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Constituents come first

Published: 
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Mitchell to make time despite new portfolio
Tourism Minister and San Fernando East MP Randall Mitchell has his blood pressure checked by Dr Danielle Leben during the third annual Health for All programme at the Pleasantville Community Centre, Pleasantville, yesterday. PICTURE KRISTIAN DE SILVA

Amidst accusations from constituents that he was not spending enough time in his constituency, newly-appointed Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell yesterday vowed to make a better effort to address the needs of constituents, despite his new portfolio.

Speaking to reporters at the San Fernando East Health Fair at the Pleasantville Community Complex, Mitchell acknowledged that his duties as a minister, member of parliament and for other stakeholders posed a challenge as occurs with most MPs. (See page A10)

“That is one challenge you face. We have to satisfy stakeholders, Parliamentary duties and constituency duties. The constituents come first at all times. I will make the effort to spend more time in the constituency and to ensure that constituents receive all services that they deserve,” Mitchell said.

He added, “When you are in Government, you have many different challenges. You have to ensure that your Ministry is run and serves all of T&T. The constituents will always want to see you more and more. I will always make myself available to them.”

Mitchell also said his first task as Tourism Minister would be to meet with all tourism stakeholders.

“I took notice they’re calling for a meeting and that is a priority. The new entity Tourism Trinidad Limited has been formed and the board is operational. The organisation has to be populated with top management and with other members of staff,” he said.

He noted that Government was embarking on a new strategic shift in the marketing of tourism and rather than marketing T&T as one entity, the destinations would now be marketed separately.

“In the past, T&T has been marketed as one destination and that has not worked in our favour. Tobago is a separate product—they market leisure, sun, sea and sand. Trinidad is more work/play. We have a good market for exhibitions, conferences, Carnival, parties, fetes, which represent the energy of our people. That is what we are focusing on.

“Trinidad Tourism Limited will oversee the marketing of Trinidad tourism. It’s a new strategic direction, branding Trinidad and Tobago as separate and distinct,” Mitchell said.

He noted that low energy prices of 2015 and 2016 made it imperative for T&T to diversify its economy with tourism as a priority.

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