sports, T: 622-BIKE • Kayak Centre, Chaguaramas, T: 633-7871

Trinidad has one of the largest racing fleets in the Caribbean, and Chaguaramas is a major sailing hub. The racing season begins around November–December and continues till May–June. Dry season winds are stronger (northeast trade, consistent force 4-5), while in the wet season they tend to be lighter (1-3). The Sailing Association hosts 16 races, including general handicap races where any boat can take part. Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association, T: 634-4210, W:  www.ttsailing.org

From November to March, north coast beaches including Sans Souci provide favourable swells. Las Cuevas, L’Anse Mitan, Grande Rivière, Roughside and Salybia are also popular. In March, the Surfing Association stages the CSN Sans Souci, the first event in the cross-Caribbean Carib Challenge Cup series, , with an international surf festival in May and national championships in July. The main season is November-March, but patience is needed-even then, surfing isn’t possible every day. But the hurricane season often produces waves well worth the wait. Surfing Association Trinidad & Tobago:  www.surfingtt.org

Tennis is a vibrant sport in Trinidad, especially at junior level. There are public courts at King George V Park in St Clair; and courts for hourly rental at the Trinidad Country Club and some hotels. Reservations are needed to use public courts: if you are only staying for a short time, contact a coach through the Tennis Association-they have regular time slots. Courts at the Trinidad Country Club (Tennis Patrons Association) and at the Trinidad Hilton can be rented by the hour, but those at Tranquillity and Westmoorings require yearly membership. In 2006, Trinidad’s highest-ranked junior player, Lendl Smith, won the International Tennis Federation singles title.Trinidad and Tobago Tennis Association, T: 625-3030Trinidad & Tobago Tennis Association: 625-3030

With its well-serviced marinas and boatyards, Chaguaramas is the hub of yachting activity. Immigration and Customs are based at Crews Inn. Chaguaramas’s sheltered harbours have turned it into Yacht City, with strings of maintenance and repair yards and marinas. The Yacht Club at Glencoe is a private marina, but temporary memberships are available for foreigners. Smaller marinas, like Tropical Marine and Sweetwater, provide basic facilities-Tropical Marine also does fibreglass repairs. Boater’s Directory, W:  www.boatersenterprise.com  ; T: 634-4938.Yacht Services Association of Trinidad & Tobago: 634-4938,  www.ysatt.org  ; Trinidad Yacht Services:  www.trinidadyachtservices.com  ; CrewsInn: 632-4542,  www.crewsinn.com

Discover Trinidad & Tobago

Discover Trinidad & Tobago

Destination Guide | Travel & Vacation Planner

Trinidad’s land & water sports

Trinidad has a healthy appetite for sport. National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) govern various sports and manage the development of athletes. As a result, the country has been well represented on the international stage in track and field, football, cricket, hockey, boxing, martial arts, swimming, motor sports and shooting. The sports calendar is packed, with tournaments and meets throughout the year. While sports tourism is not yet fully developed, many events do include foreign competitors

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Trinidad & Tobago Soca Warriors captain and star striker Kenwynne Jones congratulates his teammates. Photo courtesy the Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation (www.ttffonline.com)

Trinidad’s dynamic sporting scene

Give us sufficient time and space and there shall be sport. And with an eye for developing a sports tourism industry, Trinidad — like Tobago — has been expanding and fine-tuning sporting infrastructure.

Drive past any recreation ground or open field on an evening or weekend and you’ll see people engaged in some type of sporting activity, most likely football or cricket . For example, most evenings this can be observed at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain , where the capital’s games players and fitness enthusiasts will congregate: walkers, runners and cyclists, united in lycra-clad diligence; casual games of football and cricket; the occasional flinging of a rugby ball or Frisbee.

Sporting events in Trinidad are more than just occasions to support home-grown teams — they’re also an opportunity to turn up the music , share some eats and drink, and generally lime the day away. If participation is your preference, there are associations to support most sporting predilections. Nor is there any rule against the simplest way of getting involved: ask the people playing if you can join in. Just remember the usual rules of engagement in sport: if the players are wearing uniforms, the match is probably not open to passers-by.

But Trinidad has its share of activities to please adrenalin junkies as well. On beaches and on village and city savannahs it’s common to see “ fete-matches ” in progress, whether it’s “small-goal” football, rugby or cricket, and during international football and cricket matches the action on the field is often matched by equally enthusiastic partying in the stands.

But if your game is motor racing, cycling, adventure racing, power boat racing, basketball, kayaking or keeping in shape at the gym, you needn’t skip a beat: Trinidad has the facilities — and fellow enthusiasts — to keep you on the right track.

National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) govern various sports and manage the development of athletes. As a result, the country has been well represented on the international stage in track and field, football, cricket, hockey, boxing, martial arts, swimming, motor sports and shooting. In 2010, the country’s athletes won 44 medals at the Central America and Caribbean Games, easily breaking the previous 1966 record of 24.

The sports calendar is packed, with tournaments and meets throughout the year. While sports tourism is not yet fully developed, many events do include foreign competitors.

For those who want to watch, the major spectator sports are cricket and football, with Trinidad taking the lion’s share of sporting events over Tobago. Local listings — newspapers primarily — will quickly get most visitors acquainted with the variety of events available in any given week or month.

Some Trinidadian sporting heroes

  • Stephen Ames: former world top 25 golfer with four major PGA titles, including historic victory over all-star field with Tiger Woods at the Players Championship (2006)
  • Ato Boldon: four-time Olympic medallist (2 silver, 2 bronze for 100m and 200m, 1996 and 2000), and 200m World Championship gold medallist (1997). Now a commentator with NBC, and named the best sports analyst of 2016 by Sports Illustrated
  • George Bovell III: the nation’s first Olympic medallist in swimming, winning Olympic bronze in the 200m individual medley (2004), and several other international medals
  • Hasely Crawford: our first Olympic gold medallist, winning the men’s 100m (1976)
  • Brian Lara: multiple record-holding cricketer with two test match score records (375 runs not out in 1994 and 400 not out in 2004); highest first class score (501 not out, also in 1994); and all-time leading run scorer in test cricket
  • Jereem Richards: winner of 4x400m relay bronze at 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships; bronze in the 200m at the 2017 IAAF World Championships; and gold in 4×400 men’s relay at the same event
  • Keshorn Walcott: two-time Olympic medallist (gold in 2012, bronze in 2016). He’s the youngest male athlete (and the first black one) to win a gold medal in javelin; the first individual track and field athlete ever to win World Junior and Olympic titles in the same year; and he holds the North, Central American and Caribbean junior record
  • Rodney Wilkes: nation’s first Olympic medallist for weightlifting (silver in 1948, bronze in 1952).

T&T has always been a quiet force in track and field, with athletes winning coveted hardware at the Olympics and other international meets. Its athletic prowess lies largely with sprinters, but increasingly in field events. Locals get to see their stars in action at the annual Hampton Games, held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain: participants have included Jamaican phenomenon Usain Bolt and American sprinter Maurice Green. There are 45 clubs nationwide: the Southern Games at Guaracara Park is one of the biggest annual meets. National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad & Tobago: naaatt.org , 679-3276

Increasingly popular, efforts to start a professional basketball league have encouraged interest. Professional or not, basketball is played nightly on community courts nationwide, as well as in seven zonal leagues and on national teams. The Sport and Physical Education Centre on the university campus in St Augustine seats over 1,000 people and is often heavily booked. There are other venues in Maloney, Pleasantville, and Port of Spain (the Jean Pierre Complex). A Miami Heat court opened in Fanny Village, Point Fortin last year. Major events are the Super Ten (October to early December) and the National Club Championship. National Basketball Federation: 646-1663, www.nbftt.org

Body building

Great entertainment for the merciless crowd—but participants in the junior and senior championships take things very seriously. Darrem Charles is among the best known, having ranked in the top 20 of the IFBB men’s Bodybuilding Professional Rankings list. Lawrence “the Beast” Marshall holds the annual bodybuilding show SportWorld Classic. Trinidad & Tobago Bodybuilding Federation, T: 678-9166

Perhaps the only sport to rival football’s popularity, cricket has gained new interest and new fans thanks to the Twenty/20 format in which the national team is considered a regional powerhouse. This is also the home of Brian Lara, the former West Indies captain who has held just about every record available to a batsman. Introduced by the British in the 1800s, cricket has become a West Indian institution. The Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain is one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful cricket grounds and the venue for international Test and One-Day International matches. The Oval is the capital of the nation’s cricket activities. Cricket is also played on savannahs and village pitches all over the country. The Oval hosts international as well as regional and top local league games, and has been home of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club since 1896. For a popular match, be prepared for a long wait outside the ground. The Oval is the largest capacity cricket ground in the Caribbean. Most of the time, it is permitted for spectators to bring food and drink — in abundance — into the ground. There’s food on sale within the grounds as well. For cricket to be played there must be several hours of good weather, conditions which are also to the benefit of spectators. Dress for comfort, and be ready to jump and wave — cricket watching in the Caribbean is a participatory experience. Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board: 636-1577, www.ttcricketboard.com

Cycling & mountain biking

T&T has seen a cycling resurgence of late, and is one of the sports designated to be part of the islands’ sports tourism thrust. The Easter International Grand Prix and National Championships are highlights of the racing calendar. A new world-class National Cycling Velodrome (Couva) opened in 2016; the Arima Velodrome is another focal point. The Beacon Cycling Series and West Indies vs the World have been major annual events in the past, but have not taken place for the last few years. Trinidad & Tobago Cycling Federation (TTCF): 679-8823, www.ttcyclingfederation.com

Mountain biking

A popular and challenging sport in Trinidad that’s gaining popularity from locals and tourists alike. Local authorities have also planned a 1,000km biking and hiking trail along the north coast. Trails in Chaguaramas are ideal for beginners. Chaguaramas’ forest paths, old military and agricultural roads are a popular mountain biking area, offering an encounter with exotic flora and fauna while negotiating varied terrain and trails. In fact, the Cycling Federation (TTCF) presented its first evet MTB XCE (Cross country eliminator) in January 2016 at Bellerand Park in Chaguaramas. Other popular mountain biking locations include the Santa Cruz valley and Matura to Matelot stretch. For a lung-burster try the Blanchisseuse to Morne La Croix Road. Bikes can be rented from several places, but there are no trail maps, so check with a guide like Kerry Williams in Chaguaramas. Trails are muddy and slippery after heavy rain, so the best time of year is the dry season. Kerry “Max” Williams, T: 735-5634 • Geronimo’s Cycle and Sports, T: 622-BIKE • Kayak Centre, Chaguaramas, T: 633-7871

Trinidad cannot match Tobago as a diving destination , but there is diving all year. The best is around the islands off Chaguaramas, particularly Chacachacare, sheltered from the muddy waters of the Orinoco. The north coast and Gulf of Paria are other sites. Dive TnT conducts all-day diving trips most weekends. Contact a dive shop like Rick’s Dive World or Dive TnT to ask about current conditions before you make solid plans. Dive Specialist Centre, T: 628-4524 • Rick’s Dive World, T: 628-1913

Drag racing

Drivers and fans eagerly awaiting a new track in Cunupia. There are five different rallying locations in south and central Trinidad, e.g. the popular Zig Zag and Indian trail tracks in Couva. The Rally Club hosts legs of the Caribbean Speed Stages Rally Championship; American autocross defensive driving competitions, Solodex, are held in the car park of the Santa Rosa race track, as are Karting events. Zorce Magazine: www.zorce.com • Trinituner: www.trinituner.com

Dragon boat racing

A young sport which caught on in 2006 for Trinidad’s Chinese Bicentennial celebrations; the national team since has won several medals at the International Dragon Boat Federation World Championships. Regattas take place in both Trinidad and Tobago, mainly around Chaguaramas and Pigeon Point . Trinidad & Tobago Dragon Boat Federation: www.facebook.com/TTDBF

“People from all over the world come to Trinidad to fish tarpon,” says Sid Johnson, of the Trinidad & Tobago Game Fishing Association. “You can find tarpon in these waters all year round but they are particularly active during the rainy season.” On-shore fishing in Trinidad is popular in Chaguaramas, Las Cuevas , Galera Point and the Nariva river mouth. Popular boat-fishing spots include the Chaguaramas islands, where fishermen “troll” for carite, kingfish and cavalli and “bank” for redfish, salmon and croakers (or grunt). Pelagics such as marlin, sailfish, tarpon, kingfish, and wahoo are highly prized. Fishing tournaments are held year-round. Trinidad & Tobago Game Fishing Association: 632-6088, www.ttgfa.com

Football (soccer)

Probably — alongside cricket — the sport most dear to Trinidadians, who follow the fortunes of the national team with a great deal of (often anguished) interest, as well as several international clubs. Several of our talented footballers are also doing us proud at international club level. Trinidadian footballers like Carlos Edwards and Kenwyne Jones currently play in the English Premier League. Trinidad and Tobago was the host of the highly successful FIFA World (men’s) Under-17 championships in 2001 and Women’s Under-17 FIFA world championships in 2010. And our Soca Warriors team represented T&T as the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup in 2006. The fortunes of our national team, the Soca Warriors, have ebbed somewhat since qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, but it is reliably one of the better sides in the Caribbean. With a male and female national team (Soca Warriors), professional and secondary school leagues, and clubs for children of all ages, football is a truly national sport. The Hasely Crawford Stadium (a multi-purpose facility in Port of Spain) and Marvin Lee Stadium (Tunapuna) are home to Trinidad’s football team: Pro League matches (April–December) are played there and at the Larry Gomes (Arima), Ato Boldon (Couva) and Manny Ramjohn (Marabella) stadiums. Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation (TTFF): 623-9500, www.ttfootball.org • T&T Pro League: 645-4489, www.ttproleague.com

Trinidad has three 18-hole courses: Moka’s St Andrew’s Golf Club, Trincity’s Millennium Lakes and Petrotrin’s Pointe-à-Pierre Golf Club. Nine-hole courses exist at Brechin Castle, Usine St Madeleine and Chaguaramas. Chaguaramas Development Authority: 634-4227, www.chagdev.com • Millennium Lakes Golf & Country Club: 640-TEES, www.milleniumlakes.com • Trinidad & Tobago Golf Association: 629-7127, www.ttgolfassociation.org

Gyms & fitness

Gyms are everywhere, including some of the larger hotels and malls ; many offer weekly, monthly and daily passes which allow visitors access to group exercise classes, yoga and pilates, aerobics and spin, etc.

Started in 1984, the Port of Spain Hash House Harriers has evolved into a 100-strong bi-weekly event – with a healthy emphasis on the social side.

The hockey year is split in two: the indoor season September-January and the outdoor season (on Tacarigua’s astroturf) March-August. Trinidad & Tobago Hockey Board: www.tthb.tstt.net.tt

Horse racing

Santa Rosa Park is Trinidad’s only horse racing track, and it has an AmTote betting system. Thoroughbreds pound the dirt nearly every Saturday and public holiday (2008 saw 46 race days). There are about forty race days annually, all on public holidays or Saturdays. They include New Year races, Derby Day, Diamond Stakes, Midsummer Classic, President’s Cup and the Santa Rosa Classic. Santa Rosa Park: 646-2450, www.santarosapark.com • Trinidad & Tobago Racing Authority: 646-1986

Horse riding

Dressage and show jumping instruction is available from Bays & Greys Riding Centre (Santa Cruz); Jericho Stables (St Ann’s); Goodwin Heights (the St Ann’s 250-acre former coffee and cocoa estate in of Margaret “Muffy” Auerbach); Birtwyck Park (Piarco); Saddle Valley Stables (Santa Cruz); Sandy Hill Stables (Freeport); Valmont Stables (Santa Cruz); and Horses Helping Humans (Maracas). For trail riding, contact Hidden Valley (Chaguaramas) or Bonanza Stud Farm (Arima). Trinidad & Tobago Equestrian Association: www.ttequestrian.org • Horses Helping Humans: www.hhhtrinidad.weebly.com

River kayaking is best in the wet season when rivers are full. The Yara and Marianne Rivers on the north coast are popular spots (Eric Blackman rents kayaks at the mouth of the Marianne). Caribbean Discovery Tours takes visitors kayaking in the Nariva Swamp . The Godineau River takes you through saltwater mangrove swamps and freshwater marshland. For sea kayaking, the Kayak Centre in Chaguaramas offers the sheltered waters of Williams Bay, and provides equipment. Take extra care in rainy season. Kayak Centre, T: 633-7871 • Caribbean Discovery Tours, T: 624-7281 • Eric Blackman (Marianne River), T: 669-3995

Martial arts

A plethora of martial arts is practised, including kung fu, karate, bushido, aikido, judo, jujitsu, tai chi and kickboxing. Several dojos teach martial arts styles, from Kung Fu to WuShu. Purple Dragon, founded by Professor Don Jacob, teaches Trinidad’s only indigenous form of Karate, Don Jitsu Ryu, and operates several schools locally. Other styles: Capoeira, Bushido, Aikido, Judo, Ju-Jitsu, Tai Chi and Kickboxing. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is also gaining popularity. Once unregulated, it is now a “respectable” sport in the Caribbean. CUFF (Caribbean Ultimate Fist Fighting) organises events featuring professional athletes from all corners of the globe competing in an authentic eight-sided cage. CUFF has held a number of local events and presided over 22 matches since its first MMA event in 2010. Purple Dragon: 675-1688, www.purple-dragon.com • Shoto Kan Karate Do International Federation: www.skiftt.com

Motor sports — Rally Trinidad

Rally and drag racing are both very popular, with locations in south and central Trinidad like Couva and Preysal. The Rally Club hosts a Championship Series and an International Rally, among other events, like legs of the Caribbean Speed Stages Rally Championship. Rally Trinidad is perhaps the biggest motor sports event in T&T, attracting fans and competitors each March from all over the region. Rally Tobago entered its second year in 2010. Drag racing is popular, though it is yet to find a permanent base. There are five different rallying locations in south and central Trinidad. Trinidad & Tobago Rally Club: www.rallytrinidad.com ; T&T United Drag Racing Association (TTUDRA):  facebook.com/ttundradrags

At the international level, netball has been Trinidad & Tobago’s most successful team sport. We won the World Netball Championship in 1979 and our women have excelled ever since. Trinidad & Tobago Netball Association: tntnetball@yahoo.com

Trinidad has one of the largest racing fleets in the Caribbean, and Chaguaramas is a major sailing hub. The racing season begins around November–December and continues till May–June. Dry season winds are stronger (northeast trade, consistent force 4-5), while in the wet season they tend to be lighter (1-3). The Sailing Association hosts 16 races, including general handicap races where any boat can take part. Trinidad & Tobago Sailing Association, 634-4210, www.ttsailing.org

From November to March, north coast beaches including Sans Souci provide favourable swells. Las Cuevas, L’Anse Mitan, Grande Rivière, Roughside and Salybia are also popular. In March, the Surfing Association stages the CSN Sans Souci, the first event in the cross-Caribbean Carib Challenge Cup series, with an international surf festival in May and national championships in July. The main season is November–March, but patience is needed—even then, surfing isn’t possible every day. But the hurricane season often produces waves well worth the wait. Surfing Association Trinidad & Tobago: www.surfingtt.org

Swimming & aquatics

Competitive swimming always had its fans, but the glory of local hero George Bovell III (four-time Olympian) has increased its popularity. A new world-class National Aquatics Centre (Couva) was completed in 2016, intended to be a hub for local sports including water polo and diving, as well as to attract international swim events as part of a sports tourism thrust. Public swimming pools are also located in Port of Spain (Flying Fish), Tunapuna (Centre of Excellence), St Joseph (La Joya), Diego Martin, San Fernando (Cocoyea), Couva and Siparia.  Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad & Tobago: 643-2813, www.swimtt.com

Tennis is a vibrant sport in Trinidad, especially at junior level. The recently completed National Tennis Complex (Tacarigua) is the centrepiece of the sport. There are also public courts at Nelson Mandela Park in St Clair; and courts for hourly rental at the Trinidad Country Club and some hotels. Reservations are needed to use public courts: if you are only staying for a short time, contact a coach through the Tennis Association—they have regular time slots. Courts at the Trinidad Country Club (Tennis Patrons Association) and at the Trinidad Hilton can be rented by the hour, but those at Tranquillity and Westmoorings require yearly membership. In 2006, Trinidad’s highest-ranked junior player, Lendl Smith, won the International Tennis Federation singles title. Also as part of the nation’s sports tourism thrust, a National Tennis Complex is being constructed in Tacarigua. Trinidad & Tobago Tennis Association, 625-3030, www.tennistt.info

With its well-serviced marinas and boatyards, Chaguaramas is the hub of yachting activity. Immigration and Customs are based at Crews Inn. Chaguaramas’s sheltered harbours have turned it into Yacht City, with strings of maintenance and repair yards and marinas. The Yacht Club at Glencoe is a private marina, but temporary memberships are available for foreigners. Smaller marinas, like Tropical Marine and Sweetwater, provide basic facilities—Tropical Marine also does fibreglass repairs. Boater’s Directory , W: www.boatersenterprise.com; T: 634-4938 • Yacht Services Association of Trinidad & Tobago: 634-4938, www.ysatt.org • Trinidad Yacht Services: www.trinidadyachtservices.com • CrewsInn: 632-4542, www.crewsinn.com

There are dozens of yoga studios across the country – Akasha Studio, Bliss Yoga and The Sangha among them – offering classes in various traditions such as Kundalini, Ashtanga and Hatha. Most studios are open-air, though some are quiet air-conditioned rooms. Classes are generally very affordable, and some are even donation-based. There are classes for kids and teenagers too.

  • Sporting Company of Trinidad & Tobago: 636-1401 or www.sportt-tt.com
  • Trinidad & Tobago Olympic Committee: 625-1285, www.ttoc.org
  • Category: Eco & Adventure — Trinidad , Sports — Trinidad

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Rapid growth in Trinidad and Tobago's sports tourism drives economic activity

Sports tourism has been identified by both the current and previous governments as a potentially lucrative niche market in which Trinidad & Tobago has a distinct competitive advantage. In addition to already regularly hosting an array of athletic activities, including golf, yachting, boating, cricket, horse racing, powerboat racing, tennis, cycling and football, T&T, especially Trinidad, features a robust network of sports infrastructure with significant capacity. The segment’s contribution to overall economic development not only hinges upon the number, quality and duration of sporting events hosted, but also the country’s ability to attract non-competitive events such as conferences, meetings and training programmes. The potential economic benefits are significant and include revenues generated not only from events, but from the increased demand for hotel accommodation, transportation services, food and beverages, entertainment, television and media coverage, advertising, and health and medical services. Therefore, it is essential that all components of the sports tourism value chain work effectively for T&T to benefit from the potential advantages.

Growing Potential On a global level, tourism receipts grew by 5% in 2017 to reach $1.3trn, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation, with sports tourism one of the fastest growing segments in the industry, forecast to grow by 41.5% between 2017 and 2021. The segment in T&T has mirrored global trends, with the number of sports tourists nearly tripling from about 1600 visitors in 2010 to Sports tourism’s contribution to broader economic development will depend on T&T’s ability to attract non-competitive events such as conferences, meetings and training programmes 6315 in 2015, according to the Immigration Division of T&T. Meanwhile, Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs (MSYA) figures show that if sports tourists continue to rise by 4500 every five years, T&T can expect over 10,500 sports tourism arrivals by 2020.

In total, the country is home to five multipurpose stadiums, including the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Tobago; eight indoor sporting arenas; five 25-metre community swimming pools; one national ice hockey facility; and three major golf courses.

Also included in the country’s sports stock are the recently expanded 250-metre National Cycling Velodrome in Balmain, with capacity for 2500 people; the National Aquatic Centre in Couva, which holds two 50-metre event pools, a 25-metre diving pool and capacity for 700 people; and the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, which hosted the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 (CPLT20) cricket championship tournament in both 2017 and 2018.

Hosting Events T&T is no stranger to hosting major athletic events. As far back as 2001, the country was the destination of the FIFA Under-17 World Championship, for which it constructed four FIFA-standard stadiums — three in Trinidad and one in Tobago — with a total seating capacity of 37,500. Additionally, several smaller grounds were upgraded for use as practice pitches, and the already existing Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain had new seating and a flood-proof playing field installed.

As part of a more recent push to showcase the country’s events potential, in January 2018 T&T hosted the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football Women’s Under-20 Championship, the Pan American Badminton Male and Female Team Continental Championships the following month, as well as the Caribbean International Invitational Open Combat Sports Championship in April. Darryl Smith, the minister of sport and youth affairs, told local press in February 2018 that hosting regional competitions would help continue the country’s sports tourism drive. “One of the main objectives of the MSYA – and we have been doing a pretty good job at it – was to push sports tourism. We hosted the highest number of international events in our history [in 2017].”

Although the segment is still in its early stages, signs are pointing to significant increases in activity over the coming years. In anticipation of this, in October 2016 the T&T Hospitality and Tourism Institute launched the first sports tourism master’s programme in the country, and is expected to significantly increase skills training in the segment.

Global Appeal The destination has the temperate climate and structural capacity to facilitate a wide range of professional and amateur sport events. Currently, there is rising interest in cricket and soccer, but already existing fields could be used for various sports in the off-season. Specifically, there is large untapped potential with US universities. T&T could offer training facilities to baseball, lacrosse and other field sports teams during the winter, as the weather is relatively mild during the winter months, averaging 27°C year-round. While Puerto Rico has historically served as the main practice destination for US university sports teams, the damage caused by Hurricanes Maria and Irma, which struck in September 2017 affected many of the facilities. Being outside of the hurricane belt, T&T’s sports facilities are intact. “Trinidad has the same temperature throughout the year,” Charles Carvalho, CEO of local tourism operator Carvalho Agencies, told OBG. “In winter, when athletes in cold countries need to practise, they could come to T&T since we already have the infrastructure in place. Over the last few years, the government has built several professional sporting facilities throughout Trinidad.”

State Policy The country had been without an official tourism policy for almost six years as the most recent guidelines expired in 2012. In January 2018, however, the Ministry of Tourism released a draft of the Sport Tourism Policy of T&T (STPTT), which highlights the broader advantages of developing the segment. On an economic level, hosting events can help reduce poverty in communities through the development of small business and the upskilling of community members needed to welcome, host and serve the influx of visitors.

It is also expected that boosting sports tourism numbers will contribute to other segments, such as ecotourism and cultural travel, as visitors already in the country may seek to spend their free time on activities beyond sporting events. Local infrastructure upgrades will also lead to new roads and transport networks as well as the expansion of telecoms networks, benefitting the country as a whole.

The policy has received broader administrative support, with Colm Imbert, the minister of finance, pledging the government’s commitment to boosting the segment as part of the nation’s economic diversification strategy. Key to the STPTT will be securing the economic sustainability of sports tourism by attracting and hosting a continuous stream of international and regional sporting events, championships, tournaments, competitions and training camps. However, hosting successful events hinges on the availability and accessibility of adequate, well-maintained infrastructure beyond sporting facilities, including accommodation, air and road transportation networks and other ancillary services, such as food and beverage, entertainment and public safety. Therefore, investments are necessary beyond athletic infrastructure to create an ecosystem conducive for the growth of sports tourism.

Direct Investment On top of this, the government has pledged to invest directly in a number of tournaments. An economic impact assessment conducted by the organisers of the CPLT20 reported that the 2016 championship tournament generated $20.4m in visitor expenditure, up 31% from the previous year. Additionally, the tourism boards of Barbados, St Lucia and Guyana each negotiated shirt sponsorship deals with their respective premier league franchises, resulting in significant revenue generation and gains in media value. In the 2017 the CPLT20 cricket championship final attracted 37.6m viewers worldwide and generated TT$23m ($3.4m) in revenues for the country. More recently, the government provided TT$20m ($3m) to host three finals of the CPLT20 championship games, which took place in August and September 2018.

With the recently constructed National Cycling Velodrome and National Aquatic Centre, as well as other sports facilities throughout the country, T&T is set to increase the number of regional and international sporting events it hosts, especially if the country wins the right to the 2021 Commonwealth Youth Games. What is clear, however, is that the government has recognised that athletics can be a vital part of broader economic development.

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From travel safety to visa requirements, discover the best tips for traveling to Trinidad and Tobago

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A far cry from your average sun-sand-and-sea Caribbean destination, T&T offers plenty to do beyond the beach. The hugely rich natural environment affords many opportunities for birdwatching, hiking and freshwater swimming, either in rivers or in the pools below waterfalls, while offshore pursuits include an impressive range of watersports.

Birdwatching

Trinidad and Tobago ranks among the world’s top ten countries in terms of bird species per square kilometre, boasting a diversity unmatched in the Caribbean: more than 430 recorded species and around 250 known to breed. Migrant species from South America are most common between May and September, while birds from North America visit between October and March. The dry months (Jan–March or April) are traditionally the most popular time for birders to visit; during the wet season, however, birds grab whatever chance they can to feed between showers, so you’ll still see a lot of activity.

The best place to start in Trinidad is the Northern Range at the acclaimed Asa Wright Nature Centre ( w asawright.org ); workers there assert that even on a relatively short visit you can see as many as 150 species. Other stops include the Caroni Swamp , where you can take an afternoon boat tour to see the flocks of scarlet ibis, the national bird and most arresting of the 156 species that live in this swampland. The Point-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust is an important waterfowl conservation centre nestling amid an industrial wasteland, with a successful breeding programme and the opportunity to see ibis up close.

The best book to bring is Richard French’s encyclopedic Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago , which describes calls as well as plumage, habitats and behaviour. Online, visit Trinidad Birding ( w trinidadbirding.com ). Plenty of tour companies and guides specialize in birding tours. A short list of good places to go birdwatching in Trinidad include the Aripo Savannahs and Arena Dam, just south of Arima, Mount St Benedict; Brasso Seco, off the Arima–Blanchisseuse Road; Nariva Swamp on the east coast; and Oropuche Lagoon in the southwest. Note that permits are needed for some of these sites; the guides can arrange these for you.

In Tobago, head for Little Tobago (or Bird of Paradise Island) on the windward coast to see sea birds in their natural environment; the Bon Accord Lagoon, Adventure Farm and the Grafton Caledonia Bird Sanctuary are also fine birdwatching sites. At the protected Tobago Forest Reserve, there are plenty of well-trained guides to accompany you.

Trinidad and Tobago are ideal for hiking , despite the heat – the best plan is to start early and cover plenty of distance before midday, or choose a hike that goes through forest. You don’t have to be supremely fit for most trails, nor do you need special equipment. In Trinidad, there is excellent hiking to be had in the forests of the Northern Range especially around Paria and Brasso Seco; or the Chaguaramas hills. Of the numerous waterfall hikes, Guanapo Gorge is particularly spectacular. The best hiking in Tobago is to be had in the rainforest reserve.

Don’t hike alone . In addition to incidents of robberies on remote trails, there is no one to provide assistance should you run into problems; experienced local hikers always set out with two or more people. Plenty of tour companies provide private hiking trips, but another, less expensive option is to join one of the excellent local groups on their regular weekend jaunts into rural areas, such as Hike Seekers (check hikemaster Laurence Pierre’s Facebook group for details): you assemble at 7am, pay around TT$50 and set off. The group can normally arrange transport for you if you don’t have your own (call ahead), though you must provide your own food and water. Bear in mind, though, that group sizes can be large. Many other groups set out each weekend; scheduled hikes are posted in the “what’s on” sections of the daily newspapers, including those by the hundred-year-old Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists’ Club ( t 687 0514, w ttfnc.org ), a slightly less visitor-friendly group that hike on the last Sunday of each month, leaving from Lower St Vincent Street in Port of Spain at 6.30am (TT$30). Their Trail Guide makes essential reading, describing fifty walks in minute detail. You could also check out hashing , a kind of cross-country race (which can be done as a walk) with lots of beer and rum drinking; if you want to have a go, contact the Port of Spain Hash Harriers ( w poshhh.org ).

Be sure to abide by hiking etiquette : stick to paths and trails wherever possible, which avoids soil erosion and safeguards you from getting lost; bring rubbish – including cigarette butts – home with you, and bury used toilet paper; do not discard matches or cigarettes and make sure any fires are completely extinguished; and finally, don’t collect plant or wildlife specimens.

In terms of equipment, sturdy shoes with good grip will suffice if you don’t have boots, though trainers work as a last resort; and always wear socks to protect against blisters and ticks. If hiking along a river-course, stout sandals are your best bet. Wear long trousers or leggings to protect against nettles, razor grass and insects (tuck trousers into socks); a long-sleeved shirt may also be advisable. A hat is good protection against sun and rain, and a light waterproof is useful in rainy season. Jeans are best avoided as they quickly become uncomfortable if wet. A dip is very often on the agenda, so wear swimming gear ; a set of spare clothes left in the car is a good idea for when you finish walking.

Watersports

While snorkelling and scuba diving are popular on both islands, they are far better in Tobago , where the water is clearer away from the sediment-heavy currents from the South American mainland. The best dive spots are centred around Speyside on the windward coast, where you can see pristine reefs and a host of fish, including deep-water manta rays and the odd shark. Other top spots are offshore Charlotteville and the Sisters Rocks on the leeward side, as well as the Shallows or Flying Reef at Crown Point; Buccoo Reef remains popular, as the disintegrating coral sadly reveals. Everywhere, you’ll see a dazzling variety of fish, from barracuda and grouper to angel, parrot, damsel and butterfly fish as well as spiny sea urchins and lobster nestled among the coral. Throughout the Guide, we have listed reputable dive operators (most of whom also rent snorkelling gear); for more details on prices .

Most of the larger Tobago hotels have all you need in the way of watersports – kayaks, small sailboats, windsurfing and so on, and there’s an excellent watersports outlet, Radical Sports, at Pigeon Point beach. In Trinidad, Chaguaramas is the main watersports area, where you can kayak and stand-up paddleboard, while there’s also the option of wakeboarding, waterskiing and wakesurfing offshore of Port of Spain.

During the winter, big breakers – especially around Mount Irvine in Tobago and Toco in Trinidad – make ideal conditions for surfing . You can rent boards in Tobago, but in Trinidad you’ll probably need to bring your own; check with the Surfing Association of Trinidad and Tobago ( w surftt.org ) for details and further contacts.

T&T also boasts excellent sport fishing at around US$300 for a half day and US$600 for a full day – though not cheap, many boats accommodate up to six, and rods, tackle and bait are included. You’re pretty much guaranteed some excitement; main catches include marlin, sailfish, tuna and dolphin. Boats for charter are listed throughout the Guide wherever available, and if you want more information about sport fishing, contact the Trinidad and Tobago Game Fishing Association ( w ttgfa.com).

Tour operators in Trinidad and Tobago

Tour companies’ offerings range from eco-oriented hiking, birdwatching trips and kayaking to more conventional driving tours of the islands’ “highlights”: the list here represents the very best of the bunch. We’ve specified whether each company is based in Trinidad or Tobago; most offer trips primarily in their home island, plus a few basic options in their sister isle. Note that you’ll often get a reduced rate if you book in groups of four or more; some operators will not set out with less than four in any case. In addition to those listed here, try Cristo Adonis ( t 664 5976 or t 488 8539), whose Carib descent has ensured a thorough knowledge of Amerindian culture as well as medicinal plants and mountain trails.

Tour operators (Trinidad)

Avifauna Tours Port of Spain t 633 5614 or t 477 2650, w rogernecklesphotography.com . Trini-English owner Roger Neckles is one of T&T’s most respected wildlife photographers, and his tours – from Asa Wright to Nariva and Aripo Savannah, and Tobago – are conducted in a comfy a/c SUV and are excellent for ornithologists, photographers and amateur birdwatchers alike. US$100–150 per person.

Banwari Experience Bourg Malatress, Lower Santa Cruz, Trinidad t 675 1619, t 681 2393 or t 223 1657, w banwaricaribbean.com . Wide-ranging company offering sightseeing throughout Trinidad and Tobago, plus a few novel options – Carnival, river limes, sports, beach picnics, shopping, hikes and waterfalls. From US$80.

Caribbean Discovery Tours c/o Stephen Broadbridge, 9b Fondes Amandes Rd, St Ann’s, Port of Spain t 620 1989 or t 339 1989, w caribbeandiscoverytours.com . Entertaining, informative hikes plus safaris aboard a Land Rover, all with a birdwatching and animal-spotting slant. One of the best for Nariva, as well as Brasso Seco/Asa Wright and Northern Range waterfalls/hikes, nights in host homes and Paramin. Central Trinidad options include Caroni Swamp, birdwatching and rare-plant spotting at Aripo Savannah, while as well as the usual Pitch Lake trip in south Trinidad there’s an Icacos tour with visits to small-scale soap and coconut-oil makers, and wetland birdwatching. Day tours US$100 per person, including lunch and transfers.

Chaguaramas Development Authority Airways Rd, Chaguaramas t 634 4364 or t 634 4349, w chagdev.com. Waterfall and walking tours around Tucker Valley, as well as trips “down the islands”, including Gasparee caves and hiking on Chacachacare. Transport to and from Chaguaramas and lunch/refreshments aren’t included. Tours cost TT$30–220.

Ieri Nature Adventures Arima t 667 5636 or t 685 6206, e [email protected]. Dynamic guide Ivan Charles is a former national road cyclist, and offers both relaxed road trips and more hardcore mountain biking, plus tours covering most of Trinidad’s natural attractions, from expert hiking adventures to Northern Range peaks and waterfalls, Tamana caves, kayaking at Caroni Swamp and visits to turtle-nesting beaches (including a two-night camp on a nesting beach). All-inclusive full-day trips from US$80 per person.

Indiversity Tours Port of Spain 743 1604, e [email protected]. As well as running a destination management company, owner Jalaudin Khan offers thoughtful historical and heritage tours that offer insight into cultural sights islandwide, especially Hindu temples, mosques and out-of-the-way places in the underexplored south. Hiking, birding and arts-based trips are also available. Full-day tours from US$80.

In-Joy Tours 2 Himorne Court, Hibiscus Drive, Petit Valley t 633 4733 or t 753 2775, w injoytours.com . Great option for “down the islands”, trips take in Gasparee caves plus swimming and relaxation at Chacachacare or Monos islands. Other possibilities include Trinidad’s National Museum and Maracas Bay; panyard tours, the Pitch Lake and other things south; and a day-trip to Tobago. Carnival packages available. Tours US$40–100.

Island Experiences 11 East Hill, Cascade, Port of Spain t 621 0407 or t 756 9677, w islandexperiencestt.com . Lively and knowledgeable eco-cultural tours led by charming, knowledgeable guides who provide an excellent insight into Trinidadian life; groups are kept small and itineraries personalized. Great for mas camps and panyards at Carnival, and evening and daytime city tours that provide a thorough grounding in the art of liming, including live calypso and steel pan, as well as bars and clubbing if the mood takes you. Daytime excursions combine stock stopoffs such as Asa Wright or Caroni with more unusual places such as a steel pan maker to see the instruments being produced, or to St James for roti and a bar lime. Other tours include the Pitch Lake and San Fernando, or Chaguanas markets and Felicity pottery. German- and English-speaking guides available. Half-day and evening tours US$45, full-day from US$80.

Limeland Tours Old Plum Rd, Manzanilla t 668 1356 or t 774 3438, w limeland-tours.com . Tours are led by a very personable former sport fisherman turned wildlife lover who lives near Nariva and has an exhaustive knowledge of the area’s trails and wildlife – one of the best for the area, with the option to look for whatever wildlife you’re interested in, be it manatees or monkeys. Also offers trips to Tamana caves and around the Manzanilla area. Full-day tours from US$95.

Paria Springs Tours 1 Mar Che Rd, St Ann’s t 620 8240, w pariasprings.com. Excellent and well-informed birdwatching and eco-adventure tours with experienced naturalist, Courtenay Rooks. Options include birdwatching all over Trinidad, Northern Range waterfalls, Tamana bat caves, adventurous and soft mountain-bike excursions (with tuition if needed), plus lovely kayak paddles “down the islands” and to Caroni Swamp. For the more adventurous, there’s wakeboarding, waterfall rappelling and rock climbing, too. From US$85 per person.

Tour Operators (Tobago)

NG Nature Tours t 660 5463 or t 754 7881, w newtongeorge.com . A fantastic birding guide, Newton George offers tours for both serious birdwatchers and those with just a passing interest, pointing out hard-to-see birds with the aid of a light pen. Trips cover the Forest Reserve, Little Tobago, Bon Accord Lagoon, Grafton Caledonia Bird Sanctuary and the Magdalena Grande wetlands, and there are also some ornithological Trinidad options. Full-day tours US$75–95.

Peter Cox Wildlife Tours t 751 5822 or t 294 3086, w tobagonaturetours.com . One of the top birding guides on Tobago, with Main Ridge walks that include a night-time option (great for seeing nocturnal creatures such as armadillos and owls) and trips tailored for children in which you explore forest rivers and pools home to wabeen and crayfish. All the birding hotspots are covered too, from Little Tobago to the Magdalena Grande wetlands, as are Argyle Falls and the Tobago Cocoa Estate, Scarborough market and Fort King George, round-the-island sightseeing and turtle-watching during the laying season. Full-day tours US$90–115.

Yes Tourism t 357 0064, w yestourism.com. A reliable all-round operator, offering sightseeing tours around Tobago (Caribbean coast, rainforest walks, Speyside glass-bottom boat to Little Tobago, Tobago Cocoa Estate etc plus waterfalls and shopping trips). Full-day tours US$95–125.

T&T’s beaches

Maracas is Trinidad’s most popular beach thanks to excellent facilities and a swathe of fine yellow sand and cool, clear green water; several more stunning places to swim lie a few miles down the road at Las Cuevas and Blanchisseuse , though all are sometimes subject to rough seas and undertows. Away from the oil refineries, many parts of the south coast offer fabulous swimming as well, while the east coast boasts the fabulously scenic Manzanilla and Mayaro . Most agree, though, that T&T’s best beaches are in Tobago, where the water is calmer and tourist infrastructure more developed. The epitome of a Caribbean seashore, Pigeon Point is the queen of them all, with crystal-clear water, white sand and pretty palm-thatched gazebos, though its overt commerciality rather mars the spot. Nearby Store Bay and Mount Irvine are also lovely, but the undeveloped allure of Castara, Parlatuvier, Englishman’s Bay and Pirate’s Bay on the leeward side are far more stunning.

Bear in mind that undertows and strong currents make many of Trinidad’s (and some of Tobago’s) beaches risky; yellow and red flags indicate safe areas, in their absence, don’t swim until you’ve checked with someone local.

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Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Sports Company, Tourism Trinidad Ltd sign MOU

Jason Williams, CEO of SporTT (left) and Carla Cupid, CEO (interim) of Tourism Trinidad Limited. PHOTO COURTESY SPORTS COMPANY OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO.

THE SPORTS Company of TT Ltd (SporTT) and Tourism Trinidad Ltd (TTL) are formalising plans to develop TT as the leading sport tourism destination in the English-speaking Caribbean.

The two state agency CEOs signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), that highlights key areas for development and activation, at a ceremony at the National Aquatic Centre in Balmain, Couva.

Both are adamant that this plan that for the most part is already in motion, and will drive growth in both sectors and foster community and entrepreneurial development.

The MOU seeks to normalise seamless collaboration for developmental activities which can be activated via an already approved sports tourism policy. It will also formalise a singular voice for the two agencies in promotion of sports tourism events locally, regionally, and internationally.

Most importantly will be the optimising of analytics to constantly monitor and refine the sports tourism message, thereby ensuring that destination Trinidad is always top of mind when it comes to international sporting activities and capitalising on revenue generating events.

SporTT CEO Jason Williams said, “Already for the year we have had three major international tournaments – ICC Under-19 cricket, Pan Am swimming and Davis Cup tennis. This shows the confidence placed in our ability to plan and host successfully what are effectively logistical behemoths.

"So as we continue to attract more attention, we must ensure that brand Trinidad is given one unified voice.”

The MOU comes as the state agencies continue formal and informal cross-branding and partnerships. This also assists when it comes to efficiently utilising resources for the execution of sports tourism products and activations.

Interim CEO of TTL Carla Cupid pointed out, “There are obvious synergies between tourism and sports. What this MOU does is build an ecosystem that will ensure that we can comfortably welcome athletes, their fans and supporters.

"We look forward to strengthening our collaboration with SporTT in terms of destination branding, infrastructure development and attracting visitors to sporting events that are in themselves powerful tourism attractions while drawing global attention to destination Trinidad.”

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THE 10 BEST Trinidad and Tobago Outdoor Activities

Outdoor activities in trinidad and tobago.

  • Nature & Wildlife Tours
  • Hiking & Camping Tours
  • Scuba & Snorkeling
  • Up to 1 hour
  • 1 to 4 hours
  • 4 hours to 1 day
  • Island Experiences - Eco-Cultural Tours & Yacht Charters
  • Los Exploradorestt Tours Ltd
  • Sensational Tour
  • Fish Tobago Tours
  • The ranking of tours, activities, and experiences available on Tripadvisor is determined by several factors including the revenue generated by Tripadvisor from these bookings, the frequency of user clicks, and the volume and quality of customer reviews. Occasionally, newly listed offerings may be prioritized and appear higher in the list. The specific placement of these new listings may vary.

tourism sports in trinidad

1. Sunset Boat Tour into Caroni Wetlands

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2. Avocat Waterfall Tour & Beach Stop Adventure

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3. Argyle Waterfall with Adventure Farm

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4. Bottom Wreck Fishing Tour(Light Refreshments on board)

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5. Trinidad Northern Eco-Cultural Full-Day Highlights Tour from Port of Spain

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6. Yerette Home of the Hummingbird

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7. Birdwatching, Waterfall, Rainforest and Island Nature Tours

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8. Maracas Beach

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9. Island Tour (Food and Drinks include)

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10. The best Thing to do in Tobago at Night Bioluminescence Tour.

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11. 5 Hours Private Northe Coast Day Trip

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12. Rio Seco Waterfall Adventure

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13. Paramin Mountains Jeep Tour

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14. Aripo Waterfall Adventure

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15. Snorkel, Freedive or Spearfish in Trinidad and Tobago

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16. Paria Waterfall

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17. Bird Watching Tours

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18. Avocat Waterfall Tour & Beach Stop Package

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19. Private Camping Experience, Kayaking & Hiking on Blanchisseuse Beach, Trinidad

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20. Deutschsprachige Inselrundfahrt

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21. Individuelle Regenwald Tour

tourism sports in trinidad

22. Caribbean side of the island bird watching waterfalls

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23. Private Hike Tour to Paria Waterfall

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24. Trinidad Mud Volcano Hike and Food Experience

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25. Trinidad Rainforest Hike to Waterfall

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26. Viñales horse tour

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27. Trinidad Nature and Asa Wright Center Full-Day Tour from Port of Spain

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28. Design your own individual excursion

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29. Hike and Camp at Paria Bay

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30. Full Day Group Tour in Tobago Atlantic Coast

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The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts (MTCA)

About the Ministry

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The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts (MTCA) is responsible for transforming Trinidad and Tobago into a premier tourist destination, as well as the development of Trinidad and Tobago’s many cultural and artistic forms, through policy and strategic interventions, research, monitoring and evaluating trends, partnering with industry stakeholders, and raising awareness, among other things, to improve the country’s economic and social progress.

The MTCA is on a mission to grow and transform the tourism, culture and heritage resources for the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago. Our vision statement, “The vehicle through which society and the world experience who we are,” reflects our commitment to national socio-economic transformation and growth through the development of sustainable tourism and cultural sectors.

The identification of the new Ministry, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts by Gazette dated 9 September 2020, presented opportunities for synergies between the sectors.

In this regard, the Ministry aspires to establish an enabling environment that will allow these sectors to contribute more to the national economy while also instilling in citizens the importance of tourism and a feeling of national identity.

The Ministry acknowledges that a continuous collaborative effort is required to create and build alliances and partnerships with our stakeholders to achieve these goals. Our executive is led by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, Senator the Honourable Randall Mitchell; the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Videsh Maharaj; and the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ms. Jasmine Pascal.

Minister

Permanent Secretary (Ag.)

Deputy Permanent Secretary

Deputy Permanent Secretary

Units within the ministry, office of the minister.

Office of the Minister has overall responsibility for the Tourism and Cultural sectors and setting the Ministry’s policy direction. The Minister exercises authority to grant incentives under the Tourism Development Act.

Office of the Permanent Secretary

Office of the Permanent Secretary is in charge of planning and managing the Ministry’s operations and functions and providing technical assistance and policy implementation. The Permanent Secretary is the Ministry’s Accounting Officer and has fiduciary responsibility for the Ministry’s management.

Office of the Deputy Permanent Secretary

Office of the Deputy Permanent Secretary assists with planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating the Ministry’s technical and administrative support functions.

Research and Planning   Unit

Research and Planning Unit is primarily responsible for tourism research and provides information and knowledge supporting decision-making. The Unit’s functions include overseeing the implementation of the Ministry’s Development Programme, reporting and preparation of briefs, responses to Parliamentary Questions and Cabinet Notes. The Unit’s research mission includes increasing the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts’ data gathering and analysis capabilities to provide relevant, up-to-date information that leads to evidence-based decision-making.

Tourism Advisory Unit

The Tourism Advisory Unit spearheads the formulation of policies and sub-policies that advance the country’s tourism sector and examines trends that influence tourism. The Unit provides advice, guidance, and recommendations based on the findings of those trends to inform the future of the tourism sector. The TAU also provides policy-driven and strategic advice on tourism-related issues by preparing Technical Reports and Briefs.

Investment, Facilitation and Monitoring Unit

This Investment, Facilitation and Monitoring Unit is primarily responsible for facilitating investment incentives in the tourism sector for Trinidad and Tobago. Essentially there are two categories of tourism incentives: legislated and non-legislated. The legislated tourism incentives are included under the Tourism Development Act (2000), Chapter 87:22 and are mainly to facilitate financial incentives for Accommodation projects (Hotels), Ancillary projects (theme parks) and Transportation projects (vehicles). The non-legislated tourism incentives are programmes approved by the Cabinet. There are currently two non-legislated tourism incentives available: the Government Loan Guarantee Programme (GLG) and the Tourism Accommodation Upgrade Programme (TAUP).

Project & Facilities Management Unit

Project & Facilities Management Unit is responsible for the facility management and upgrades of six (6) sites. These sites are:

Maracas Beach, Las Cuevas Beach, Vessigny Beach, Manzanilla Beach, La Brea & Paramin Look Out

The Projects Unit also collaborates with other Government and State agencies to upgrade tourism sites, such as the Galera Point Lighthouse project. It provides support to the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA), Naparima Bowl and Queen’s Hall, to name a few.

Monitoring and Evaluation Unit

The formulation, implementation and maintenance of a results-based monitoring and evaluation system that examines whether the Ministry’s policies and initiatives are aligned with the country’s national goals and outcomes. This is measured against the National Development Strategy (NDS) 2016-2030 and the National Performance Framework (NPF) 2017-2020 and whether the Ministry’s and the Tourism Trinidad Destination Management Company’s performance meets their objectives. This Unit also monitors the implementation of the Ministry’s  Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) to ensure that the projects of the Ministry add value and are being implemented transparently.

Legal Services Unit

The Legal Services Unit’s role in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts satisfies legislative compliance requirements, the fulfilment of day-to-day requests for opinions and the drafting, execution and administration of various types of agreements/contracts, contract management, taking proactive and rigorous steps to protect the Ministry from legal exposure and consistently strengthening the Ministry’s legal framework by making constructive inputs at various stages of the legislative review and policy formulation processes.

Communication Unit

This Communication Unit assists the Ministry in achieving its strategic objectives. It is responsible for the Ministry’s image, branding, advertising and public relations. It informs and explains the Ministry’s policies and programmes through internal and external communications by providing timely, accurate and credible information to citizens about the tourism, culture and arts portfolio.

Information Technology Unit

The Information Technology Unit’s objective is to establish and support an ICT strategy in line with the Ministry’s policies and programs. The MTCA’s ICT strategy provides a unique opportunity to rethink tourism products to meet individual demands and satisfy consumer desires. The Unit also develops and maintains high-speed ICT infrastructure and software applications crucial to the MTCA’s success.

Administration Unit

The primary responsibility of the Administration Unit is to provide timely administrative services in records management, office management, messenger and mail support, procurement of office machines and supplies, staff safety and comfort, and facilities management.

Finance & Accounting Unit

The Finance & Accounting Unit manages the payroll and other financial elements of the Ministry. The Unit’s work with the various units of the Ministry to evaluate its financial situation and keeps track of the organization’s planned payments, such as inventory, salary, and other business-related expenses.

Internal Audit Unit

The Internal Audit Unit guarantees that the Ministry’s accounting systems comply with financial rules and regulations.

Human Resource Management Unit

This Unit’s primary goal is to attract, develop, and keep high-quality staff to meet the company’s strategic goals. The department achieves this through planning, human resource development, training, and personnel orientation. It also focuses on employee relations such as industrial relations, health and safety and employee benefits.

The Library is a support unit within the Ministry which strives to stimulate human capacity by the provision of the most current information resources as well as reference and research services.  The resources – digital and print – aim to foster greater knowledge in the areas of tourism, culture, the arts and other related areas leading to an increase in the creative capacity, innovation and competitive advantage of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts.

Vision & Mission

Vision :  The vehicle through which society and the world experience who we are (Trinidad and Tobago).

Mission :  To grow and transform the tourism, culture and heritage resources for the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago.

Core Values 

RESPECT for the rights and dignity of all persons and respect for the wider environment that sustains life.

TRANSPARENCY  through clear and open communication regarding the conduct of business.

ACCOUNTABILITY by accepting responsibility for decisions and actions and disclosing results in an objective manner.

INTEGRITY through a value system of fairness and justice that compels the Ministry to do what is right morally, legally and ethically.

TEAMWORK through collaboration to build and seek consensus rather than individual interests

PROFESSIONALISM  through competence, skill and good judgment in order to achieve the Ministry’s mandate.

INNOVATION  by promoting an environment that fosters continuous improvement and the use of ground-breaking information communications technology (ICT).

CREATIVITY through the use of imaginative or novel ideas to create value for the Tourism and Culture Sectors.

Culture Division

View Grants & Sponsorships

Festival Development

Festival Development

Development of the Cultural Industries

Development of the Cultural Industries

Development of Competencies in the Visual, Literary and Performing Arts

Development of Competencies in the Visual, Literary and Performing Arts

Heritage Preservation

Heritage Preservation

Performing Arts Entities

Performing Arts Entities

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Job Opportunities

No vacancies at this time, procurement.

Notice of Award – Provision of Tents and Associated Flooring at the Fort George Facility

Notice of Award – Provision of Upgrade Works Phase 1 at the River Estate and Waterwheel Museum

Notice of Award – Provision of Upgrade Works Phase II at the Lopinot Historical Complex

Notice of Award – Provision of Desludging Services to the Wastewater Treatment Plant

Notice of Award – Provision of Services for Generator Works at the Vessigny Beach Facility

Notice of Award – Upgrade Works at Galera Point Lighthouse Facility

Notice of Award – Upgrade Works Phase 1 at the Lopinot Historical Complex

Notice of Award – Urgent Repair Works at the Fort George

Notice of Award – Provision of Emergency Works to Wastewater Treatment Plan at the Manzanilla Beach Facility

Notice of Award – Provision of Landscaping Services at the Fort George Facility

Notice of Award – Provision of Landscaping Services at the River Estate and Waterwheel Museum

Notice of Award – Provision of Miscellaneous Items and Services for the Asantehene of Ghana

Notice of Award – Provision of Supply of Truck Borne Water to Fort George Facility

Notice of Award – Provision of Emergency Plumbing Works at the Manzanilla Beach Facility

Notice of Award – Provision of Coconut Trees at the Manzanilla Beach Facility

Notice of Award – Provision of Beautification Upgrades at the Vessigny Beach Facility

Notice of Award – One Time Water Supply at the La Vigie Paramin Lookout Facility

Notice of Award – One Time Water Supply at the Fort George Facility

Notice of Award – Maintenance of Wastewater Treatment Plant at the Las Cuevas Beach

Notice of Award – Maintenance of the Wastewater Treatment Plan at the Manzanilla Beach Facility

Notice of Award – Landscaping Services at the Lopinot Historical Complex

Notice of Award – Installation and Maintenance of Fire Extinguishers at Manzanilla Beach Facility

Notice of Award – Door and Door Lock Replacement at Las Cuevas Beach Facility

Notice of Award – Conceptual Designs at Los Iros

Notice of Award – Conceptual Designs at Las Lapas

Notice of Award – Conceptual Designs at Fort Abercromby

Notice of Award- Provision of Photocopiers for MTCA Head Office

Procurement Schedule

Ministry of Tourism Culture and the Arts

Tourism Trinidad Limited (TTL)

Naparima Bowl

Stollmeyer’s Castle (Castle Killarney)

Southern Academy of the Performing Arts (SAPA)

Queen’s Hall

National Museum and Art Gallery (NMAG)

National Carnival Commission

National Academy of the Performing Arts (NAPA)

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As Trinidad and Tobago looks forward to the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, we profile some of this country’s elite athletes and past performers. Today we feature swimmer Nikoli Blackman, who is already making a big splash on the international scene. Q&A – Nikoli Blackman After announcing himself on the world stage as a triple gold…

tourism sports in trinidad

Q&A with T&T tennis starlet, Jordane Dookie (ITF Junior Ranking – 968) National junior tennis standout Jordane Dookie recently signed an agreement to join Lewis University after she completes CSEC exams in June. Jordane was well travelled in 2023, collecting several titles on ITF tours throughout the Caribbean and South and Central America. She also…

tourism sports in trinidad

18 January 2024, Balmain, Couva SporTT to NGBs: No Funding without Compliance National Governing Bodies for Sport (NGBs) will only receive funding from the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT) if their operations are in order. This was made clear by SporTT Chairman Douglas Camacho as he addressed a meeting with NGB representatives yesterday…

tourism sports in trinidad

Friday 8 December 2023, Balmain, Couva It’s safe to say that Youth Sport Camps had a significant impact on Trinidad and Tobago in 2023. After the pandemic halted activity, the Camps returned in 2022. They expanded in 2023 to include 1,500 participants (ages 7-17) across 31 venues (17 in Trinidad and 14 in Tobago), up…

tourism sports in trinidad

6 December 2023, Balmain, Couva The Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT) advises that the selection of match venues for the ICC Cricket Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 is the responsibility of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Trinidad and Tobago’s bid to host T20 World Cup matches for West Indies 2024 featured multiple venues…

tourism sports in trinidad

Vacancy-Sport Nutritionist MINIMUM EDUCATION QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE: Training as evidenced by possession of a recognised University Degree, in Sport Nutrition or related field. Minimum of two (2) years’ experience in an applied sport psychology setting Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite. Familiarity with Zoom and other video conferencing software is desirable. Considered an asset Certified Sports…

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tourism sports in trinidad

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The Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (SporTT) will resume athlete and team training activity at our facilities from Monday 22nd June. Use of facilities will be allowed via our online booking system ONLY for the foreseeable future. The booking page can be found at: https://sportt-tt.com/book-a-facility/ For the next two weeks, SporTT will only allow booking of activities through National Governing Bodies (NGBs). Additionally, all requesting…

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Mysterious oil spill sparks national emergency in Trinidad and Tobago

An overturned vessel has caused a huge oil spill along Trinidad and Tobago’s coastline, in what the Caribbean country’s prime minister described as a “national emergency” on Sunday.

By Abel Alvarado and Michael Rios, CNN

Published Feb 13, 2024 6:10 AM PST | Updated Feb 13, 2024 7:00 AM PST

A mysterious overturned vessel caused a large oil spill along the coast of Trinidad and Tobago on Feb. 7.

(CNN) — An overturned vessel has caused a huge oil spill along Trinidad and Tobago’s coastline, in what the Caribbean country’s prime minister described as a “national emergency” on Sunday.

The spill occurred on February 7 off the southern shores of the Tobago Island, according to the country’s Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM). About 15 kilometers (9 miles) of the coastline “is now blackened,” the agency said in a statement Saturday.

Photos from the scene show recovery workers wading through thick black sludge, with huge areas of the beach covered in oil. Several government agencies, including at least 1,000 volunteers, have been working to control the spill.

tourism sports in trinidad

Workers clean up an oil spill on Rockly Bay beach in Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago, on February 10, 2024. The origin of the ship that caused the spill is not yet known. (Akash Boodan/AP)

Prime Minister Keith Rowley said in a news conference Sunday that “the situation is not under control.” The origins of the vessel have not yet been identified, he added.

“This is a national emergency and therefore it will have to be funded as an extraordinary expense,” Rowley said, adding, “we don’t know the full scope and scale of what is going to be required.”

Authorities installed booms - floating barriers - to prevent the spill from spreading to other areas, said Farley Augustine, the chief secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly. Officials have also dispatched divers to try to plug the leak but have not been successful.

“What has to happen is that we have to find a way to now extract every bit of oil that’s in the vessel, bearing in mind as we have been reiterating – not knowing the schematics of the vessel,” Augustine told reporters.

tourism sports in trinidad

The oil spill, pictured on February 10, covered about 15 kilometers (about 9 miles) of the coastline in black residue. (Clement Williams/AFP/Getty Images)

CNN has reached out to the prime minister’s office for comment.

“We’re not sure if it’s a freighter, a tanker, or a barge because only the keel of the vessel is visible. And its identifying physical characteristics are in water that we can’t penetrate for the moment,” Rowley said Sunday.

“But we do know it appears to be broken having made contact here and is leaking some kind of hydrocarbon that is fouling the water and the coastline,” he added.

Residents in the local area of Lambeau reported a constant stench from the spill, leaving some worried about their health, according to local media.

tourism sports in trinidad

A vessel ran aground on February 7 off Trinidad and Tobago, causing a massive oil spill in the Caribbean country. The government declared a national state of emergency on Monday. (Clement Williams/AFP/Getty Images)

Augustine, the chief secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, advised those with respiratory illnesses to use masks and “self-relocate or find ways to mitigate against that.”

The spill took place during Carnival season, one of the country’s biggest tourist attractions.

“The best part of Tobago’s economy is its tourism, so it is important that we be cognizant that we don’t expose the tourism product to this kind of thing, and because this has happened, we have to contain it,” the prime minister said.

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https://www.barrons.com/news/disastrous-oil-spill-in-trinidad-after-mystery-shipwreck-087d3513

  • FROM AFP NEWS

Disastrous Oil Spill In Trinidad After Mystery Shipwreck

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ADDS details, quotes

Emergency workers in Trinidad and Tobago were scrambling Saturday to clean up a massive oil spill after a mystery vessel ran aground near the Caribbean island, casting a pall over Carnival tourism.

At least 15 kilometers (nearly 10 miles) of coastline have been affected in Tobago and authorities were poised to declare a national emergency, Farley Augustine, chief secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, told reporters.

Environmental officials said the spill has damaged a reef and Atlantic beaches, boding ill for the island's resorts and hotels, the lifeline of the local economy during Carnival season.

Augustine said the government may elevate the accident to a Level 3 disaster, adding, "Everything indicates that we are going in that direction."

The mystery vessel, identified as The Gulfstream, capsized on Wednesday off the coast of the Cove Eco-Industrial Park in southern Tobago, and currents have dragged the boat shoreward.

When sighted on Wednesday, the ship was sailing under an unidentified flag and made no emergency calls.

The island's Emergency Management Agency said there were no signs of life on the vessel, whose cargo was initially believed to consist of sand and wood.

The agency released photos of an estimated 1,000 volunteers in protective white jumpsuits working to remove oil from beaches.

Divers were preparing to plug a leak in the ship, Augustine added.

For now, according to one government source, "All the Coast Guard's efforts are aimed at containing the oil spill."

The source, speaking on grounds of anonymity, said it would be "some time" before investigators could determine the ship's origins, ownership and intended destination.

Augustine said the island was ready to accept help from other countries and had received offers of assistance.

Energy Minister Stuart Young from Trinidad traveled to Tobago and said the main island was ready to offer "any assistance that can be provided."

The disaster comes on the eve of Carnival, and Dave Tancoo, an opposition member of Parliament, said tour operators were likely to face considerable losses at a time when they usually see peak profits.

"This opportunity was cruelly taken away from them," he said.

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The Washington Post

Caribbean oil spill blackens beaches, but mystery apparently cleared up

The mystery vessel was reported overturned last week just off the coast of Tobago, the northern island of the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. No crew were spotted — just a dark, sticky fluid leaking from the vessel.

That material is now blackening beaches, a key draw for the country’s important tourism sector.

On Wednesday, the government appeared to have cleared up some of the mystery. The vessel, reported on Feb. 7, was an overturned barge that was being pulled by the tugboat Solo Creed from Panama in Central America to Guyana in South America , The Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of National Security said. Guyanese authorities confirmed that the excursion never reached Guyana, the ministry said.

The oil was initially spotted around four miles north of the barge near the Tobagonian town of Scarborough. More recent satellite imagery from the Tobago Emergency Management Agency shows contamination much farther out — about 48 miles west of the island.

As round-the-clock cleanup efforts continued, it was still unclear how much oil had spilled and how much remained in the largely submerged barge. What caused it to overturn are not yet known.

Its appearance inspired investigation and speculation about its identity and provenance. Users on the sites of the Fishermen and Friends of the Sea , an environmental nonprofit based in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, marinetraffic.com and shipspotting.com suggested it might be the Gulfstream, a 561-foot oil products tanker built by South Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries in 1975.

But “Gulfstream” has been used for many vessels, at least one of which has been broken up, and others users disputed the identification.

Divers approached the vessel, but it had been moving and bobbing in the shallows, clouding the water and stymying close inspection.

Trinidad and Tobago has long experience with spills. The nation is the largest oil producer in the Caribbean; according to the World Bank, its petroleum and petrochemicals industry generates more than a third of its gross domestic product.

Prime Minister Keith Rowley has declared a national emergency. Workers were deploying booms to contain the spill, cleaning beaches and protecting wildlife, he told reporters on Sunday.

Heavy equipment was shipped from the larger island of Trinidad to help.

Rowley said it was fortunate that the vessel overturned in a sparsely populated area. If it had been farther north or west, the spill could have rounded the tip of Tobago at Crown Point and contaminated the island’s west coast, home to several resorts and tourist attractions.

Sources: Tobago Emergency Management Agency, TEMA Geographical Information System Specialist Dayreon Mitchell, Office of the Chief Secretary and Fishermen and Friends of the Sea.

Caribbean oil spill blackens beaches, but mystery apparently cleared up

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Jamaica to host second global tourism resilience conference

Edmund Bartlett. Image courtesy Government of Jamaica

Ja­maica will host the sec­ond Glob­al Tourism Re­silience Con­fer­ence fea­tur­ing pan­el dis­cus­sions, net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, pre­sen­ta­tions, and de­bates on mat­ters re­lat­ing to build­ing re­silience in tourism.

The Min­istry of Tourism and the Glob­al Tourism Re­silience and Cri­sis Man­age­ment Cen­tre (GTR­CMC) said the two day event will be­gin on Fri­day.

Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness, will ad­dress the con­fer­ence on Sat­ur­day, with the in­au­gur­al Glob­al Tourism Re­silience Awards sched­uled for lat­er in the evening.

Tourism Min­is­ter Ed­mund Bartlett, told re­porters that the first day of the con­fer­ence will be ded­i­cat­ed to the aca­d­e­m­ic and oth­er thought-lead­er­ship dis­cus­sions and dis­cours­es.

“The sec­ond day will be the day ded­i­cat­ed to dis­cus­sions on tourism re­silience. Now the im­por­tance of that day …that the Unit­ed Na­tions (UN) has des­ig­nat­ed as Glob­al Tourism Re­silience Day.

“Ja­maica is par­tic­u­lar­ly proud of this des­ig­na­tion, as it is be­cause of our Prime Min­is­ter’s speech to the UN in Sep­tem­ber of last year call­ing for a Glob­al Tourism Re­silience Day, [which] fol­lowed my pre­sen­ta­tion to the UN… on the 6th of Feb­ru­ary 2023, at which 94 coun­tries im­me­di­ate­ly sup­port­ed and co-spon­sored the res­o­lu­tion,”Bartlett said.

He said Ja­maica is the sec­ond de­vel­op­ing coun­try that has en­abled a date to be es­tab­lished glob­al­ly for any dis­ci­pline or any kind of eco­nom­ic or so­cial ac­tiv­i­ty and that for World Glob­al Tourism Re­silience Day, there will be dis­cus­sions on ed­u­ca­tion and tourism, with the pur­pose of ex­plor­ing the prospect of es­tab­lish­ing a Caribbean Tourism Acad­e­my.

The UN Tourism Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary, Na­talia Bay­ona, will al­so be hav­ing dis­cus­sions with the HEART/NS­TA Trust, the Ja­maica Cen­tre for Tourism In­no­va­tion (JC­TI) and sev­er­al aca­d­e­mics, in­clud­ing GTR­CMC Di­rec­tor, Pro­fes­sor Lloyd Waller.

“They’ll be vis­it­ing the Cen­tre at the Uni­ver­si­ty of the West In­dies, and this is go­ing to be a very im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment for Caribbean tourism, not just for Ja­maica, be­cause the pow­er of the hu­man cap­i­tal is what we must lever­age for our wealth,” said Bartlett , not­ing that as the world changes, it will re­quire new skills, “and so the tra­di­tion­al… what we call ca­su­al work that has char­ac­terised tourism over the years, is go­ing.

“Much of that ca­su­al work is go­ing to be re­placed by ma­chine in­tel­li­gence, and the pow­er of peo­ple to ma­nip­u­late ma­chine in­tel­li­gence is what is go­ing to cre­ate rel­e­vance. We must be at the cut­ting edge of it, and this gov­ern­ment knows that; and this is why ed­u­ca­tion trans­for­ma­tion is such an im­por­tant part of our pol­i­cy di­rec­tion.

“Tourism has to con­tin­ue. It’s the on­ly in­dus­try in the world that will sur­vive every tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance,” Bartlett said.

CMC/fd/2024

KINGSTON, Ja­maica, Feb 14, CMC

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tourism sports in trinidad

Application window opens on March 1 for Sports Tourism capital fund

tourism sports in trinidad

The Delaware Tourism Office will begin accepting applications on March 1 for the Sports Tourism Capital Investment Fund. Established through the recent Bond and Capital Improvements Act, the fund provides financial support to new or existing sports sites that hold events throughout the year to attract out-of-state visitors and contribute to the economy. 

“Sports tourism is a growing industry in our state and the surrounding region, with millions of dollars spent each year by event participants, their families, and other attendees,” said Gov. John Carney. “This fund will help keep Delaware’s sports tourism industry competitive by ensuring visitors can play at first-class facilities and enjoy the many benefits that our state has to offer while staying here.” 

In recent years, Delaware has been selected to host many national sporting events, including the U.S. Lacrosse Youth Nationals, the MEAC Volleyball Championship, the U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships, and the state’s first PGA Tour event, the 2022 BMW Championship, which saw nearly 130,000 attendees and contributed an estimated $30 million to the local and state economy.  

“These national events showcase our state’s ability to host large-scale sports competitions and put Delaware in front of event planners and facility developers from around the country,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “As the $90 billion global sports tourism industry grows, this new fund provides us the opportunity to continue investing in our state’s sports venues to ensure Delaware remains top of mind for national and regional event decision-makers for years to come.”  

Facilities throughout the state also hold smaller-scale sporting events throughout the year in lacrosse, football, soccer, softball, baseball, and other sports. 

“Each year, thousands of people visit Delaware to participate in, or attend, sporting events – filling our hotel rooms up and down the state and providing a boost to local businesses,” said Delaware Tourism Office Director Jessica Welch. “The Sports Tourism Capital Investment Fund allows our state to attract more visitors and continue shining a light on all the great reasons to visit Delaware. I encourage new and existing sports tourism facilities statewide to take advantage of this opportunity to apply for capital funding.”  

One venue likely to make a pitch for the funding is DETurf, a privately owned athletic field complex south of Dover that unsuccessfully sought Kent County lodging tax proceeds.

Requirements

  • Be a facility within the state of Delaware, specifically a high school, collegiate, or recreational venue that generates positive incremental state tax benefits to the State, is used for public purposes, and regularly hosts sports tourism events.
  • Own the property on which the sports facility is to be constructed or renovated or be under a ground lease acceptable to the Division review panel.
  • We have sufficient committed funds, including funding from this program if it is approved, to successfully complete the project.
  • Have a useful life of a length satisfactory to the panel with a detailed maintenance plan and a funding source for maintenance.
  • Promote the Tourism Office to visitors attending sporting events at their sports facility.
  • Indicate tourism-based events it intends to target for its sports facility in the program application.

The Delaware Tourism Office will hold two webinars for applicants on the following dates: Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 11 a.m. and Wednesday, Feb. . 28 at 1 p.m. Registration is required.  

The Delaware Tourism Office will accept investment fund applications until 4 p.m. on April 12. The office’s website provides more information on eligibility, funding requirements, and complete program regulations.  

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