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