T & T Fast Facts

Trinidad Capital: Port of Spain
Main Towns: City of San Fernando, 
Arima, Point Fortin, Chaguanas

Tobago Capital: Scarborough

Nationality Trinidad: Trinidadian 
Tobago: Tobagonian

Official Language English

Population: Mid-Year Estimate (June 2022): 1,365,805 (Source: Central Statistical Office)

Electricity: 110 volts/220 volts (+/-6%); 60 Hz

Telephone: 1 (868) + seven-digit local

Geography and Location Tucked below the hurricane belt, the country is located in a safe haven. 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.

Trinidad – 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 m (3,084 ft) above sea level. About 40% of all land is undeveloped forest and woodlands, although the island continues to experience rapid development. Trinidad’s Pitch Lake is the largest natural reservoir of asphalt in the world.

Total Area: 4,828 km2 (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  – Tobago lies 34 km (21 miles) northeast of Trinidad. Though of volcanic origin, there are no active volcanoes here. The island is a single mountain mass, although the southwestern tip has a coral platform. The highest peak, the Main Ridge, reaches an elevation of about 576 m (1,890 ft) and its lower-lying lands include a protected reserve area. 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

Time Zone

Time Zone: Greenwich Mean Time: Minus four hours (GMT -4)
In US Winter: Eastern Standard Time plus one hour (EST +1)
In US Summer: Eastern Standard Time (EST).
There is no Daylight Saving Time (DST).

Climate

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. Given Trinidad’s southern geographical location, the island is not affected 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.

Telecommunications

Providers of landline and mobile telephone services are prevalent on both islands, and cable television and internet services are readily available. The more prominent agencies are Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (TSTT), Digicel (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited, Columbus Communications Trinidad Limited (Flow) and AMPLIA Communications. 

With wide coverage throughout the islands, communication is generally easy and wireless internet services are commonplace at hotels, restaurants and many other establishments.

International Access Code: 1
Country Code: 868

Media

There is a well-established network covering television, radio, print, electronic billboards and and increasingly strong digital presence. The three daily newspapers are Trinidad Express, Trinidad Guardian and Newsday.

Top News and Media Websites

• Trinidad and Tobago Guardian

• Trinidad Express

• Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

• Loop TT News

• Wired868

• Breaking News T&T (Facebook)

• C.C.N. Television Limited – CCNTV6

• Guardian Media Limited – CNC3

• TTT Limited

• Online Radio Stations

Government

Trinidad and Tobago follows the Westminster model of government and upholds the traditions of parliamentary democracy it inherited from Britain.  The Government is stable. 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 renewable term. Executive power, however, is vested in the Prime Minister and Government, following elections at least every five years. The next general election will become due in 2025. 

Tobago has its own elected House of Assembly and its seat is in the capital city, Scarborough.

https://www.ttconnect.gov.tt/
https://www.tha.gov.tt/

Banking

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
https://batt.org.tt/banking-industry/

Standard Bank Hours of Operation

City Centres:

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.

Shopping Centres (Daily):  10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Exchange Rate: TT$6.7793 : US$1 (Sept 1 2023)

Economic Data

The official estimate for Trinidad and Tobago’s GDP was $36 billion at the end of 2022 in puchasing power partity terms. Data source: World Economics Research, London.

Labour Force 2020 (persons with jobs): 603,800

Major Exports: Natural gas and oil, ammonia, alcohol, fertilisers, iron and steel.

Major Trading Partners: United States, CARICOM, Spain, Mexico, France, the United Kingdom, China, Venezuela, Japan, Nigeria, The Netherlands, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Colombia, Russia, and Germany.  According to the 2022 Annual Economic Survey, domestic economic activity showed signs of recovery in 2022 after two years of economic contraction. According to data from the Central Statistical Office (CSO), real GDP increased by 3.0 percent in the first three quarters of 2022 compared to the previous year. 

The economy is expected to show broad-ranging growth and in the energy sector higher natural gas production is anticipated as new projects come on stream.

References:

Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago: 2022 Annual Economic Survey; Economic Bulletin January 2022; Financial Stability Report 2021; 
https://www.central-bank.org.tt

Central Statistical Office, Trinidad and Tobago
https://cso.gov.tt/
https://tradingeconomics.com

Meeting Places and Conference
Centres

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 Courtyard by Marriott, Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, Hyatt Regency Trinidad and The BRIX, Autograph Collection.

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, Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort and Mount Irvine Bay Resort in Tobago are ideal for corporate meetings and team-building retreats.

Transportation

Airports

Piarco International Airport is a vital hub for international air traffic in the Caribbean. It is located about 45 minutes from the capital city, Port of Spain, and there are non-stop daily scheduled flights to and from major international cities.

Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL), the national airline, offers routes that include direct flights to major cities like Toronto, New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. CAL also flies regionally with regular flights to Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and Suriname, to name a few destinations. 

International flights are also available direct from Tobago’s ANR Robinson International Airport. Airlines that fly directly to Tobago include Caribbean Airlines, British Airways and Condor (by the end of 2023). International and regional airlines that fly to Trinidad and Tobago include American Airlines, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, United Airlines, West Jet, JetBlue, and several charter flight companies. 

https://www.tntairports.com/

Seaports

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. Ferries travel the inter-island route daily. 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. Several cruise lines stop at Port of Spain and Scarborough, Tobago during the peak season from November to April. 

Water Taxi Service

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 Wrightson Road, Port of Spain or Flat Rock, Lady Hailes Avenue, San Fernando. Free parking is available at both ports.

Departures from San Fernando: AM – 6:00 / 6:30 / 8:30; PM- 3:30
Tel: 226-7900 Ext: 212, 211, 206
Departures from Port of Spain: AM – 7:15; PM – 2:30 / 3:30 / 4:45
Tel: 226-7900, Ext: 102, 111
https://www.nidco.co.tt/watertaxiservice/

Inter-Island Ferry

A ferry connects Port of Spain and Scarborough, Tobago. Scheduled sailing times are Monday to Sunday, and public holidays.

The first passenger vessel departs Scarborough at 6:30 a.m., and the last passenger vessel departs POS at 4:00 p.m. (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays). Except on Wednesdays, when only one passenger vessel departs Scarborough at 6:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. from POS. The names of the passengers must be provided, and they must appear on the ticket exactly as they appear on the government-issued photo identification. If you are making a reservation for a senior citizen of Trinidad and Tobago (60 years and older), please bring a valid National Photo ID or T&T Passport. Bookings can me made online.

For information, call:
Port of Spain: 625-3055/623-9353
Extensions 215, 211 or 212
Scarborough: 639-2668/639-2417

https://www.ttitferry.com/

Immigration, Work Permits and Visas

Covid-19 PCR or lab acquired antigen test results are no longer required for entry into Trinidad and Tobago. Mask wearing is voluntary in public space including private and public hospitals and other health care facilities. However, care and caution are recommended. For updated guidelines for travel to or from Trinidad and Tobago, visit the following websites: 

https://health.gov.tt/ and 
https://nationalsecurity.gov.tt/immigration/

Work permit applications must be made by an employer on behalf of the employee for business stays beyond 30 days in a given 12-month period. A non-refundable application fee of $600.00 is payable. On granting of application, a fee of TT$450.00 per month is payable. Processing period is 6-8 weeks. Work permits can be obtained from the Ministry of National Security, Temple Court II, 52-60 Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain.

Visa extensions can be obtained from the Immigration Office on Richmond Street, Port-of-Spain.

Major Airlines

Piarco Airport

American Airlines 1 (868) 821-6000
Caribbean Airlines 1 (868) 625-7200
British Airways 1 (800) 247-9297
Copa Airlines 1 (868) 669-5189
Surinam Airways 1 (868) 627-0102
United Airlines 1 (800) 864-8331
West Jet Airlines 1 (888) 937-8538
1 (888)-WESTJET
JetBlue 1 (800) 538-2583
Rutaca 1 (868) 625-4324

ANR Robinson Airport

Caribbean Airlines 1 (868) 625-7200
British Airways 1 (800) 247-9297
Condor (service anticipated end of 2023)

Approximate Flying Times
to Trinidad and Tobago
London 8.2 hours
New York 4.5 hours
Miami 3.3 hours
Houston 5.3 hours
Toronto 5.5 hours

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