The Tobago Business Chamber says it is saddened by the decision of Sandals Resorts International to pull out of Tobago.
The Chamber says the potential loss of associated projects would be catastrophic for the economy of Tobago.
The Tobago Chamber issued the following statement today:
"It is with great sadness and regret, that the Tobago Business Chamber notes the announcement of the withdrawal of the Sandals group from its proposed investment in the development of two major Brand Name Hotels in Tobago.
As a Business Chamber, we are always focused on facilitating and encouraging business and investment and development and we remain convinced that such business, development and investment can be done while still preserving and maintaining and nurturing the natural environment and the eco-systems of the island in keeping with the maintenance of its Natural Beauty and Pristine status as a Paradise which can manage both the competing forces of development and infrastructural improvement along with preservation of the heritage and environment for future generations.
It is the hope of the Tobago Business Chamber, that all sides will be able to return to the table to resume negotiations and to find workable solutions to meet the aims and objectives of the two competing ideals.
It is also the hope of the Tobago Business Chamber that one way or another, Tobago recognizes the absolute and urgent need for Brand name Hotels to help boost and promote its Tourism thrust. The International significance of a major Brand brings with it, a certain pull in terms of increased destination branding and destination awareness, greater airlift, greater interest by other airlines and greater improvements in standards and quality of service delivery and greater economic benefits all round. When the tide rises, it lifts ALL boats with it, both the big and the small ones.
The Tobago Business Chamber is convinced that with the Billions of Dollars of investment, in construction, job creation, training, and service delivery attendant upon such projects, it is possible for the population of Tobago as a whole to benefit and develop and derive spin-offs from such developments.
The possible loss of the associated projects such as the Airport expansion, the Marina, golf course and other infrastructural developmental works, will also spell tremendous and significant economic and foreign investment losses to Tobago and Tobagonians.
It therefore remains the unending hope and desire of the Tobago Business Chamber that there can still be some way of salvaging this deal and investment and infrastructural development which Tobago desperately needs."