News day / THE EDITOR: The very well known concessionaire at Las Cuevas Beach was verbally given one month to pack up and leave by the new Ministry of Tourism, headed by Minister Shamfa Cudjoe. No reason was given.
Are these people really serious? Do they understand what true tourism means? Do they have any idea how this family has contributed to tourism over the past 37 years?
While it is important to acknowledge the right of any landlord, the circumstances here are extremely curious.
Anyone who has interacted with the concessionaire will tell you about the warmth that exudes from the matriarch and her family. That is a feeling unlike any other.
Locals and foreigners alike look forward to their home-cooked meals on visits to Las Cuevas.
Now it seems that locally grown and home-cooked food is about to be replaced by foreign fast food, controlled by the elite in Trinidad. What a way to go for the Government. Instead of looking to drive out people who have made a major contribution to tourism, maybe the Ministry of Tourism should focus on the destruction being done to Las Cuevas Beach and its surroundings by one individual. No one, except an environmentally-oriented activist, has said anything. Is everyone else afraid of him?
In 2014, Las Cuevas Beach was awarded blue flag status. This made Trinidad one of only three countries in the Caribbean to achieve this. The flag was first raised in January 2015.
Unfortunately, as is symptomatic of so many things in TT, the status was not retained in the following years, as it is only granted for one season at a time.
Maybe this sent a clear message that the beach and its surrounding areas could be destroyed.
I wonder if the Tourism Minister is even aware that we once had a blue flag beach in Trinidad?
Adam Stewart, the son of Sandals owner Butch Stewart, recently told the Government about the importance of the free access to and preservation of beaches.
Maybe the Dutch disease caused by the proliferation of oil and gas that we once had truly blinded us to the importance of other industries.
LINUS F DIDIER
What is reallyhappening in Las Cuevas?
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