New Sandals Resort ... Debate

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New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:30 am

http://www.tobagotoday.co.tt/news/sanda ... s-blessing

This project has been rumbling along for some time and I am surprised that it has not been covered in this forum by now.

But it is a huge project that I understand will create a large 1,000 roomed resort along Buccoo Bay.

The picture in the link above shows a photo of the Bon Accord Lagoon which is a little misleading because I understand that this area will not be removed to make way for the new resort, however it is very likely that there would be direct or indirect impacts on the Bon Accord Lagoon which is the breeding ground for most, if not all, of the marine life that we see in the open seas and coral reefs.

Brian (AliBaBa) from Castara makes a point of showing visitors the Bon Accord Lagoon on his boat trips and on my last trip he explained that even the Boats that enter the Lagoon can cause disruption to the Lagoon, it's wildlife and the breeding areas.

On the positive side, this project could create more work and be of some benefit to Tobago's tourist industry.

On the negative side, it could destroy the Lagoon and also impact Buccoo Reef that has already been significantly damaged in the past by unscrupulous boat operators allowing tourists to walk all over it.

If there were 1,000 rooms occupied by an average of 2 tourists at full capacity in the Buccoo area then this is also going to create more waste in terms of chemicals (shampoos, detergents etc) and sewerage from 2,000 more tourists. Where is this all going to go?

Perhaps there are people that know alot about this that can contribute to this or there may be some prospective/repeating Tourists that have a point to make of it.

Equally, there could be some Businesses in Tobago, particularly those that offer accommodation, that have an opinion.

I would be very interested to learn more.

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Ronald » Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:04 pm

If it Paul is Very Correct into what he mention here, it is NOT only the possibility to get a big well known resort to Tobago. If its going to be built in Tobago, why choose such an area as Bon Accord Lagoon with its big important for marine life and in the end also for Bucco Reef, and all reef tour boats operators? Is Bon Accord Lagoon really the only possible area for a new resort? I really don´t think so.

Now a days peoples in common do not accept that a Resort destroy local environments, home for wildlife and their breeding areas. It will creat a massive bad report for the Resort Cain and also for the Government in charge.
Now a day tourists do not like nature get destroid, there are of cours some who doesn´t care, but many if not mostly do care. And bad reports is bad for all, both for Sandals and of course for Tobago as a whole. Via Internet it WILL be spread all over in a short while.

Sandals is a well known chain of resorts, do they really want to have their name and reputation connected to be the destroyer an area with a wildlife population and an important reef that will never get back again?
They should look for a area in Tobago where their new resort will not affect existing wildlife and nature.

Papers say it will create a lot of work for locals, but often peoples later see that the resort hire foreign peoples as their major staff, simply because they can fin many, many of well trained staffs abroad in Asia, as an example. They can not find that amount of staff aviable in Tobago, they will have to create a school and train peoples long time before the Resort does open if the major numbers of staffs will e locals.
Sometimes I feel that governments simply ignore facts of different kinds of problems, they only see "a Big Resort, we get 1000 new jobs, we get money" and mostly of us understand, its not that simple at all.

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:53 pm

Hello Ronald ... I hope you are in Tobago this Christmas, we won't stop talking :lol:

It never occurred to me that there is a species of Human Being that uses Sandals Resorts because of it's brand.

It also never occurred to me that you could build a big resort somewhere else in Tobago ... but where?

I have heard rumours for years that Englishmans Bay could have a resort but can you imagine how people would get there?

I am having visions of Virgin or BA dropping off 400 tourists and trying to work out what infrastructure would be needed to get them to Englishman's Bay ... perhaps by boat but I don't think 400 sea-sick tourists would go down (or up :mrgreen: ) well.

I can't think where another resort would fit ... perhaps Turtle Beach but I guess Rex Resorts may have something to say about that.

I agree on the staffing because the proud Tobagonians generally don't do very well with customer service with posh tourists that would, of course, be a dealbreaker during job interviews.

It also seems strange when there are other resorts such as Arnos Vale (albeit a smaller resort) that are already established but closed and run down.

There is a fair amount of deadwood in Tobago that could do with some development that many tourists never see.

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Chris Runciman » Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:51 pm

Firstly I do not like the thought of a Sandals gated community!
However . It will be quite a while before there is any progress !
To start with there is the argument about who actually owns the property involved and the current environmental impact study is out of date and a new survey takes at least 2 years!
Unless the THA can guarantee the greater number of rooms then the airlines will not come and I am sure they would drop Tobago as a destination if they could ?
Sandals will come , it is when, not if !
The supply infrastructure involved will indeed boost the economy.
We are not talking about jobs at Sandals but think, where are the 2000+ eggs per day going to come from for example ?
Well before they open they will be encouraging ( and insisting ) that local businesses enlarge their operations!
They, Sandals, have the expertise to make the supply chain improve.
It will be a massive boost to the islands economy and the environmental impact significant .
That is what they do.

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Ronald » Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:02 pm

Hi Paul, no I´ll not be in Tobago for christmas.
I´m in Arima by a friends old family house and most likely I´ll stay here, keping ground clean and so forth. It´s a 6 minutes walk up to a safe local pub so I have beers to drink! And 10 minutes more I´m inside Arima centre with supermarkets, shops, lokal places to eat and so forth.
If I want to go to Port of Spain, ther´s a lot of big maxis going in, yes it take 1 hour but it cos only $7 per ride!

As both you and Chris know, this will not be desided so quickly, a Sandals might be coming "somewhere" but it will take the normal time to deside/develope, and that speed use to be looow!

But as you mention Arnos Vale, that place is closed dwon and really run-down, I was at the beach 2 years ago.
Once their garden was wondeful at the hotel was small and nice.
Maybe Sandals could buy it and creade a mini-Sandals there? There´s areas for big pools wich is needed. Even if it look very noíce by the sea, it´s not nice to walk out because of all coral. But Sandals would have that coral with it´s fishes on their do step!

On the Atlantic side, just as you leave Canaan, you have a road down to a lovely Canoe Beach. The area by the sea is nice and green, they have nice sand and the water is very shallow, you have to walk out at least 30-40m before you can swim.
I don´t remember the name of the "resort" there, but during years I´ve been reading many bad reports of that place, I don´t know if they still are in business.

If Sandals would buy it, they would:
- have a resort not so far from Crown Point and the Airport
- easy acess for taxis to-from the Airport
- the road down from the main road is very good since they buildt that power plant halvway down
- the beach area has green graas, and a lovely water, totally safe as there´s NO current
- as it´s shallow water, NO Big waves eighter
- they have big areas where they can build an Resort of their kind
- would be Very Much cheaper to build something there instead on a swampy land in Bucco
- they would not affect wildlife of any kind there

The only thing is, of course, the beach area is public as all over T&T, so they can not prevent peoples to be there.
But they can easily build a passage beside the Resort down to the beach without any problems

What do you guys thinbk about that?

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:17 am

Aha ... we seem to be having a debate.

Hello Chris ... are you going to be around this Christmas? I need someone to talk to if Ronald isn't going to be there!

So you reckon that Sandals is going to contribute to the infrastructure?

I guess all the Resorts do the same to some extent, but to an extent that probably involves the immediate surrounding area. One of the nicest things I have seen is the breakwater created by Coco Reef Resort to make their own calm private beach. Although it may seem a little unsightly from above, from below you can see that it is becoming a good home for marine life and it even has coral is growing on it.

But Coco Reef has been around for at least 25 years and I guess we should look at what it's site looked like before it was built and see if it has had a positive impact in terms of employment and the environment ... I have a sense in my water that SW may become quite informative here.

I will apologise in advance to anyone that is offended by my comments but I did an overnight stay at the Coco Reef Resort a few years ago to give my Carer a treat and it felt a bit like an Old Peoples Home. This is not to suggest it is poor in any way, I really enjoyed my stay and there were a few families with kids here and there, but as a minority.

Same when I first visited Tobago, I didn't know the place so used the safe route by staying in the Rex Turtle Resort for a week while I explored Tobago for future reference. Again, lovely place, great service, killer breakfasts but felt like a Rest Home for the Elderly and this became very apparent 3 times a day when everyone congregated outside the (closed) entrance to the Restaurant in the countdown to meal times which felt like a scene from a Zombie film I watched many years ago. Probably less then 5% of my fellow prisoners ventured out of the resort during the whole of their stay.

So this begs the question about how Sandals Resorts will interact with other businesses in Tobago such as just 1 or 2 Boat Operators monopolising Boat Trips, 1 or 2 Guides monopolising Rainforest Trips and so on.

I wonder ... perhaps Sunday School may benefit if it is still allowed to be there.


Ronald ... I went to Canoe Bay once, it was all grassed right up to the sea, very calm and boring ... and your right, that could work as a resort but I don't think it is exempt from wildlife ... you could take a brick to Tobago and put it anywhere, I guarantee it will have a living organism or 2 in it before 2 weeks have passed.

I think it would be good to renovate the Arnos Vale Resort and the old Sugar Mill too, probably worth investment. There is a safe way into the Arnos Vale Bay to the left as you approach the beach from the Hotel but most of the beach is unsuitable for young children ... I have seen many young Moray Eels there close to the beach and the coral is very sharp where you put a foot wrong.

Sorry you won't be around this Christmas.

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by essener » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:32 am

Not only Buccoo Reef, Nylon Pool & No Man's Land are in danger, no, Tobago risks his future!
Nowhere else in the world I have experienced so far that large resorts have created a lasting positive for the nature or the locals.
Only the corporations make profit. The population gets at most some minijobs.
Once destroyed nature remains destroyed forever.
The tourists are usually locked in the all-inclusive facilities.
Taxes are usually not paid in the country itself at all.
If I hear now that they even think about such a wonderful place as Englishmen Bay, I get scared.
I completely agree with Alibaba's Brian and I am absolutely against the plans of Sandals.

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Ronald » Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:11 pm

Yes Paul, most likely I´ll be by myself in Arima during christmas, it would be nice to have somebody to talk to. But flights use to be fully bocked and I doesn´t have a place in Tobago. And keeping an eye on a friends old family house here in Arima,

Of course there are wild life all over Tobago, but of different types depending on the area.
My point was, a Resort at Canoe Bay would not kill Bucco Lagoon and the Reef, around Canoe Bays there´s no such things nearby the land.
The sea is also so shallow so one hardly see smaller fishes there, there are some birds of different types, but they have been there all the time.

But a Sandal Resort doesn´t kill Tobago, the present bad economy does kill in both Trinidad & Tobago, and I believe we haven´t seen the worst yet. The unenployment is high all over T&T, and I believe it will get worst before it start getting better.
Tobago needs more jobs for its peoples, and when calculating about pollution on land/sea/air thet have to consider a choice where the nature get LESS problems.

Essener say "Once destroyed nature remains destroyed forever", it´s true and that why I found Canoe Bay a better choise compared with Bucco Bay and its reef. In Bucco it will be destoied, not in Canoe Bay.
And the number of citizens get, as everywhere, higher every year, they need job where they can make their living.

But of course, it doesn´t matter if we here say "No isch" we are not the government, we have no say to this.
But MONEY has a say, and if a Sandal Resort will be built than more flights will arrive. More visitors means more money comes in, even if they stay at a Resort. More food and all other things is needed, taxis will get new customers and so on.
Hopefully Sandals Resorts doesn´t choose Bucco, instead they will choose an other area.

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by GervaisAlkins » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:14 pm

Hey,
the estate that Sandals is 'proposed' to be built on is basically owned by L Duprey (Angostura/CLICO). According to a news report he said he wasn't selling it so this is all confusing.
The Buccoo Estate is an awesome piece of property but with Bon Accord Lagoon being the largest fishing hatchery on the island and the Buccoo Reef supposedly being a 'protected marine park' whoever builds there has a lot on their plate, but T&T isn't well known for its stringent environmental laws or its enforcement.
Another problem with the Buccoo Estate is the beach. For the past decades the beach has been receding. Go there on a low or high tide nearer to the leeward side of No Man's Land (Shearbird's Point) and one can see the many trees that have fallen over due to the rising ocean tides. When I was younger the beach was much bigger. According to Tobago's Three Chains Act the public owns the land 12 ( or it could be 18) feet above the high tide mark. Also an even less known law in T&T is that structures aren't allowed to be build where there is mangrove trees. T&T has 4 types. On No Man's Land there is the Buttonwood Mangrove tree. But again, it's T&T this doesn't really matter.
As for Paul's question about Coco Reef. My father worked there when I was a child and it was called Crown Reef Hotel. The beach was not there. There was a reef in it's place. I vaguely remember it but the funny thing is my family stayed at Coco Reef last year and I must admit the amount of fish around the rock groynes was impressive. The Crown Reef was accessed through Store Bay Road. A road ran through it! My memories of 'old-ish' Tobago was awesome. I wish I could see those days again one more time.
As someone who grew up in Tobago I don't think the Sandals is a good idea now. Hilton failed and they (and the THA) said their brand would be good for Tobago. Yes, Hilton had a lot going against it mainly an awful beach in my opinion but the brand of Tobago wasn't ready for 'Hilton' type tourists nor is it still. If Sandals did build and they were successful I think the guests wouldn't leave and surrounding the ecosystem would be even further polluted.
I understand many local hoteliers and tourism stakeholders welcome this venture and I wish them and the environment the best.
That said Paul I'll be in Tobago for 3 weeks for Xmas. I'll be doing a few group hikes around the island and y'all are welcomed to come along.

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Paul Tallet » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:57 pm

Hello Gervais.

Very interesting. I wonder if there are any 'before and after' photos of these historical developments.

I never noticed the higher water levels at No Man's Land but it was quite obvious at Pigeon Point where there used to be an Ice Cream shack that has been replaced by the sea and boulders laid down to try and stem the advancing waters. You can now sit at the bar without the ice cream shack obstructing your view of the sea.

Are you saying that there was a reef at the Coco Resort? I have read that the resort took some damage from a passing Hurricane 20 or so years ago and the private beach was created with the breakwater to reduce the risk of this happening again ... or perhaps the reef was destroyed by the storm?

I am in Tobago from the 16th December until 16th January so please feel free to look me up in Castara if you need a break on your walks ... I am not a great walker but I am a great swimmer and I expend most of my energy face down in the sea, so would decline your kind offer, but if you are up for a Spanish Inquisition about Tobago I will happily re-hydrate you with non-alcoholic beverages.

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by GervaisAlkins » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:14 pm

Paul, as far as can remember there was a reef but hey that was 30 years ago. I don't know if Crown Reef had damage from a hurricane but I that's hard to believe since there was no access to the sea from the hotel and the hotel was quite above the sea. Maybe if you look on youtube you can see footage of the breakwater being damaged after they built Coco Reef. A fun fact my dad told me when they built Coco Reef is that all the sand used to make that beach is from Guyana. As for pics that's interesting. I'll ask my folks.
I'll definitely visit Castara at some point and hopefully for the drumming night if it still happens. I really like that beach bar. I'll message you when we're wondering up that way since I can't say no to anyone who wants to 'talk Tobago'. :)

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Chris Runciman » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:29 pm

Gervais I can assure you that the Wednesday drumming night goes on ! Why did you think it would not?
Sharon did close for a couple of weeks in early September while she visited her family in Newmarket. However last night after her and Brenton and crew removed a ton of sand from the bar, which had been deposited by the high tides we have been experiencing during the super moon !
The weekly festivities went on as usual! The ladies won the limbo........!

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Paul Makin » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:32 pm

i too recall the old store bay with the reef hotel. i was just vacationing in those days, not diving, so can't recall if there was a reef or not but there's kariwak to the s/w and bopaz running along to swallows so there well could well have been. from the underwater topography and conditions i'd suspect that any system at that side of the bay would have been largely soft coral growing on the limestone bedrock ?

is it just me though or did store bay beach used to be much wider before the breakwater went in ? i may be idealising the memory but i'm convinced that it was possible to walk, albeit with difficulty in places, at the foot of the "cliffs" along the water's edge from tropikist/sandy point through to store bay

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Carol G » Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:22 pm

Hi All,
Thanks Paul for starting the discussion...I was surprised there had not been any comments recently...though as Ronald pointed out tourists are really not included in the gov't thoughts on the plan. My understanding is that L Duprey is being offer a deal by the govt to give up the land for concessions on the CILCO fiasco. ...my knowledge about CLICO is rather vague.
Gervais & Paul, you did bring back some old memories...when we starting going to Tobago in the early 90's I remember the Crown Reef Hotel, seems to me it had already had been gated off, awaiting someone to buy it (the go'vt owned it??). We use to rent tanks from the dive shop still operating at the far end of the hotel near the cliff edge. And I still do somewhat remember the old road and doing a night dive at Teacher's reef (still there at Store Bay) putting our gear on sitting on the stone steps leading down to the beach. I don't think anyone did any diving off the cliff ..great to hear there is new reef forming with fish around their beach. But does make you wonder if Sandal's plans, including building their own beach which could/would restrict public access. Lot's of concerns...not only the environment, but where is all the food coming from to feed those guests....We are know the rule, buy if you see and that chickens do not lay on holidays!
Cheers, Carol

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Steve Wooler » Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:03 pm

Pressure of work has prevented me from contributing to this debate. However, I receive an email notification of every post, so have been following the debate with interest.

In truth, there have been rumblings about these big hotel developments for 15-20 years. The Sandals development is just one more. I believe it is a long way off being a “done deal”. I endorse all the concerns expressed by other contributors. If Tobago cared a jot about ecology, the plans would not have got this far. However, the administration in Tobago – and T&T generally – pay nothing but lip service to ecological matters. Where there’s money to be made, ecology takes a back seat.

So, on initial consideration, I am TOTALLY against the proposed Sandals development. However, as always, things are never that simple. The truth is that tourism in Tobago is on the rocks and can only head one way; and not the way any of us want. The island is desperate for airlift and a thousand-bed Sandals development could be a huge boost to the local tourism industry, even accepting that the benefits would not be the same as a 1,000 rental property beds with the same occupancy levels.

The type and size of the proposed Sandals development goes against everything that attracted many of us to Tobago. But, needs must. Without it, the only foreigners visiting Tobago will be a few diehard repeaters like most of the people reading this forum – and, of course, the Trinidadian holidaymakers who are keeping the island’s tourism industry afloat.

With regard to moving the development to a less ecologically-sensitive location, my response is simple: where? The Atlantic coast is not an option. Canoe Bay may be sheltered, but the sea there is too shallow and all too often covered in sea grass and seaweed. That location is also far too small for the proposed Sandals development. Arnos Vale is the most beautiful location on the island, but again, far too small for anything much larger than 100 beds. There is nowhere that I can think of as suitable for a 1000-bed complex.

The discussion about the Coco Reef is fascinating. The marine life now living on, and around, the hotel’s seawall/groin is quite wonderful. If the marine life on the seawall continues to develop at the rate it has done for the last 15 years, it will only be a few years before the Coco Reef can justifiably claim to offer guests the safest quality snorkelling opportunities of any hotel or visitor accommodation on the island.

The old Crown Reef Hotel had virtually no beach. What they had almost disappeared at high tide. I don’t believe there was any reef, at least not in the full formal sense. However, the rocky foreshore around the ‘bay’ in front of the hotel did mean that snorkelling was a possibility. Have a look at the final page of our Tobago > History of Tobago section. At the very bottom of the page is a photo of the old Crown Reef hotel. The enlargement of that photo can be seen at http://www.mytobago.info/history05.php. The headland with a tree at the top right of the picture separates the Crown Coco Reef bay from Store Bay. The Crown Reef was sold in 1990 and then eventually renamed the Coco Reef Hotel after extensive modernisation.

In November 1999 one of the strongest hurricanes on record, Hurricane Lenny, devastated much of the Caribbean. Tobago was not in the direct path of the hurricane, but tidal waves resulting from it did hit the island. The Coco Reef Hotel’s sea frontage and scrappy beach were effectively wiped out.

The owner of the Coco Reef came up with a bold plan to prevent this happening again and to provide the hotel with a proper beach. They created a new beach area, using imported sand, and built a substantial seawall/groin about 60-70m out from the old shoreline. There were many questions about the legality of all of this. It also means that the beach is genuinely a private beach. Other beaches, like Canoe Bay, claim to be private but are not really. Local laws states that all beaches are public, but that you can’t cross private land to access them. You are therefore perfectly entitled to access beaches like Canoe Bay beach from the sea. This doesn’t apply in the case of the Coco Reef beach – that is totally private having been constructed on property owned by the hotel.

Yes, as you correctly say, Gervais, the beach was created using sand from Guyana. As a matter of interest, and based upon my own childhood in Guyana, the white sand almost certainly originated from way up the Demerara River, close to the main airport. So, it was river sand, not sea sand.

There is a tragic twist to the story of that sand. The first boatload arrived in Scarborough port for customs clearance then made its way around the Crown Point headland and berthed overnight somewhere off the hotel, expecting to bring the sand ashore next morning. Come the next morning, the boat had disappeared, never to be seen again. It is believed that the load shifted and the boat capsized. I believe five lives were lost. The channel between Trinidad and Tobago is deep and fast flowing.

Over the years, the hotel received much criticism due to the man-made beach. In fact, other than at the rear of the beach, which is way above the high tide line, you will now be hard pressed to find much of the original Guyanese river sand. With every tide, the sea brings in and deposits fresh sea sand via the two entrances into the lagoon.

As a side issue, that seawall directly led to the creation of myTobago.info. I stayed at the hotel while the groin was being built. I won’t embarrass the hotel with the full details, but basically I was incensed by the fact that guests were arriving not knowing that major construction work was going on. Tour operators were either not receiving, or not giving out, information about the storm damage and/or construction work. So, when I returned to the UK in February 2000, I created a website and forum offering up-to-date information about the state of play at the Coco Reef. So, the pre-cursor to the current myTobago.info was a simple site offering a review of just one hotel, with a small amount of background information about Tobago. Funny old world!
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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Robert T » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:25 pm

I find this whole Sandals idea absolutely ridiculous. Do they really think they'll be able to fill all those rooms? Even Magdalena resort seems to be empty during the high season. As for the marine life we all know what the consequences would be...needless to say just like Canoe Bay, as Steve mentions, that stretch of beach leading up to No Man's Land is , more often than not, covered by seaweed , turtle grass etc making it not suitable for swimming...and due to the currents at high tide the sea tends to be pretty rough....

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:58 pm

I have just remembered that I read all about this in a book from a series of 'The Rough Guide (to Tobago)'. I think it may have been revised a few times since I read it but the author was a Guest at the Coco Reef just after the breakwater was built to create the private beach.

Paul Makin's point about walking between Sandy Point and Store Bay is quite believable. I snorkeled along there once many years ago and it is quite shallow with quite a strong current making it a challenge to swim back to Store Bay. There is sparse coral which I am sure has seen better days but I was treated to the sight of a Turtle there.

These posts are quite fascinating and I am always interested in the recent history of Tobago. I first saw Tobago in the flesh back in 1982 when I was in the Navy. Our ship rounded the east of the Island and I saw Charlottesville, noting all the houses (or shacks) embedded in the steep hillsides ... I never forgot that scene ... it attracted me ... shame we didn't drop the anchor.

But I listen to people's accounts going back, say 30 years or more, and you get to have a real understanding of how Tobago has developed, such as the bridges through the rainforest marked with the date they were built and villages virtually isolated with unmade roads linking them. Few cars.

But I don't think Tobago could be developed much more, which brings me back to this topic. The main roads now have queues on them, building or widening most roads would be highly expensive in view of the terrain, landslides have the potential to take a main route out for months ... I don't think Tobago can be tamed and I believe that a project as ambitious as the mooted Sandals Resort would both fail and create terrible long term or infinite damage.

And there has to be a big question mark over the Democracy of the THA and their shady dealings with overseas interests.

Small resorts such as Arnos Vale have failed and resorts such as this are probably not very profitable, hence their demise, but building a 'super-resort' would also fail regardless of the brand. From a business perspective I would go for restoring Arnos Vale with a realistic profit margin of say 5% or 10% than putting any investment into a major resort that could sink because of the brand's failure in other parts of the World ... has the THA thought of that?

Tobago is probably over-developed already.

People that go abroad to sit in the sun in a resort generally won't return because they will often go to another resort to sit in the sun ... I find it rather amusing to think that they could probably find some place alot cheaper and closer to home ... I mean, do they really think that the sun in Tobago is any different to the one that shines over Barbados?

I remember during my only visit to Tobago in June/July (low season) that there were hardly any tourists there and the Grand Courland Resort looked completely empty.

A minority (possibly an increasing minority) of the visitors are 'repeaters' that generally stay in Guesthouses, Villas etc and they come to explore and interact with Tobago.

I reckon that there are millions of naturalists, bird watchers, cyclists, fishing enthusiasts, sailors, surfers, windsurfers, divers and historians around the world that don't know anything about Tobago and what it can offer ... that's where the money is.

Regards
Paul Tallet
Public Relations Consultant for Mother Nature

Jannie
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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Jannie » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:52 am

Report in the Finance T&T (today?) states that a new international terminal at ANRR Crown Point airport could be under construction from next year:

"The other major impact is an expansion at the airport. Imbert announced that, in preparation for the jump in tourists coming to the new resort, construction will begin next year on a new international terminal at Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson International Airport in Crown Point, Tobago."

http://financetnt.com/sandals-new-resor ... ic-impact/

I think the current airport/terminal would need something extra to what's already there if higher numbers of tourists are expected.

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Hugh S » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:50 pm

Hello all,

I have stated my opposition to the Sandals project in other threads, mostly on environmental concerns, but also believe that the concept will fail for all of the reasons mentioned above.

How can Sandals expect to fill rooms when Mt. Irvine Hotel, Grand Courland and Grafton sit practically empty all year? As much as I am against the idea it seems that this area might be where Sandals should look. Maybe they could purchase Grafton and GC and convert them?

Just in case you get the wrong idea - I am vehemently opposed to a Sandals on Buccoo Reef and anywhere in Tobago at all. It's like Trump's tax and medical plans: only the rich will benefit.

Hugh 8)

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Re: New Sandals Resort ... Debate

Post by Ronald » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:27 am

I believe Paul & Hugh are very right in what they say. Ans there two big hotels with hardy no guests, who are the owners! Normally business men close down when they have no got any profit for years.
If one of these almost empty hotels would be converted to a Sandal Resort, than Tobago's beaches and land would not be cut off from peoples.
They can not cut of access to the natural beaches but they can make problems which means other visitors and citizens get problem to walk where they by law have right to walk.

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