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Visitors to Tobago by Nationality

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:04 pm
by SteveF
Hello all - this is my first post - so be gentle.

I am thinking of visiting Tobago next Jan/Feb time and was wondering:

a) What percentage of visitors/holiday makers are American and British please

b) What is the weather really like end of Jan/beginning of Feb

Many thanks in advance

Re: Visitors to Tobago by Nationality

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:18 pm
by Steve Wooler
Hello Steve

Welcome aboard! :)

a) Difficult one. The vast majority of visitors to Tobago actually come from the sister island, Trinidad. More than 75% of the accommodation enquiries sent through this site are from Trinis. However, from an overseas visitor perspective, you hardly really notice this because most overseas visitors would just assume the Trini visitors to be local Tobagonians. Traditionally, Brits have represented some 80-85% of overseas visitors to Tobago and there is still a very considerable number of Brits living on the island, or with holiday home villas their. The North American market has expanded dramatically in recent years and 10% of our enquiries are from that region, split pretty evenly between Americans and Canadians. The island is very popular with Germans and next to Brits, they represent the largest community of overseas residents. A Scandinavian tour operator started a service to Tobago last Winter and you will notice a lot of Scandis next winter. So, a very mixed bunch, to be honest, but with Brits in the majority.

b) An even more difficult one. :) World weather is so screwed up that anything is popular. However, let me tell you that we always go for February and March; not just because we like to get out of the horrible UK winter, but also because we find the weather in Tobago to be ideal then. The wet season is just finishing, so the island is still green and lush - although we have had years when it has been so hot and dry that bush fires have been a problem. We've had other years when it has been so wet that there has been road closures due to mud slides. Having said that, I have never yet been to Tobago and left complaining about the weather - just the opposite. When it rains, it buckets down. Twenty minutes later, you can't even tell it rained. And, the rain is warm.

Re: Visitors to Tobago by Nationality

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:53 pm
by SteveF
Thanks Steve - a very informative and quick reply.

One other question drinks prices in hotels/bars - i.e. beer/wine

We are thinking of staying in the Magdalena - all inclusive ?

Re: Visitors to Tobago by Nationality

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:59 pm
by Steve Wooler
Hi Steve

The Magdalena are very naughty in that they show VAT-exclusive prices in their bars and restaurants, so you end up paying some 21% more with the compulsory service charge. However, if you are going All-Inclusive - which is by far the best way to stay there - then you won't have to worry about the price of drinks because the package includes everything you are likely to want/drink.

Re: Visitors to Tobago by Nationality

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:08 pm
by Paul Tallet
The high (or dry) season starts about December and lasts until June.

You can get unlucky in the dry or wet season ... I had a wonderful holiday in June/July 2013 and found the sea and weather conditions to be calm and very little rain ... it is definitely much warmer at this time, both the air and sea temperatures.

But I went again for Christmas 2013 and stayed 3 weeks into the first couple of weeks of January ... again the weather was good but the sea was rough (so not good for snorkelling) ... a spectacular thunderstorm at dawn on Christmas Day.

I stayed in Castara on the Caribbean side ... the Magdalena (think that's the old Hilton?!?) is on the Atlantic side so it can be a bit more breezy there.

If you are All Inclusive, you must try to explore and don't get cocooned in your resort. Some resorts give you a lunchpack to take away if you go out for the day. Check out the Hire Car pages in this site and take yourselves out for the day, it's a real adventure if you are visiting for the first time ... free maps are available where you queue up to check in to Tobago in the airport.

You can buy a bottle of Carib from some supermarkets for as little as 80p or 90p, bars charge about £1.50 minimum ... depending where you are a rum punch could be as little as £3 and as much as £6 ... a wide variety of rums in the supermarkets at reasonable prices ... wine is a bit expensive and Port ( :mrgreen: ) is a robbery at about £16 a bottle.

For eating out the best value is in the Crown Point and Scarborough areas, look out for local cuisine and give it a try but I have to say, all of the major Hotels such as the Mag, Coco Reef and Turtle Beach do superb breakfasts.

I will be back there in January 2015 for a few weeks ... hopefully the prices will be the same.


Re: Visitors to Tobago by Nationality

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:38 am
by Nicole
Hey SteveF!

I have been to Tobago this January / February. We met people from Germany, UK, Sweden and USA. But there weren't many at all! And they didn't behave like they do elsewhere. So no loud drinking party people on Tobago, if you are afraid of that.

No one can say how the weather will be next January / February. But I can tell you how it was this year. In our 3 weeks stay we had rain almost everyday. The first week we had a lot of sun and we learned what is "liquid rain". That was really nice weather as you can enjoy the beach and it does not get too warm. The second week we spend on Trinidad and we had more rain, but only one day was very british ;-) It was raining so much, I doubted that this is "dry season". The third week back on Tobago it was raining everyday and the sun was shining every day.

I don't like rain and I didn't expect to be so much rain. But the rain didn't really bother me. It was not like rain back in Germany. It was warm rain and I didn't get wet. There is always a palm tree you can stand beneath and stay dry.

As there was always some wind it never got to warm.

But there were 2 things affected by the weather, I didn't like. 2 Sundays we didn't go to sunday school because there were lots of rain in that evenings. And the sea was never very calm, so snorkeling was only possible in some special places. And getting back on the diving boat was a little difficult and dangerous. But everyone survived.

Only one thing I can promise: It will be much warmer that the UK! =P~


Re: Visitors to Tobago by Nationality

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:34 pm
by Paul Tallet
Hi Nicole

It was a bit rainy at the start of this year and the sea was generally unsuitable for snorkelling.

But I would not advise you to stand under palm trees because... 'BONK' ... the coconuts are a little heavier than raindrops :mrgreen: :lol:


Re: Visitors to Tobago by Nationality

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:31 pm
by Nicole
Oh, Paul,

again my mistake I thought it would be clear to everyone you always have to look up, if there are any nuts on the tree! There are more people killed by coconuts than by sharks (all over the world, especially in Tobago where are no dangerous sharks, I believe).

And for all Tobago-Newbies: don't choose another tree because it could be a Manchineel tree ( which could be almost as dangerous!

Best wishes from rainy, cold Germany!

Re: Visitors to Tobago by Nationality

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:08 pm
by Ronald
Hi Nicole,

Well, many visitors doesn´t see the danger from the coconut-tree, but they fall from a quite high level too, many don´t understand the danger when a coconut fall down and hit them.
So never sit inunder the nuts, and never sit nearby eighter, the wind can take a nut and you can get a long stay at the hospital instead, if you are still alive of course.

Some years ago when I was on a beach with some friends, we did sit down quite far away from the tree, but a hard wind did take an almost dry nut and I was hit on my right shoulder, but I was lucky as I was hit on the muscle and not the bone!

Re: Visitors to Tobago by Nationality

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:30 pm
by Paul Tallet
Yes Ronald ... I am pretty sure that when a Coconut lands on your 'cpu' you won't understand anything for a while ... jolly good piece of advice :mrgreen: :shock: :lol:

Hey, I am back out there next January so it would be lovely to meet you again.


Re: Visitors to Tobago by Nationality

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:41 am
by Ronald
Hi Paul,

Well, if they are unlucky, they will be transported home into a coffin!

At this moment I don´t know when I will be back, I might even spend some time in England this winter!?
No warm sun there for sure, but as my lady will be working in England for some months and also doing some some study at the University of Liverpool,,,
But as I´m born and did grow up in the north of Sweden, cold weater isn´t unknown for me, but I for sure prefer the sun!