|Capital:||Port of Spain|
|Main Towns:|| City of San Fernando,
Arima, Point Fortin,
|Nationality:||Trinidad — Trinidadian
Tobago — Tobagonian
|Population:||1,353,895 (2016 figures)|
|Electricity:||110 volts/220 volts (+/-6%); 60 Hz|
|Telephone:||1 (868) + seven-digit local|
The country is located in a safe haven, tucked below the hurricane belt. It is bordered by the Caribbean Sea in the north and by the Atlantic to the east. On the west coast, it is separated from Venezuela by the Gulf of Paria and to the south, the Columbus Channel.
Once attached to the South American mainland, Trinidad is situated at 12 km (7 miles) northeast of the coast of Venezuela and is separated from it by the Gulf of Paria. Trinidad has three mountain ranges — the Northern Range, the Central Range and the Southern Range. The highest point, El Cerro del Aripo, is 940 metres (3,084 ft) above sea level. About 40% of all land is undeveloped forest and woodlands, although the island is experiencing rapid development. Trinidad’s Pitch Lake is the largest natural reservoir of asphalt in the world.
|Total Area:||4,828 sq km (1,864 sq miles) 81.25 km long by 57-73 km wide (50 miles by 35-45 miles)|
|Location:||Latitude 10.5° N Longitude 61.5° W|
Tobago lies 34km (21 miles) northeast of Trinidad. Of volcanic origin, the island is a single mountain mass, although the southwest is flat or undulating and coralline. The highest peak, the Main Ridge, reaches an elevation of about 576m (1,890 ft). The coastline is broken up by inlets and sheltered beaches, and there are several uninhabited islets.
|Total Area:||300 sq km (116 sq miles)|
|Location:||Latitude 11.5° N Longitude 60.5° W|
Trinidad and Tobago has a tropical climate with high relative humidity. There are two distinct seasons: dry, from January to May and wet, from June to December. There is a short dry period around mid-September called Petit Carême. The hurricane season runs from June to November, peaking between August and October but Trinidad’s geographical location, on the southern periphery of the North Atlantic hurricane basin means that the island is not affected directly by storms as frequently as the sister isle, Tobago. Tobago can experience inclement weather as a result of such weather systems.
Trinidad and Tobago’s southerly location keeps temperatures consistent year-round, about 30/32 °C (86/90 °F) during the day and somewhat cooler at night.
The festivals, music, customs, cuisine, religions and races of Trinidad and Tobago reflect a rich and unique cultural diversity.
The nation has a passionate and colourful history spanning five centuries. Festivals and religious and cultural observances include Divali (the Hindu Festival of Light), Eid-ul-Fitr (Muslim religious day), Emancipation Day, Indian Arrival Day and Corpus Christi (Catholic). Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is a world-famous event that brings together artists, musicians, masqueraders and revellers for a month-long celebration that culminates in a two-day parade.www.culture.gov.tt
Ethnic Groups (2011 census)
|Life Expectancy:||Male: 68.2 (2018 census)
Female: 75.6 (2018 census)
|Population Growth Rate:||0.3 (2016)|
|Birth Rate||12.8/1,000 (2016)|
|Total Median Age:||32.6 (2011 census)|
The financial system consists of Commercial Banks, Trust and Mortgage Finance Companies, Finance Houses and Merchant Banks.
|Number of Commercial Banks: 8|
|Number of Branches: 123|
|Number of Automatic Banking|
|Machines: 254 ATMs|
Bank Hours of Operations
|Monday to Thursday: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.|
|Friday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.|
|RBC and Scotiabank (not mall branches): 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.|
|8 RBC Branches open on Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.|
|Shopping Centres (Daily): 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.|
|Exchange Rate: TTD 6.77: USD 1 (June 2019)|
|GDP 2017 Current Prices (TT$ Million) = 158,504.50|
|GDP Per Capita 2018 = USD 17,259.40|
|Labour Force 2017 = 633,700|
|Unemployment Rate 2017 = 5.1%|
|Inflation Rate 2016 = 3.1%|
Natural gas and oil, ammonia, alcohol, fertilizers, iron and steel
Major Trading Partners:
US, CARICOM, Spain, Mexico, France, UK, China, Venezuela, Japan, Nigeria, The Netherlands, Dominican Republic
References: Summary Economic Indicators, Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, Central Statistical Office, Trinidad and Tobago, Global Finance, www.tradingeconomics.com.
After two years of decline, economic data suggests that there was some turnaround in 2018. This was driven largely by the energy sector, especially, higher natural gas production in the first six months. While some spillovers from energy to other sectors were expected, the non-energy sector was quiet.
During the first half of fiscal year 2018-2019, Central Government’s deficit was much lower compared to the corresponding period one year earlier. Inflation continued to be low and stable in early 2019 owing to low international food prices and moderate domestic demand. Headline inflation stood at 1.2% as at May 2019.
Generally, the Government’s fiscal position improved as revenues were strengthened by higher energy earnings as well as the sale of assets. Last year, Government’s expenditure also shrank by 4.2% due to lower transfer and subsidies, wages, salaries and interest payments. The overall fiscal deficit was lessened to 3.4% of GDP.
The domestic financial system also benefited from higher inflow of foreign exchange based on the energy sector. While the demand for foreign exchange remained strong, the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago sold US$1.5 billion to authorised dealers to balance the supply and demand in the foreign exchange market.
Over the short term, Trinidad and Tobago is expected to benefit from higher energy sector production on account of new capacity from the Angelin field, which was brought online in February 2019.
References: Central Statistical Office; / Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago
For many years, State-owned Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) has been the major provider of landline and mobile telephone services. In late 2018, TSTT undertook the massive deployment of its 5G-oriented Mimo technology to complement existing fibre-based solutions, particularly in rural areas. This latest innovation makes the company the only quintuple-play provider in the country, transforming digital life and services like surveillance, IoT and B2B, and enhancing connectivity for its consumers.
Other providers also offer mobile and cable television to both islands. Of these, the more prominent agencies are Digicel and Flow. Digicel provides fixed line and domestic wireless services while Flow offers cable television, internet and landline telephone services.
With broad coverage throughout the islands, mobile phones are an easy and available option. Wireless Internet services are readily available at hotels and many other establishments.
|International Access Code:||1|
|Fixed Internet Subscriptions:||339,300*|
|Mobile Internet Subscriptions:||641,400*|
*Data estimates - http://tatt.org.tt
|General elections take place every five years|
|Tobago:||Tobago House of Assembly
Local Government Body
|Head of State:||Non-executive President|
Trinidad and Tobago’s government is a parliamentary democracy. The Head of State is the President, who is elected by an Electoral College of members of the Senate and House of Representatives for a five-year term. Executive power, however, is vested in the Prime Minister and Government, following elections every five years. General elections will become due in 2020.
The local government body in Tobago is the Tobago House of Assembly and its seat is in the capital city, Scarborough.
The legal system is based on common law and statutes. The judicial system comprises magistrates’ courts and the Supreme Court, which is made up of the High Court and the Court of Appeal. There is a separate Industrial Court that deals with most labour matters.
The Judicial and Legal Service Commission appoints judges of the Supreme Court.
The Attorney General is responsible for the administration of the legal and judicial system. Final appeal from Trinidad and Tobago courts is to the Privy Council in England, but consideration is being given to replacing the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice, which was inaugurated in April 2005 and headquartered in Port of Spain.
Daily Newspapers: Trinidad Express, Trinidad Guardian and Newsday
Monday – Friday: Newsday Tobago
Weekly Newspapers: Catholic News, Bomb, Trinidad and Tobago Sunshine and Tobago Today.
Television Stations: CNC(Channel 3),CCN TV6(Channels 5 and 18),Gayelle Television(Channel 7),IBN(Channel 8),CTV(Channel 6),IETV(Channel 1 and 16),NCC(Channel 4), Parliament(Channel 11),Synergy(Channel 15), TTT (Channel 11), Tobago Channel 5 Tobago only).
FM Radio Stations:
TBC Network (95.1, Vibe CT 105, Sangeet 106.1, Aakash Vani 106.5, Slam 100.5, Sky 99.5)CL Communications (90.5, 104.1, 97.1) Caribbean New Media Group (Talk City 91.1, Next 99.1, Sweet 100.1) T&T Radio Network (Star 94.7, 96.1, 107.7)Gem Radio 5 Limited (Red 96.7, i95.5, the Word 107.1, Hott 93.5, Taj 92.3)Power 102, Boom Champions 94.1, Isaac 98.1, Street 91.9, Radio Jaagriti 102.7, Wack 90.1, Love 91.5 (Tobago), Radio Toco 106.7, 103.1, Radio Tambrin 92.7 (Tobago), 104.7, and Heritage 101.7.
Top News and Media - Websites
Trinidad and Tobago’s health system consists of government-funded and private hospitals, well-qualified specialists, private medical practitioners and clinics scattered throughout the islands. Specialists trained in ophthalmology/optometry, gynaecology, paediatrics, radiology, physiotherapy, cardiology, gastrology, urology and orthopaedics work both in private practice and healthcare facilities.
Medical services are free at Government-funded institutions and clinics, but a fee is charged at all others. Twenty-four-hour emergency services are available at several public and private medical facilities.
There is also a 24-hour Emergency Air Ambulance Service.
The educational system is based on the British model and produces one of the highest standards of education in the Caribbean. Primary and secondary level education at most institutions are free, but private school options are available for a fee.
Post-secondary and tertiary education providers include The University of the West Indies (The UWI), the College of Science, Technology & Applied Arts of Trinidad & Tobago (COSTAATT), distance learning tertiary-level institutions, vocational/technical training schools and colleges, the technology-based University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), and the National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST).
Trinidad and Tobago, although relatively distinct ecologically, are both blessed with rich natural environments well suited for ecotourism. Once part of the South American mainland, Trinidad’s flora and fauna have commingled, leading to a great density of plant and animal types in a relatively small location.
Trinidad and Tobago has more than 97 mammal species, 400 bird species, 90 reptile species, 30 amphibian species, 600 butterfly species and over 2,100 species of flowering plants. The island’s nature reserves attract major international traffic from naturalists and nature watchers. The terrain is just as diverse, with tropical rainforests, mangrove swamps, mountainous terrain and savannahs.
Birdwatching is a major attraction in Tobago as well, with Little Tobago island recognised as one of the Caribbean’s top seabird sanctuaries. Tobago is also a hub of aquatic tourism. The waters off the island are a haven for wildlife, an attraction for both divers and boat tourists. Buccoo Reef (a large coral reef and protected marine park) is a popular destination. Tobago’s Main Ridge Forest is known to be the oldest protected rainforest.
Trinidad and Tobago is one of the top five Caribbean meeting and conference destinations. Many hotels have facilities for conferences, including international brands such as the Hyatt Regency Trinidad and the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre. In addition, the state-of-the-art National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), South Academy for the Performing Arts, award-winning spots like Coco Reef and the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort in Tobago are ideal for corporate meetings and team-building retreats.
Trinidad and Tobago has a reliable supply of electricity with rates still among the lowest in the Caribbean. The domestic and commercial supply voltage is 110/220 volts, 60 cycles. The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) is the agency responsible for the country’s electrical supply.
The Water and Sewerage Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (WASA), a state enterprise, is the sole provider of water and wastewater services in Trinidad and Tobago.
Regular mail, express mail and courier delivery are reliable and available from local provider TTPost at excellent rates. International courier services are efficient and readily available.
Piarco International Airport is located about 45 minutes from the capital city, Port of Spain. It plays an important role as a vital hub for international air traffic in the Caribbean. There are non-stop daily scheduled flights to and from major international cities.
Trinidad and Tobago’s national airline, Caribbean Airlines, serves Toronto, New York, Miami, Jamaica, Saint Maarten, Antigua, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname. International and regional airlines that fly to Trinidad and Tobago include American Airlines, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, United Airlines, West Jet, JetBlue, LIAT and several charter flight companies. International flights are also available direct from Tobago’s ANR Robinson International Airport. Airlines that fly directly to Tobago include British Airways, Condor and Monarch.
Approximate flying times to Trinidad and Tobago from:
|New York||4.5 hours|
Trinidad and Tobago has an extensive transportation network of paved roads. Highways link the north and south of the island (Uriah Butler Highway, Solomon Hochoy Highway), and the east and west (Churchill-Roosevelt Highway). Traffic is extremely heavy at peak hours when a high number of vehicles head into and out of the capital city and environs. Driving is on the left-hand side.
The main seaports are located in Port of Spain and Point Lisas. The Port of Port of Spain handles dry and general cargo, break bulk, containers and passenger traffic. The Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Corporation Ltd. (PLIPDECO), mainly a bulk port for industrial commerce, also handles container and general cargo traffic. There are ferries travelling the inter-island route daily.
Port of Spain Ferry: (868) 625-3055 | Tobago Ferry: (868) 639-2417
The CARICOM Jetty, which is located at the Port of Port of Spain and operates the passenger inter-island ferry, receives, stores and delivers CARICOM cargo and multipurpose containers for trade within the Caribbean region.
A water taxi ferry connects Port of Spain and San Fernando. Scheduled sailing times are Monday to Friday. Tickets cost TT$15 one-way and can be purchased at the Water Taxi Terminal located at Flat Rock, Lady Hailes Avenue, San Fernando or the Cruise Ship Complex, Port of Spain. Free parking is available at both ports. There is a Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) shuttle service, which costs TT$3 through the city of Port of Spain.
For further information, visit: www.nidco.co.tt or call call 624-3281/674-5593 (POS) or 800-4WTS (San Fernando)
American Airlines........1 (868) 821-6000
Caribbean Airlines...... 1 (868) 625-7200
British Airways..........1 (800) 247-9297
Copa Airlines............1 (868) 669-5189
LIAT.....................1 (800) 669-2982
Surinam Airways......... 1 (868) 627-0102
United Airways.......... 1 (800) 864-8331
West Jet Airlines....... 1 (888) 937-8538 / (1-888-WESTJET)
JetBlue..................1 (800) 538-2583
Rutaca...................1 (868) 625-4324ANR Robinson Airport
Virgin Atlantic...........1 (800) 744-7477
Condor and Thomas & Cook Group Airlines.......1 (868) 639-5201
British Airways...........1 (800) 247-9297
The following airlines/flights are sometimes scheduled to operate during peak periods.
Air Canada Rouge..........1 (868) 623-2721
Conviasa Airlines.........1 (868) 627-8172/6078
Global Medical Response...............653-4343
Port of Spain General Hospital ........623-2951
San Fernando General Hospital.........652-3581
Scarborough General Hospital..........660-4SGH (4744)
Roxborough Health Centre and Hyperbaric Facility, Tobago.........660-4392
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM)........(6376)
Crime Stoppers........................800-TIPS (8477)
Directory Services (Trinidad).........6411
Directory Services (Tobago)...........211
Visitors to Trinidad and Tobago must possess valid passports and return or ongoing tickets for successful entry. Most Commonwealth countries do not require visas for entry, except Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Cameroon, Fiji Islands, Mozambique, Uganda and South Africa. For business travel and vacations lasting 90 days or less (within a 180-day period) European Union citizens do not need visas for entry. The same applies for nationals from non-European Union Schengen countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). Holders of CARICOM passports, with the exception of Haiti, do not require visas.
Visitors from several other countries are allowed to enter Trinidad and Tobago for periods of up to three months without a visa.
Immigration Office at 67 Frederick Street, Port of Spain, while work permits can be obtained from the Ministry of National Security:
Temple Court II,
52-60 Abercromby Street,
Port of Spain.