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European lines lift Tobago's cruise outlook

Oswin Browne
Fort King George
Tobago's cruise passenger count is expected to more than double in the 2014/15 season, to 42,000 passengers up from 18,000, and much higher numbers are forecast in the coming years as more European operators chart the southern Caribbean island.

Growth this season is fueled by TUI Cruises, which has booked 10 calls starting in November.

Tourism Secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine met with executives of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association lines during the FCCA's recent Platinum event in St. Croix. This followed visits to European cruise operators by Tobago transportation coordinator Samuel Henry and Miami-based cruise development consultant Henry Yaniz.

Yaniz, who called 2014/15 a year of recovery, forecasts Tobago will grow to 65,000 passengers in the 2015/16 season, climbing to 100,000 in 2016/17.

Island officials plan to attend Seatrade Med in Barcelona, where Tobago is among the event's sponsors.