Security Concern Contacts

Your questions on medical and security issues
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Steve Wooler
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Security Concern Contacts

Post by Steve Wooler » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:37 pm

If anyone has any particular concerns with personal safety on Tobago they might like to contact the government department responsible for Tourist oriented crime. The contact person at the Ministry of Tourism is Mrs. Sandra Hendrickson-Harvey (Officer for Crimes Against Tourists) shendrickson@visittobago.gov.tt.

In fact I think I would like to ask every reader who has concerns - and especially the many readers who have contacted me over recent months - to write to Mrs Hendrickson-Harvey and express their concerns. If her department receive as many emails as I have done, then just perhaps she might be able to persuade the powers that be to treat this issue seriously.

Can I please ask readers not to contact me personally with questions about security. Pressure of work prevents me from answering direct approaches and I cannot say or advise anything that is not already here in the forum, or on the Personal Security page of our site. Clearly, however, I still do welcome reports and information about any aspect of holidaying on Tobago and readers can be assured that all such approaches will be treated in the strictest of confidence.
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Paul Tallet
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Re: Security Concern Contacts

Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:42 pm

That looks positive Steve.

I hope you are getting somewhere ... so congrats in advance and I hope this is a breakthrough.

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Paul Tallet
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Re: Security Concern Contacts

Post by Steve Wooler » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:12 pm

Hold your horses, Paul - I would hate to have given the wrong impression.

That lady didn’t ask me to publish that contact address. I’ve had it, in more ways than one, decided to publish it even knowing that they will not thank me for it. Merely mentioning my name to any government official is apparently enough to force their blood pressure above critical level. I strongly suspect that anyone writing to the address will not receive a reply. They don't want to know about people's concerns. It's not exactly that they don't care; it's more that they can't/don't know how to deal with the situation.
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Re: Security Concern Contacts

Post by Glyn Kirpalani » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:28 pm

Good idea though Steve, if this is her role, she must deal with it (or more likely in my experience, ignore the emails until her tiny 10mb government email inbox fills up and rejects all new mail, never to revive again). But I am an old cynic, and we must hope that one day something will be done.

My own best guess is that when the gas runs out and the central government money tap is turned off (est 10-15 years of gas remaining supposedly), the authorities will wake up and realise that tourism and agriculture is all that remains to feed the people and will begin to treat with it seriously.

Sadly, by then the reputation may have gone all Haiti-esque and be beyond salvation.

Meanwhile, I heard that Dillons restaurant closed, an institution! I hope they re-open somewhere else, I always found the service surly but food great there.

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Re: Security Concern Contacts

Post by Steve Wooler » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:39 pm

Hi Glynn

Sadly, I think you are right.

Confirmed re Dillons - the place is apparently to become a casino or at least Tobago's equivalent of a casino. Sad!!!!!
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Re: Security Concern Contacts

Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:58 pm

I don't know whether to laugh or cry ... but I suppose some of us can have a beer (carib/stag) over it ... or a rum punch. Others may take a more sober attitude. :mrgreen:

On we jolly well go ... grinning :D

After all, it's only a holiday destination ... why should Tobago be so special?

After the 7 weeks I am spending in Tobago this year I am looking at other places like Sulawesi, Belize, Peru, Galapagos for my chill pill ... places that I know won't present issues ... so should I give a damn?

Actually, yes I do, I love Tobago and if Tobago gives a damn I will bend over backwards to support it and encourage more people to go there as I have done so ... but otherwise, sorry Tobago ... you have lost the plot ... I want me to feel safe and I want the people that I send out there to feel safe too.

Any answers Tobago? I don't think much more can be said from the punters that want to benefit from the beauty of your Island.

Sort it out before your tourist trade fails completely.

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Re: Security Concern Contacts

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:06 am

Steve

Is it possible to get an influential person from Tobago to the table?

Has the cause been lost?

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Re: Security Concern Contacts

Post by Steve Wooler » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:42 am

The main government tourism department pay lip service to Tobago, but have a difficult politically position in that with Tobago wanting to self-govern, they basically have to leave it all to Tobago’s THA Department of Tourism. I met with a 'stakeholder' yesterday (don't you just hate this pretentious meaningless marketing-speak?) who said that the new THA head of tourism probably couldn’t even spell ‘tourism’, much less have either experience, ideas or ability related to the matter. All the THA Tourism Department ever do is travel first class to expensive overseas ‘road shows’, staying in super-luxury hotels and wining and dining their cohorts in expensive restaurants. Remember, this is a department who would not allow tourists to enter their head office if dressed in normal tourist clothing – anything less than a jacket and tie and a burly Neanderthal would turf you out with a few choice words.
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Re: Security Concern Contacts

Post by Glyn Kirpalani » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:29 am

That last reminder from Steve would have made a brilliant Monty Python sketch Steve. Almost as absurd as, say, a swimming pool insisting on black tie before entry.

You are correct about the woefully under-qualified new head of tourism. From being a professional athlete to this, with no commercial experience in between. Her local popularity and fame is all very well, but won't help her department. But she likes to talk at meetings and no doubt there will continue to be lots of meetings, to discuss future meetings and past meetings! They are good at meetings.

Plus I suppose she good teach tourists the best way to sprint out of trouble, if held up.

Paul - it is thanks to the loyalty of folks like you (plus heaps of Trini families who have a little money but not enough to fly them to the places they would prefer to go if they could choose, eg Florida, Barbados etc) that Tobago tourism has been limping along these past 5 years. Send for the Brazilians and Chindians would be my advice, then entertain them - but how to fly them in when the funds which could be spent on attracting and establishing Brazilian charter routes, is blown on the annual "same ole same ole" Berlin and London travel shows, year in and year out for over a decade - with no results. Those trips are like re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, where what is required is to purchase some new lifeboats. Grrrrrr!

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Re: Security Concern Contacts

Post by Chris Runciman » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:19 pm

Anyone with any doubts about the personal security of themselves or their family and friends whilst visiting Tobago should voice their concerns to the lady in question as suggested by Steve.
I did and I received a reply so she does check her mailbox!

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