Letters: Breathing Life into Small Towns

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Dear Editor,

In the shadow of mega highways and ambitious national development projects, it is often the small communities in Trinidad and Tobago that bear the brunt of change.

One such recent development, the expansion of the Point Fortin Highway, has drawn attention to the impact on the business community in La Brea. As a Member of the T&T Parliament, with a primary focus on trade and industry, finance and the economy, digital transformation, and tourism I feel compelled to shed light on strategies that can breathe new life into these often-overlooked areas.


T&T’s small towns and communities are rich repositories of unique cultural, historical, and natural assets. However, these treasures largely remain untapped, hidden behind the hustle and bustle of modern life. To unlock their potential and stimulate sustainable economic growth, a multifaceted approach is needed.

Tourism promotion is a key pillar in this strategy. By showcasing the hidden gems of these communities, we can attract tourists passing through on the highways. Establishing information centers and eye-catching signage can beckon travellers to explore the richness of our heritage. The goal is to transform these towns into destinations in their own right, rather than mere stopovers.


Local events and festivals can play a pivotal role in revitalisation. Vibrant local events and festivals have the power to turn these areas into magnets for visitors. They serve as platforms to celebrate local crafts, cuisine and culture, providing a unique and authentic experience for both locals and tourists.

Infrastructure upgrades are fundamental to enhancing the appeal and accessibility of these towns. Investment in basic infrastructure, such as road maintenance and well-lit public spaces, is essential to create an inviting environment for residents and visitors alike.

To incentivise businesses to set up shop in these communities, business incentives should be considered. Options such as tax breaks or grants can be explored to foster job creation and economic development.

Neil Transport Services

In line with our commitment to digital transformation, support for digital presence among local businesses is crucial. Establishing an online presence can open doors to a broader customer base, ensuring the sustainability of local enterprises.

Collaboration is another key aspect. By fostering collaboration among local businesses, we can create a unique shopping or dining experience that sets these towns apart and attracts visitors seeking something special.

Empowering the residents of these communities is paramount. Skills development programmes in digital skills and entrepreneurship can equip local residents to initiate their own businesses, promoting self-sufficiency and reducing dependence on external sources.

Community engagement in decision-making and planning processes is vital. Local insights and ideas are invaluable assets in revitalising these towns, ensuring that the revitalsation efforts align with the community’s needs and desires.


Partnerships beyond the community borders can also drive development. Regional partnerships with neighboring towns, governmental bodies, or private sector organisations can pool resources and foster regional economic growth.

Finally, it’s crucial to promote sustainability in all aspects of revitalisation. Our commitment to sustainability can attract environmentally conscious tourists and investors, securing a prosperous and eco-friendly future for these areas.

Send Letters to the Editor at: letters@azpnews.com or news@azpnews.com

In conclusion, T&T’s small towns and communities hold immense potential that is waiting to be unlocked. By implementing a comprehensive strategy encompassing tourism promotion, infrastructure upgrades, business incentives, digital transformation, collaboration, skills development, community engagement, partnerships, and sustainability, we can revitalise these areas, fostering growth, preserving our cultural heritage, and enriching the lives of our fellow citizens.

These strategies must be engaged well in advance of new highway construction and bypasses to fortify our communities. In unity, we can ensure that no community is left behind on the highway of progress, and that Trinidad and Tobago’s small towns thrive in the evolving landscape of our nation’s development.

MP for Mayaro

Rushton Paray


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