Picnic benches outside a beach bar at Pigeon Point.

Protecting Tobago’s beaches: TTAL developing Standard for Beach Operations

Posted Feb 28, 2019

The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) has partnered with the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS), to develop a National Voluntary Standard for Beach Operations on the island.

The National Standard will establish general requirements for beach operators who offer services to users on, and in the near vicinity of, Tobago’s beaches. It provides guidance for both beach operators and users regarding beach safety, beach ownership, cleaning and waste removal, as well as sustainable infrastructure and other pertinent areas regarding the nation’s beaches.

The Standard will be a useful tool to assist beachfront business owners, property developers, local government, and other relevant stakeholders to better manage beaches. It will also help to ensure that entertainment activities in these areas are conducted within a socially and environmentally responsible framework, protecting an essential element of Tobago’s major tourism product.

CEO of the Tobago Tourism Agency, Mr. Louis Lewis, stated:

“With the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea flanking our island, there is no shortage of beaches for relaxation or adventure in Tobago. In addition to being a key offering of our destination for tourists, Tobago’s beaches play an integral role in the island’s culture, economy, and very identity.  Keeping them clean, safe and sustainable is essential for our people as well as our planet."

Protecting Tobago’s beaches: TTAL developing Standard for Beach Operations
The specification committee during their second meeting on February 7, 2019, at the Buccoo Integrated Facility.

In November 2018, the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited established a specification committee to assist and advise the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards in this initiative. The committee includes a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) with representatives from the following organisations in Tobago:

  • Castara Tourism Development Association
  • Green T and T
  • Pigeon Point Heritage Park/ Store Bay Beach Facility
  • Department of the Environment, Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment 
  • Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development 
  • Division of Food Production, Forestry and Fisheries
  • Department of Tourism, Division of Tourism, Culture & Transportation

The committee held its second meeting in February 07, 2019 as discussions continue to refine the proposed standards. Outcomes from these discussions with stakeholders in both Trinidad and Tobago will then comprise the Voluntary Standard Document, to be produced by the TTBS.

TTAL’s Director of Product Development and Destination Management, Mrs. Korice A.Q. Nancis, stated about the initiative:

“In an increasingly connected and green-conscious world, travellers are more discerning about the destinations they choose to visit and the responsible tourism practices implemented there. The adoption and implementation of quality and service standards will therefore go a long way in not only demonstrating our commitment to an enhanced product, but also preserving our environment and attracting like-minded visitors.”