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Carnival 2016 Visitors Decline
Trinidad and Tobago experienced an estimated 8.1% decline in tourist arrivals during the 2016 Carnival period when compared with 2015. The Carnival period is defined as the 19-day period before Ash Wednesday.
This year, that 19-day period began from January 22 and ended on February 9. Carnival 2016 tourist arrivals stood at 35,483 for Trinidad and Tobago.
Tourist arrivals in 2015 amounted to 38,625. Average length of stay decreased from 14 days in 2015 to 13 days in 2016. There was also a decrease in average visitor expenditure from TT$9,869 in 2015 to TT$9,567.
Data Source: Central Statistical Office (CSO)
How Much Do Carnival Visitors Spend?
Carnival visitation increased 5.2 % in 2015 when compared to the preceding year. However, despite the increase in Carnival visitors in 2015, visitor expenditure has decreased. Carnival visitors (38,625) brought in TT$18,474,380 or just under US$3M in 2015. Visitor expenditure in 2014 was TT$25,655,069 – higher than 2015 with fewer Carnival arrivals (36, 722 visitors).
Average Carnival per visitor spend in 2015 was TT$9,869 while the average spend in 2014 was TT$10,382. The average length of stay in 2014 and 2015 was 14 days, up from 11 days in 2013 (See summary data at Table 1 and Figure 1). Overall, the destination was one of the top performers in the region registering a 6 % in annual tourist arrival in 2015 when compared to 2014.
At the time of publication, data for Carnival 2016 was not available. Carnival visitor expenditure represents only a small component of the overall economic value of Carnival to the Trinidad and Tobago. A comprehensive study is needed to appreciate the collective impact of various business sectors to the Carnival industry.
UK Recognises Rural Contribution of Craft to Creative Economy
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (UK) in acknowledging the work of the Craft Council in their report, Measuring the Craft Economy (2015), has noted that the rural sector is now contributing far in excess of the estimated £500 million per annum to the national creative economy. These contributions have been made through rural tourism, rural heritage, rural foods (culinary arts) and beverage outlets, and other countryside festivals, ultural and sporting activities. Notably, the economic benefit has been achieved serendipitously "without any of the strategic art and cultural investment or infrastructure provided by the previous Government for
urban communities, urban creatives and in support of urban regeneration".
Creative Currents Engaging Cultural Enthusiasts
Creative Currents Artist Collaborative (CCAC), formerly Taller Portobelo Norte, is an Atlanta-based non-profit organisation whose mission is to widen and deepen public engagement with the arts and cultures of Africa and the Black Diaspora through international tours, visual arts exhibitions, performances, classes and workshops.
CCAC connects artists, scholars and other art enthusiasts by engaging them in various cultural experiences throughout the world, thus creating sustainable communities within which the arts can be lived and celebrated.
Some of CCAC upcoming activities include:
December 2015 – The 3rd Annual Pop Up Marché: vendors worldwide can apply to sell their local artworks, and individuals get a curated holiday shopping experience.
February 2016 - Congo Carnival Music and Culture Retreat: individuals experience Carnival in Portobelo, Panama where history is celebrated and shared through ritual performances, and traditions and cultural practices through storytelling, costumed dancing, singing, and drumming.
May 2016 - Joie de Vivre Senegal Arts and Culture Tour: individuals enjoy the Dakar Art Biennial festivities and the culture of Gambia.
The Financial Times' fDI Intelligence Unit highlighted the region's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) performance in its "Caribbean and Central American Countries of the Future 2015/2016 Report". The biennial study identified Costa Rica as the regional leader in FDI projects, with Panama taking second place. Costa Rica's success to attract FDI is attributed to its stable political and economic structures; high-tech manufacturing; educated workforce; and the government's policy to make Costa Rica "The Silicon Valley of Latin America". Costa Rica also leads in the category of Business Friendliness. Jamaica's investment promotion organisation, Jampro got top honours for its FDI Strategy while Trinidad and Tobago ranked second. InvesTT was commended for its continuous staff development and its establishment of an office in Japan.
The United Nations Education Scientific and Culture Organisation is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
The 2005 Convention provides a framework to forge new pathways that encourage creativity and innovation in the pursuit of inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth and development.