PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley says Canadian-based Sunwing Travel Group is planning to upgrade Turtle Beach Hotel to a five-star hotel.
He was speaking Thursday during a media conference held at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.
Rowley yesterday said Sunwing has high quality property in the Caribbean and the Royalton was their brand. He said the group has purchased a number of Rex properties in the Caribbean and one happened to be in Tobago. He said the officials came to see the TT Government officials to tell them of their plans and for support for getting further involved in Tobago.
“And they do have that support and we gave them that commitment.”
Rowley said Sunwing likes the property they bought but they want to upgrade it to a five-star hotel and increase the number of rooms by about 200 or 300. He added, however, there is an issue of a road between Black Rock and Plymouth which runs in front the hotel lobby and he predicted there would be people in Tobago who would take the position “is we road.”
He said Sunwing is looking at the Magdalena Grand in Tobago to see if they have any interest. He added Government had hired a firm to manage the Magdalena and provide an international brand but has not yet been successful.
Sunwing began flying the Tobago to Toronto route from December and Rowley said the documentation was expedited “because we desperately need more airlift.”
He said with Sandals withdrawing from Tobago there were other people Government could still engage and Sunwing was one of them. He also said yesterday a group was chosen by Cabinet to organise the arrangements for the building of a planned marina in Tobago. He stressed despite the withdrawal of Sandals he will not give up but will continue to work for the development of Tobago including having a proper airport terminal and a desalination plant to improve water supply on the island.
Rowley said Government still thinks Sandals was and is a good project but cannot tell the Sandals board to stay when they want to leave.
“Sandals is not the only thing. We aimed for the stars but we will hit the clouds.”