Speaking to reporters following the launch of a safety and protocol handbook for tour guides, held at the International Waterfront Centre in Port of Spain, Hadeed said he could not say how long clean-up operations would take.
“We are trying to ascertain how far out in the east coast and how much more seaweed there is so we can plan for it. It came in overnight without anybody knowing and it’s quite a lot,” he said.
“We are working with the Tobago House of Assembly to enquire exactly where and what we can do with the seaweed,” Hadeed added.
Earlier this week, the THA allocated $3 million for clean-up efforts across Tobago and noted that it is treating the seaweed invasion as a natural disaster.
At an emergency meeting on Monday, THA Chief Secretary Orville London said a working committee has been established to address the issue and offer recommendations.
Hadeed said while there have been no flight cancellations to the sister isle, hotels including the Blue Haven Hotel in Speyside have been affected by the seaweed.
Despite the sargassum problem, he has urged visitors that Tobago is still an attraction.
“It’s not only the beaches that people go to Tobago for. Tobago is a wonderful place to go and spend time because the people are so beautiful and friendly and this is year is the really the best year they ever had for tourism.”
Earlier addressing tour guides at the launch the Tourism Tour Guiding Safety and Security Protocol Handbook, Hadeed pointed out that Trinidad and Tobago should not be seen as more dangerous than other countries.
“Why do we have to have a handbook on safety?” he asked.
One in a blue moon
“The world is changing but it does not mean that Trinidadians are bad people. Trinidadians are loving people and I’m certain that over the next couple years you would find that the handbook, although you have it, it will not come into use,” he said.
He noted that “only once in a blue moon” incidents relating to the security of tourists occur and that the Ministry is trying to prevent such incidents.
“The last time we had an international incident it was in Tobago. I can say that the Ministry handles the issue of allaying the fears of the international tourists in a proper dignified way. These things happen once in a blue moon, so let it be like a blue moon that we recently had (which is) once in every 15, 20 or 30 years. One is bad enough.”