The Port Authority of T&T (PATT) has announced additional sailings on the sea bridge in preparation for the Tobago Carnival.
The additional sailings mean that there will be just over 7,000 seats available via the sea bridge.
The carnival is set to take place from October 27 to 29 and the authority is taking measures to ensure that transportation runs as smoothly as possible.
Speaking to Guardian Media yesterday afternoon PATT chairman Lyle Alexander said a decision has been taken to have two additional sailings on the sea bridge from next week Thursday until after Carnival.
This means there will be an additional 3,900 seats available on the Buccoo Reef and an additional 3,704 seats onboard the APT James.
The Buccoo Reef can transport 981 passengers and 239 vehicles while the APT James can hold 926 passengers and 250 cars.
“We continue to support the efforts in Tobago and have taken the Carnival into consideration and put on extra sailings to accommodate the travelling public,” Alexander said.
Contacted for comment, secretary of the Division of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation Tashia Burris told Guardian Media that she is happy about the additional sailings to the island.
She said, “This is great news and demonstrates that there is a huge appetite from the Trinidad market to participate in the Tobago October Carnival. We certainly appreciate the efforts of the PATT to provide additional seats for the Carnival celebrations. We are seeing our various marketing efforts in the local space paying off. Tobago is indeed ready to welcome the world we cannot wait for everyone to come revel in paradise.”
THA officials had called for the seating capacity for both airbridge and seabridge to be increased in time for the October Carnival.
But, Megan Morrison assistant secretary in the division said this announcement has come too late. She said while it is good to have additional seats on the sea bridge, Tobago’s Carnival has not benefited fully from the operations on the sea bridge.
“It doesn’t leave much room for planning because this is last minute. It’s not even officially announced as yet. In the absence of planning and preparing for us I see that as an issue. I think the Tobago economy has not fully benefitted from the interisland service nor that Caribbean airline service between the island and that would affect what happens at Carnival. People need to plan for events like these,” Morrison said.
Three weeks ago, Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) announced 20,000 additional seating capacity to Tobago in October, when compared to the seats provided for the inaugural Carnival last year.
However, on Friday, when contacted CAL could not provide a breakdown of the seats that will be provided between October 27 to 29.
News Courtesy Trinidad and Tobago Guardian: Elizabeth Gonzales (Tobago Correspondent)