Desperate to return but...

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Barry C
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Desperate to return but...

Post by Barry C »

Afternoon all,

I haven't been to Tobago since 2007 but am contemplating a return this year. From everything I have read, on here and elsewhere, it seems that there has been a significant deterioration in law and order since our last trip.

My wife and I are keen photographers, particularly birds and wildlife, but it appears that carrying expensive camera equipment around would be a fairly stupid thing to do. It also seems that other activities we enjoyed, fishing at Back Bay, snorkelling at Arnos Vale, relaxing at Englishman's Bay, trekking the Gilpin Trail and just generally wandering unescorted around the island are now off the agenda due to concerns around safety.
Am I reading too much into scare stories or would these activities put us at risk? If so then I can't see much point in returning - particularly as the accomodation we are considering at is at the Grafton Beach which seems to have been the location of a couple of recent incidents.

For context we have, in the intervening years we have visited many other locations, including Panama, without incident or concern but we long to return to Tobago.

I would really appreciate the honest views of contributors to this forum, which I have used extensively in the past, on whether Tobago is still suitable to the for the type of activities we enjoy.

Thanks in advance
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Steve Wooler
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Re: Desperate to return but...

Post by Steve Wooler »

Hello Barry

Welcome aboard! :)

Yes, it is true that Tobago has changed a huge amount since your last visit in 2007. However, those changes are most noticeable in the more urbanised Crown Point to Scarborough belt and less so once you move out of this area and into the 'real' Tobago. Yes, it is also true that there has been a rise in violent crime in Tobago in recent years. However, it has to be said that pretty much all these incidents of violent crime have been local-on-local drug and gang related incidents in the south-west of the island. That doesn't excuse it, of course, but the point is that the incidence of crime against tourists has actually decreased rather than increased in recent years. If you check back through this forum, you will notice that the most serious incidents involving non-locals peaked between 2006-2010.

So, how do I advise. I visit Tobago every year for around 6 weeks. We shall be over in just a few weeks time. During those visits I wander about all over the place, often/generally with an expensive camera around my neck. I agree that flashing fancy equipment isn't advisable (anywhere), but all that I can say is that I still feel safer walking around the streets of Tobago than I do walking around in London.

If and when you try to visit this website and find it no longer online, you will know that the situation has deteriorated to such an extent that I no longer feel able to wander around Tobago and therefore no longer feel able to support it via this site. :(
Steve Wooler
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Barry C
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Re: Desperate to return but...

Post by Barry C »

Afternoon Steve,

Many thanks for your reassuring reply.

I guess Tobago is now no different to anywhere else in the world. It's just that it was so safe and unspoilt during our previous visits that we are, perhaps unjustly, disappointed in the current situation.

I think we'll go back though, it is still a beautiful island and the majority of people will no doubt be just as welcoming and friendly as before.

Thanks again

Barry
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Paul Tallet
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Re: Desperate to return but...

Post by Paul Tallet »

Hello Barry

General crime has increased but, as Steve says, crimes against tourists has decreased.

I have also sensed a more widespread acceptance of tourists and Tobago seems to be recognising their value (outside of the resorts) and this is becoming increasingly apparent in the more positive and sensible sound-bites coming out of the THA.

The number of tourists has notably increased this year and from a more diversified range of countries.

It's looking good.

Regards
Paul Tallet
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Kurt.Halfyard
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Re: Desperate to return but...

Post by Kurt.Halfyard »

We are heading back to Tobago for the 7th Visit. This time for 4 weeks in December. We've never had security or crime issues, and we've been going regularly since 2009. And I used to take my young children for regular quite-late night visits to the Ciao Cafe (RIP) in Scarborough. Never felt nervous or in any danger.

(Also, it is great news that Tobago has finally turned the page on low occupancy rates. Lots of Canadians visiting the Island, I hope in no small part because I am a 1-person Tobago Tourist Board!)
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