Facts of Trinidad & Tobago

Official

OFFICIAL NAME

Republic of Trinidad & Tobago

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

English (Spanish is being promoted via the education system as Trinidad and Tobago’s first foreign language)

POPULATION

1.3m of which an estimated 55,000 reside in Tobago

ETHNIC PROFILE

40.3% East Indian descent

39.6% African descent

18.9% mixed descent

1.2% European, Chinese and other

Region

LOCATION

Trinidad and Tobago is at the southern end of the Caribbean archipelago at Latitude 11 degrees North and Longitude 60 degrees West.The island of Trinidad is 4,828 sq. km (1,864 sq. miles) in area and approximately rectangular in shape. It is approximately 81.25km long by 57-73 km wide or 50 miles by 35-45 miles.Tobago on the other hand, is 300 sq. km (116 sq. miles) in area and lies34 km (21 miles) northeast of Trinidad.

TIME ZONE

Summer: EST (Eastern Standard Time) equivalent to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) - 5 hours

Winter: EST + 1 hour, GMT- 4 hours.

No daylight savings time in T&T.

CLIMATE

Tropical marine, with mean daytime temperatures averaging 31 oC (87 oF) while nighttime temperatures can drop to a cool of around 21o C (70 o F. The dry season called Petite Carême extends from January to May, while the rainy season spans June to December.

Capital and Towns

CAPITAL CITY

Port of Spain, Trinidad, seat of the national democratic government;

Scarborough, Tobago, seat of the local government body, the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).

MAIN TOWNS

Trinidad: City of San Fernando, Arima, Point Fortin and Chaguanas

Tobago: Scarborough

GOVERNMENT

T & T’s government is a parliamentary democracy with a head of state being the President. Executive power is however vested in the Prime Minister and government following General Elections every five years.

LEGAL SYSTEM

Based on common law and statutes and comprises Magistrates Courts and the Supreme Court which comprises the High Court and the Court of Appeal. There is also an Industrial Court, which deals with most labour matters.

Business Hours

BUSINESS HOURS

General Offices: Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm

Government Offices: Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4 pm

Banks (City Centres): Monday to Thursday, 8 am to 2 pm & Friday 8 am to noon; and 3 pm to 5 pm

Banks (Mall Branches): usually 10 am to 5 pm

Retail outlets (City Centres): Monday to Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm & Saturday 8 am to 1 pm

Retail (Shopping Centres/Malls): Monday to Saturday 10 am to 7 pm

BUSINESS DRESS CODE

Trinidad is more formal with lightweight suits worn, but in Tobago jackets are optional except on formal occasions.

Economy

CURRENCY

Trinidad and Tobago Dollar (TT$) tied to the US$ and floating at US$1 = TT$6.3

Notes: $1, $5, $10, $20 and $100

Coins: 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50

TAXES

Departure Tax: TT$100 (local currency)

Hotel Tax: 10% service charge and 10% Hotel Room Tax.

Value Added Tax (VAT): 15% on some goods and services.

MAJOR BANKS

The major banks have their main corporate offices in Port of Spain with branches in strategic locations throughout Trinidad and Tobago. They maintain international links through their affiliates in North America and Europe.

All banks have Automatic Banking Machines (ABMs) and major shopping malls contain either full service branches or ABMs. The ABM banking system features LINK which enables clients to access accounts from any ABM regardless of agency in the country. LINX can also be used to make purchases at retail outlets throughout the country. ABMs also offer access to advance cash withdrawals for VISA, MasterCard and VISA Plus clients.

DUTY FREE SHOPPING

Available at the Cruise Ship Complex, Piarco and Crown Point Airports and selected downtown Port of Spain stores.

Utilities

WATER

A state enterprise, Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) is the sole provider of water services in Trinidad and Tobago.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

1 (868) + seven digit number.

ELECTRICITY

The domestic and commercial supply voltage is 110 volts/ 220 volts (+/ -6%); 60 Hz.

Transportation

ROAD SYSTEMS

Driving is on the left side of the road. The islands have an extensive transportation network of paved roads, which underwent major improvements in recent years. There are major highways that link north and south of the island (Uriah Butler Highway and the Solomon Hochoy Highway) as well as the east to the west (Churchill Rooservelt Highway).

PORTS

Commercial and Cruise Ship facilities at Port of Spain and Scarborough. Domestic ferry service transporting passengers and cargo in operation between the two islands. Fast speed passengers service without car costs TT$50 single and TT$100 return trip.

AIRPORTS

Piarco International Airport is 17 miles (27km) from Port of Spain and the Airport code is POS.

Crown Point International Airport is 7 miles (10km) from Scarborough and its Airport code is TAB.

AIRLINES

Piarco is served with scheduled flights from Air Canada, American Airlines/ American Eagle, Continental Airlines, Delta, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, Caribbean Star/ Caribbean Sun, LIAT, Surinam Airways and Avior/Aeropostal, in addition to several charter operators.

Crown Point sees daily scheduled flights from Caribbean Star, two weekly scheduled flights from British Airways, plus one charter from Condor out of Germany, one from Martin Air out of Holland, one from Virgin Atlantic and Excel Airways out of London.

The domestic “airbridge” is operated by Tobago Express based in Trinidad, Flying regular daily flights between 6am and 10pm. The domestic fare is TT$150 single and TT$300 return.

Emergency Services

EMERGENCY SERVICES

Police: 999

Fire and Ambulance: 990

A Hyperbaric Medical Facility (Dive Chamber) available in Roxborough, Tobago.

Media

NEWS PAPER

Daily Press Includes: Trinidad Express, Trinidad Guardian, Newsday.

Tri-weekly: TNT Mirror

Weeklies include: Tobago News, Catholic News, Bomb, Blast, Pillar, Show Time, The Probe, Newspaper Direct Trinidad and Tobago.

TELEVISION

Local Television Stations: CCN TV-6 (Cannel 6 and 18); CNMG (Cannel 9), National Carnival Commission NCC (Cannel 4).

RADIO

Radio Am offers: NBS Radio (610 AM) and Radio Trinidad (730 AM)

Radio FM offers: Wack FM (90.1 FM); Central Radio (90.5 FM); Radio ICN (91.1 FM); Soca (91.9 FM); Radio Tambrin Tobago (92.1 FM); Hott 93 (93.5 / 93.1 FM); Rhythm City 94.1 (94.1 FM); Radio Trinbago (94.7 FM); The Rock (95.1 FM); i95.5 (95.5 FM); WE FM (96.1 FM); RED (96.7FM); Music Radio 97 (97.1 FM); Shakti (97.5 FM); Isaac (98.1 FM); Masala (101 FM); Heritage Radio (101.7 FM) Power (102 FM); Radio Jagriti (102.7 FM); Ebony 104 CT Vibe (105 FM); Sangeet (106 FM).