Black Meetings and Tourism

November / December 2016

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TRINIDAD & TOBAGO A MEETING LOCATION WITH DIVERSE PEOPLE AND A CUSTOMIZED SETTING FOR YOUR PERSONALIZED EVENT BY REGGIE MURPHY Trinidad and Tobago comprises a unique mix of races and cultures that can be traced back to Africa, India, Europe, the Middle East and China. The influ- ences of the Native American Indians are also prominent features of local culture. The islands' diversity is reflected in the different religions that also exist. Mosques, churches and Hindu temples stand peacefully side-by-side in Trinidad and Tobago. The largest religious groups are Christians, Hindus and Muslims. The people of Trinidad and Tobago, regardless of their origins, have one thing in common: hospitality from the heart and openness towards visitors. Hanging out or "liming" is a favorite pastime and visi- tors are always welcome to join a lime any time of the day or week! Because the people of the island have such a warm welcoming demeanor the islands serve as the perfect location for large group events, weddings, family reunions and much more. Trinidad boasts of having the largest conference facilities in the Southern Caribbean. There also exists a range of unique meeting venues, which are perfect for social events. Why not host your reception overlooking the Caribbean Sea, nestled among lush green mountains, or in an authentic Steel Pan Yard, home to Trinidad & Tobago's national instrument and the only acoustic instrument invented in the 20th century! The islands have a wide array of accommodation options ranging from internationally branded hotels to quaint boutique properties, villas, and bed and breakfast establishments, most of which are in close proximity to the island's capi- tal cities and provide quick access to con- ference venues. The city of Port of Spain also offers a myriad of activities in close proximity to most hotels in the Capital including dining, nightlife, architecture, and shopping. The undisputed "Culture Capital" of the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago is home to a world of festivals representing the diverse people who settled in these islands. Trinidad and Tobago is also home to indigenous musical forms like soca and calypso, and the steel pan – musical instruments made from discarded steel drums, historic architecture, cultural and culinary artistry. There are celebrations and festivals all year round. All religions celebrate public holidays together - whether it is Divali-the Hindu festival of lights or Christmas. The cultural highlight is without a doubt Carnival, one of the largest Carnival cele- brations in the world. During Carnival, mesmerizing costumes and vibrant street partying take center stage. The Tobago Heritage Festival is the best opportunity to delve deep into the history of the orig- inal African inhabitants. Tobago's beaches with their fine sand and clear, warm waters in shades ranging from aqua to turquoise are what Caribbean dreams are made of. The island is home to many postcard-ready beaches – just you, your loved ones, the sand, sun, sea and maybe one or two locals or other holiday makers. Business travellers and tourists must produce passports valid for three months longer than the intended stay and a return ticket, for entry into Trinidad and Tobago. For tourism and business related visits of up to 90 days, visas are not required for citizens of the United States. There is a regular air service, or air bridge, between Trinidad and Tobago, with the first of roughly 20 daily flights leaving Piarco International Airport at 6am. This service is run by Caribbean Airlines, Trinidad and Tobago's national air service provider. B M & T ••• November/December 2016 ••• 57 AREA GUIDES T R I N I D A D & T O B A G O • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS Hyatt Regency Trinidad 428 Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre 418 The Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre 68 Courtyard Port of Spain 116 Kapok Hotel 94 EXHIBITION FACILITIES Hyatt Regency Trinda d Total Exhibit Space 220,000 sq. ft. Meeting Rooms 13 WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Go Trinidad and Tobago (868) 675-7034 Greater Birmingham Black Chamber of Commerce – (205) 578-2522 Trinidad city skyline Photo Credit: bruno135

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