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Thread: Is Trinidad and Tobago Carnival losing its appeal???

  1. #1
    Blessed Ms SocaBaby is offline
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    Red face Is Trinidad and Tobago Carnival losing its appeal???

    2003-02-11
    Carnival bookings down


    By Cordielle Street

    Is Trinidad and Tobago Carnival losing its appeal?

    With the festival fast approaching, in a little over 20 days to be exact, businesses that look to Carnival for revenue boosts are complaining.

    “It is not the way it should be,” is how one senior official at Royal Palm Hotel describes the situation.

    “There is a big difference, you can see it,” said the official. Other groups who depend on visitors for the event also support this claim.


    “My registration is going okay. The foreign registration has dropped because of what is going into the newspaper,” said Ian McKenzie leader of Legends mas band. Legends is one of many bands which have improved their Internet presence and are now taking registrations online.

    According to McKenzie, foreigners enquiring about costumes on the Net also want to know about the crime situation in Trinidad and Tobago. “The only thing in our favour is, out there is beastly cold, but people are in two minds looking at the crime situation.”


    With recent spate of crimes—kidnappings, robberies, and murders—making headlines both locally and abroad, many are making the connection between the decrease in Carnival business and the increase in criminal activity.

    “The registration has not taken off compared to last year and last year was a lot better. We think the reason for this is the amount of crime...people are afraid to go out now so imagine Carnival time,” said a committee member of the Poison mas band. “Obviously it will affect the registration especially those of the foreigners that are coming in...when you read what the British people are saying and the Australian people are saying about the links with terrorists people are afraid to come,” stated the member. Poison has 33 sections this year. Four sections are sold out.

    “We have less murders and crimes than Jamaica and other Caribbean islands...we headline our murders and domestic violence and people read the front page and our crime situation is not as bad as outside, we just make it sound bad by our headlines in our papers,” is McKenzie’s complaint.

    But some hoteliers believe the situation involves more factors than crime.

    “The booking base is now coming to a very short window...there used to be a pick up in bookings within 35-40 days (before Carnival)...recently it has shifted to 20-25 days,” explained Blanka Vlach, sales manager at the Hilton. In simpler terms “people are deciding spur of the moment if they are going to make the trip to Trinidad.”

    According to Vlach, Hilton is enjoying a five per cent increase in occupancy during this year, compared to this time last year, but “50 per cent is repetitive clientele who have enjoyed the experience of Carnival.”

    Major hotels, Hilton Trinidad and Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre, both have undertaken major marketing initiatives prior to Carnival 2003.

    “We have strategically decided to market regionally since the fallout of September 2001,” said Barry Bidaisse, sales and marketing manager at Cascadia. “We are about 90 per cent booked. Unlike last year we are having regional guests from Barbados, Jamaica, Grenada (this year),” he continued.

    Both Vlach and Bidaisse do not rule out the idea that crime has had some affect on “who” and not “how many” people return for Carnival.

    “There is an element of crime, and yes, a couple of my agencies that I deal with in North America and Europe have indicated that people are not travelling for Carnival... most of our European and North American clients who usually come for Carnival refuse to come this year so we have made up with regional customers,” stated Bidaisse

    This is a point that is echoed across the shores by New York-based travel agent Michael Leepack of Lee and Lee Travel. “Well, the bookings are coming along strong I would say...right now BWIA is sold out and BWIA charges US$800 for the prime dates.” The prime dates are between February 21 and February 27.


    British Airways’s reservation office in Barbados also confirmed that flights are “as full as they were last year,” and “all flights out of the UK are heavy” even though they are unable to determine if the flow is due to Trinidad Carnival.

    “These Trinis in New York, they don’t give a damn about what going on, they are flying into party and just have some fun...tourists are not coming in this year...I have been doing this since 1971. I don’t know if the costumes are too high this year, I just can’t say,” said Leepack.

    Leepack appears to be on the right track.

    Mas bands such as Harts, Starlift, and Barbarossa who are supported by local mas players and repeat clientele appear to be faring well.

    “Foreign registrations are minor,” said Thais Hart. “Most of the people who come for Carnivals are locals living abroad.” Thirteen of Harts 18 sections are sold out.

    Trinidad Carnival also faces serious competition from other islands who according to Bidaisse, are aggressively marketing their Carnivals.

    There is also the growing popularity for spin-off carnivals in communities where there are well-established West Indian communities.

    While Trinidad and Tobago is adjusting its official starting time for Carnival from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. because of bouts of violence that erupted at the start of Jouvert 2002, organisers of Miami Carnival Inc boasted a host of non-traditional headliners such as Will Smith, Wyclef Jean and Damian Marley, reflecting the ability of Carnival to be embraced by an international market. New York, Canada, and London, all have had success with their “mini Carnivals”.

    Whether the problem is crime, lack of marketing, slowdown in the economy, or Vlach’s belief that the outside market is grouping Trinidad and Tobago with the negativity associated with Venezuela—if these problems are left unchecked Trinidad and Tobago Carnival may find itself in a position where the “pupil is surpassing the master”.

    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/featu...ypage=features

  2. #2
    Blessed Ms SocaBaby is offline
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    Now I highlighted that statement because is this the "real" reason legends are not doing as good this year ?

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    daweh point-man's Avatar point-man is offline
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    soca baby u goin trini fuh carnival ? if so gimme yuh ticket ah go head down check it out an tell yuh

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    Imix Official Prima Donna Prinzez Diva's Avatar Prinzez Diva is offline
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    Ian and Legends need a blasted slap!!! Yes crime in Trinidad is bad but so are their damn costumes..that is why no one is playing in yuh piece of shyt band....Give me a frigging break

  5. #5
    Sugar Apple
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    Originally posted by Trini Prinzez
    Ian and Legends need a blasted slap!!! Yes crime in Trinidad is bad but so are their damn costumes..that is why no one is playing in yuh piece of shyt band....Give me a frigging break
    VERY WELL SAID

    I was going and say something similar. But the crime is VERY ridiculous.

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    Registered User NYC2BGI's Avatar NYC2BGI is offline
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    Many more people would be travelling to TNT and everywhere else if the economy were better this year. With the threat of war even though it is no where near the Caribbean some people are afraid to fly. Trust me if my money and job situation were more stable I would be heading to TNT for Carnival and Barbados for Cropover this year.

  7. #7
    amprincess
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    what is ridiculous is the prices the hotels have the nerve to charge people. if they lower their damn prices which we all know they inflate during carnival season, they would get more foreigners to come

  8. #8
    Sugar Apple
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    Originally posted by amprincess
    what is ridiculous is the prices the hotels have the nerve to charge people. if they lower their damn prices which we all know they inflate during carnival season, they would get more foreigners to come
    another good point...they are driving away visitors. People do not want to spend an arm and a leg to get beat up or robbed. (potentially)

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    $ CASH MONEY PROMOTIONS$ Dark & Lovely's Avatar Dark & Lovely is offline
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    Originally posted by Sugar Apple
    another good point...they are driving away visitors. People do not want to spend an arm and a leg to get beat up or robbed. (potentially)


    "TOO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED
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    An Ivy of Class classyivy1's Avatar classyivy1 is offline
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    Talking

    *slinks out of oblivion*

    Just wanted to add my two cents:

    I don't think crime in Trini is any worse than maybe the past few years. Yes I think there are elements adding to the situation back home: deportees, high unemployment, etc, etc. However, I think the reason that many people may not be going is purely economic. In these times of unstable job security, high cost of living (with no increase in salaries), etc., people are becoming more conservative with their spending. Friends of mine are not going for purely economic reasons. Me, I need ah break so I will spend what is necessary to de-stress . Also, I think Panday and his big mouth has a lot to do with the branding of a "terrorist hotbed" that the country now has. Overall, I think this year a lot of carnivals will see a drop in visitors because people are holding on tight tight to their purse strings.

    *slinks back to oblivion*
    Last edited by classyivy1; 02-13-2003 at 02:59 PM.

  11. #11
    God is my pilot Shandy 2.0's Avatar Shandy 2.0 is offline
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    Originally posted by Trini Prinzez
    Ian and Legends need a blasted slap!!! Yes crime in Trinidad is bad but so are their damn costumes..that is why no one is playing in yuh piece of shyt band....Give me a frigging break
    well said!

    I think this lack of bookings (in general) has to do with the pending war and economy myself. Many people are wary about traveling right now. Hey if people don't feel safe enough in thier own city there is no way they will venture out of the country. I see people on the news people lining up in a store spending 1,000's of dollars for safety suits and gas masks, I doubt they will have money left for a trip.

    As for Legends, the lack of bookings have to do with the costumes.
    "Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe." - Oprah Winfrey

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  12. #12
    Happily Ever After Dougla Ting's Avatar Dougla Ting is offline
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    Originally posted by Trini Prinzez
    Ian and Legends need a blasted slap!!! Yes crime in Trinidad is bad but so are their damn costumes..that is why no one is playing in yuh piece of shyt band....Give me a frigging break
    LOL. Oh my goodness. This is sooooo true. Has he really taken a look at the crap they designed or should I say redesigned compared to other big bands. Oh pleeeeeeeease, everybody knows that all them big bands does sell out regardless of crime or whatever is in the papers. Ian really need a damn clout.

    I don't know why everyone is acting like they never heard about all the crime that goes on in TnT for carnival. This is not a first. Every couple of years we hear about this. It's not any worse this year than I've ever heard in previous years.
    Last edited by Dougla Ting; 02-13-2003 at 03:03 PM.

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