The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts (MTCA) is responsible for transforming Trinidad and Tobago into a premier tourist destination, as well as the development of Trinidad and Tobago’s many cultural and artistic forms, through policy and strategic interventions, research, monitoring and evaluating trends, partnering with industry stakeholders, and raising awareness, among other things, to improve the country’s economic and social progress.
The MTCA is on a mission to grow and transform the tourism, culture and heritage resources for the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago. Our vision statement, “The vehicle through which society and the world experience who we are,” reflects our commitment to national socio-economic transformation and growth through the development of sustainable tourism and cultural sectors.
The identification of the new Ministry, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts by Gazette dated 9 September 2020, presented opportunities for synergies between the sectors.
In this regard, the Ministry aspires to establish an enabling environment that will allow these sectors to contribute more to the national economy while also instilling in citizens the importance of tourism and a feeling of national identity.
The Ministry acknowledges that a continuous collaborative effort is required to create and build alliances and partnerships with our stakeholders to achieve these goals. Our executive is led by The Permanent Secretary Mrs. Simone Thorne-Mora Quinones and the Deputy Permanent Secretary Mrs. Esther Inniss.
Units within the Ministry
Office of the Minister
Office of the Minister has overall responsibility for the Tourism and Cultural sectors and setting the Ministry’s policy direction. The Minister exercises authority to grant incentives under the Tourism Development Act.
Office of the Permanent Secretary
Office of the Permanent Secretary is in charge of planning and managing the Ministry’s operations and functions and providing technical assistance and policy implementation. The Permanent Secretary is the Ministry’s Accounting Officer and has fiduciary responsibility for the Ministry’s management.
Office of the Deputy Permanent Secretary
Office of the Deputy Permanent Secretary assists with planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating the Ministry’s technical and administrative support functions.
Research and Planning Unit
Research and Planning Unit is primarily responsible for tourism research and provides information and knowledge supporting decision-making. The Unit’s functions include overseeing the implementation of the Ministry’s Development Programme, reporting and preparation of briefs, responses to Parliamentary Questions and Cabinet Notes. The Unit’s research mission includes increasing the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts’ data gathering and analysis capabilities to provide relevant, up-to-date information that leads to evidence-based decision-making.
Tourism Advisory Unit
The Tourism Advisory Unit spearheads the formulation of policies and sub-policies that advance the country’s tourism sector and examines trends that influence tourism. The Unit provides advice, guidance, and recommendations based on the findings of those trends to inform the future of the tourism sector. The TAU also provides policy-driven and strategic advice on tourism-related issues by preparing Technical Reports and Briefs.
Investment, Facilitation and Monitoring Unit
This Investment, Facilitation and Monitoring Unit is primarily responsible for facilitating investment incentives in the tourism sector for Trinidad and Tobago. Essentially there are two categories of tourism incentives: legislated and non-legislated. The legislated tourism incentives are included under the Tourism Development Act (2000), Chapter 87:22 and are mainly to facilitate financial incentives for Accommodation projects (Hotels), Ancillary projects (theme parks) and Transportation projects (vehicles). The non-legislated tourism incentives are programmes approved by the Cabinet. There are currently two non-legislated tourism incentives available: the Government Loan Guarantee Programme (GLG) and the Tourism Accommodation Upgrade Programme (TAUP).
Project & Facilities Management Unit
Project & Facilities Management Unit is responsible for the facility management and upgrades of six (6) sites. These sites are:
Maracas Beach, Las Cuevas Beach, Vessigny Beach, Manzanilla Beach, La Brea & Paramin Look Out
The Projects Unit also collaborates with other Government and State agencies to upgrade tourism sites, such as the Galera Point Lighthouse project. It provides support to the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA), Naparima Bowl and Queen’s Hall, to name a few.
Monitoring and Evaluation Unit
The formulation, implementation and maintenance of a results-based monitoring and evaluation system that examines whether the Ministry’s policies and initiatives are aligned with the country’s national goals and outcomes. This is measured against the National Development Strategy (NDS) 2016-2030 and the National Performance Framework (NPF) 2017-2020 and whether the Ministry’s and the Tourism Trinidad Destination Management Company’s performance meets their objectives. This Unit also monitors the implementation of the Ministry’s Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) to ensure that the projects of the Ministry add value and are being implemented transparently.
Legal Services Unit
The Legal Services Unit’s role in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts satisfies legislative compliance requirements, the fulfilment of day-to-day requests for opinions and the drafting, execution and administration of various types of agreements/contracts, contract management, taking proactive and rigorous steps to protect the Ministry from legal exposure and consistently strengthening the Ministry’s legal framework by making constructive inputs at various stages of the legislative review and policy formulation processes.
This Communication Unit assists the Ministry in achieving its strategic objectives. It is responsible for the Ministry’s image, branding, advertising and public relations. It informs and explains the Ministry’s policies and programmes through internal and external communications by providing timely, accurate and credible information to citizens about the tourism, culture and arts portfolio.
Information Technology Unit
The Information Technology Unit’s objective is to establish and support an ICT strategy in line with the Ministry’s policies and programs. The MTCA’s ICT strategy provides a unique opportunity to rethink tourism products to meet individual demands and satisfy consumer desires. The Unit also develops and maintains high-speed ICT infrastructure and software applications crucial to the MTCA’s success.
The primary responsibility of the Administration Unit is to provide timely administrative services in records management, office management, messenger and mail support, procurement of office machines and supplies, staff safety and comfort, and facilities management.
Finance & Accounting Unit
The Finance & Accounting Unit manages the payroll and other financial elements of the Ministry. The Unit’s work with the various units of the Ministry to evaluate its financial situation and keeps track of the organization’s planned payments, such as inventory, salary, and other business-related expenses.
Internal Audit Unit
The Internal Audit Unit guarantees that the Ministry’s accounting systems comply with financial rules and regulations.
Human Resource Management Unit
This Unit’s primary goal is to attract, develop, and keep high-quality staff to meet the company’s strategic goals. The department achieves this through planning, human resource development, training, and personnel orientation. It also focuses on employee relations such as industrial relations, health and safety and employee benefits.
The Library is a support unit within the Ministry which strives to stimulate human capacity by the provision of the most current information resources as well as reference and research services. The resources – digital and print – aim to foster greater knowledge in the areas of tourism, culture, the arts and other related areas leading to an increase in the creative capacity, innovation and competitive advantage of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts.
Vision & Mission
Vision: The vehicle through which society and the world experience who we are (Trinidad and Tobago).
Mission: To grow and transform the tourism, culture and heritage resources for the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago.
RESPECT for the rights and dignity of all persons and respect for the wider environment that sustains life.
TRANSPARENCY through clear and open communication regarding the conduct of business.
ACCOUNTABILITY by accepting responsibility for decisions and actions and disclosing results in an objective manner.
INTEGRITY through a value system of fairness and justice that compels the Ministry to do what is right morally, legally and ethically.
TEAMWORK through collaboration to build and seek consensus rather than individual interests
PROFESSIONALISM through competence, skill and good judgment in order to achieve the Ministry’s mandate.
INNOVATION by promoting an environment that fosters continuous improvement and the use of ground-breaking information communications technology (ICT).
CREATIVITY through the use of imaginative or novel ideas to create value for the Tourism and Culture Sectors.