Tobago Tourism Sector Relief Grants
Tourism is a major contributor to Tobago’s economy and contributes close to 14% of the island’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs roughly 16,000 persons.
However, with the impact of the pandemic approximately 6,000 persons have been directly affected, either through loss of employment or by reduced income. Urgent intervention, through political and financial commitments are therefore key to ensuring that tourism can be helped onto a pathway to wider economic and social recovery.
Grant facilities have been made available to stakeholders within the tourism sector.
Tourism Accommodation Relief Grant
The purpose of this grant is to provide financial support to owners/operators for the upgrade of the tourism accommodation facility to assist in them in recovering from the Coronavirus pandemic.
Owners/operators of different types of tourism accommodation facilities including bed and breakfasts, self-catering facilities, apartments, villas, guesthouses and hotels may apply to access this grant.
- Trinidad and Tobago Tourism Industry Certification (TTTIC) registration is a requirement to access grant funding.
- Completed TTTIC forms are to be submitted together with your completed application on your appointment date, and not submitted separately.
- When submitting TTTIC application forms, ensure that the appropriate fees are paid with VAT.
- TTTIC application forms can be downloaded below.
Application appointments for this grant must be made by contacting TTAL via email at [email protected] or via phone at (868)612-8825 ext. 2001.
This document indicates the procedure to action the Tourism Accommodation Relief Grant proposed to support the upgrade of tourism accommodation in Tobago.
The flowchart describes the process from Application Submission to the Post Upgrade Report.
Applicants must complete relevant sections of this application form and submit with the requested documents.
Ancillary Services Grant
The Ancillary Services sector includes Food and Beverage, Facilities and Attractions, Adventure and Recreation and Weddings and Event Planners. This service sector is a critical component of the tourism product in Tobago and has therefore been identified as one of the main areas in need of urgent upgrading and modernizing in order to meet international standards and the demands of today’s more discerning visitors.
Given the importance of the tourism industry to the Tobago economy, Government has recognized the need to utilize this period of downtime during the COVID-19 pandemic to encourage tourism businesses to remain a viable option post Covid-19. A grant has been made available through the Division of Community Development, Enterprise Development and Labour's Business Development Unit (BDU) for tourism ancillary services.
This document indicates the procedure to action the Ancillary Services and Niche Grant proposed to support the upgrade of the tourism sector in Tobago.
The flowchart describes the process from Application Submission to the Post Disbursement Audit
Ministry of Finance COVID-19 Social Assistance Guidelines and Applications
To mitigate the financial challenges experienced by persons who were retrenched, terminated or experienced reduced income as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development (MOLSED), have put various measures in place to support affected persons who are citizens or permanent residents of Trinidad and Tobago.
How long is the Tourism Accommodation Relief Grant (TARG) available?
According to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, this grant will be available for a period of 6 months, with the option to extend if needed.
How much money is involved?
TARG ranges from a maximum cap of $100,000 to $600,000 and will be determined based on the size of the property. The Ancillary Services Grant ranges from a maximum cap of $10,000 to $50,000 and will be determined on a case by case basis.
Can I get the full amount of money for my accommodation category in TARG?
It depends on your scope of work submitted, the reports of the external auditor, and the recommendation made by the Evaluation Committee. Requests for funds are determined on a case by case basis.
What is the criteria for accessing these grants?
To access TARG, you must be a citizen of Trinidad or Tobago (or resident in Tobago for 5 years), and have been operating a tourism accommodation in Tobago for at least a year, with all required documentation. The full list of criteria can be found on page 5 of the Tourism Accommodation Relief Grant Guidelines.
To access the Ancillary Services Grant, you must be a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago operating as a tourism business for more than two (2) years. The full list of criteria can be found on page 2 of the Tourism Ancillary Services & Niche Grant Guidelines.
What are the areas of work that I can access funding for?
TARG funding can be utilised for the upgrade of the physical plant/infrastructure of tourism accommodation facilities. Eligible upgrade works would include the refurbishment of property, plant, furniture and fixtures. The full list of eligible upgrade works can be found on page 6 of the Tourism Accommodation Relief Grant Guidelines.
The grant for Ancillary Services can be utilized to cover the following areas:
- Inventory support- defined as factor inputs towards end products
- Storage cost
- Environmentally sustainable equipment
- Digitalization of business
Can I use the accommodation grant to redecorate my property?
TARG is a grant facility for the upgrade of the property, meant to improve and add value to the accommodation plant. As a result, the following items will not be considered eligible for this grant funding:
- Any items/upgrade work for areas considered primarily to be the owner’s/operator’s private area/workspace or which are not considered to be visitor areas
- Any upgrade work completed prior to the commencement of this grant facility
- Glassware, cutlery, crockery
- Cleaning Equipment and Supplies
- Art, paintings, sculptures and decorative items
- Replacement/Purchase of furniture, equipment and appliances
- Replacement/Purchase of linens, towels, window coverings and soft furnishings.
How long does the TARG process take from the moment I apply?
Applications will be accepted from as early as mid-June, however, the grant distribution programme and process which relies on an external auditor will not begin until mid-July. Once the external auditor is involved the process is anticipated to take 2 weeks.
I am a handicraft worker / I am self-employed / I have my own small business/cottage industry. Can I apply for Ancillary Service Grant or Tourism Accommodation Relief Grant?
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has taken you into consideration and through the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development (MOLSED), have put various measures in place to support affected persons who are citizens or permanent residents of Trinidad and Tobago.
Please see their website for more details and options for accessing another grant: https://www.finance.gov.tt/2020/03/31/covid-19-social-assistance-guidelines-and-applications/
Do I have to have insurance to apply for these grants?
To apply for TARG, property owners must have Public Liability Insurance at a minimum of $500,00.00 TTD.
Do I still have to pay Hotel Tax if my property has less than 6 bedrooms?
No. Properties with 5 bedrooms and less are exempt from Hotel Tax.