The Legal Impacts of COVID-19 in the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Industry

The COVID-19 Epidemic and the Impact on Tourism and Tourism Contracts according to Trinidadian Law Robin Montano 1 1. Introduction; 2. The Law; 3. Public Health; 4. Going Forward; 5. Conclusion. 1. Introduction Trinidad & Tobago sits at the bottom of the Caribbean island chain, just a few short kilometres from Venezuela and the South American mainland. In a region that depends heavily on tourism, thousands are being directly affected by this global pandemic that is devastating the economies of the whole world. In a region of some 45 million people, the virus is reported to have caused, at the time of writing, around 300 deaths and a total of approximately 7,000 infected persons. The problem with these figures is that they are not entirely reliable. Take Trinidad & Tobago, for example, nobody knows precisely what the population of this small twin-island nation is; officially, it is supposed to be just over 1.3 million people, but most reports say that it the country has over 1.4 million people. The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) reports that there are approximately 1 million adults registered to vote. Now, a cursory examination of these figures reveals that something is wrong, because if the country has 1 million adults registered to vote, then it is reasonable to assume that at least 10% of the adult population is not registered to vote. Then the question arises as to how many children there are in the country? Putting it another way, what is the ratio of children to adults? The math simply does not add up. Furthermore, herein lies the nub of the problem: statistics and reports by various governments on all sorts of issues remain, at the very least, suspect, especially in the Caribbean and even more so in Trinidad & Tobago. 2. The Law Tourism in Trinidad & Tobago is governed by the Tourism Development Act , Chapter 87:22 of the Laws of Trinidad & Tobago. This Act provides certain development incentives for any person, firm or corporation that wishes to engage in tourism. The incentives come in the form of tax benefits which the Minister of Tourism may give to an operator or owner of an approved tourism project, and they can be any or all of the following: 1 Attorney at Law; Trinidad & Tobago.