DOMA: Stage Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Tobago

This Aboud said could benefit tourism in that island and also prevent the need to close two of Trinidad’s major roads. Tobago was not used for any official functions linked with the just concluded Summit of the Americas, although there was a tour available for delegates and visitors interested in sightseeing.

“We believe the potential for tourism which is the only real economic benefit we can hope for from these conferences, would lead the organisers to give Tobago a second look as a potential venue for the CHOGM,” Aboud said.

He added that DOMA felt strongly that the CHOGM could have far more severe economic consequences than the Summit because it is scheduled at a very hectic import/export period for businesses, “and coincides with the last month end before Christmas.” He said DOMA would like to see a more open and considerate approach to the public’s interest in arrangements for CHOGM.

While DOMA is grateful for the amendments to the original plan for traffic restrictions which allowed Park Street in Port-of-Spain to remain open, Aboud said the road traffic network in Trinidad was far too underdeveloped for the city to function with its main arteries blocked. Wrightson Road and the Churchill Roosevelt Highway were closed for traffic from Friday through Sunday last which led to massive traffic pile ups.

“It is impossible to expect that the needed security arrangements can allow even the most basic services in the city at the same time,” Aboud said. It was business as usual in downtown Port-of-Spain after the Summit but there were “losses” due to closures on two of the busiest shopping days of the week — Friday and Saturday.

The manager of Bradford Mall said, “The organisers should recognise by now they overreacted. For the next Summit whatever we learnt now can be used not to overreact the way we did,” the manager said. He said the summit in the Hyatt caused the “whole of PoS” to be closed down.


"DOMA: Stage Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Tobago"

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