Time and time again we hear complaints that the T&T government isn’t doing enough to promote the steelband , and culture in general.
I myself have noted that in my forty plus years in the Northeast USA I’ve seen few if any features , commercials etc. extolling the virtues of T&T , and encouraging foreigners to come visit.
Has it ever occurred to anyone that this may be deliberate , and that government may have no real interest in developing an industry around culture, and that includes the steelband?
A development of culture as business would demand a lot from government , including the need to develop a tourist infrastructure.
Can you imagine what would happen , for instance if the foreign influx of visitors to Trinidad at Carnival time were to double?
Were it not for the fact that most visitors stay with relatives , there probably aren’t enough reasonably priced hotel accommodations as it now stands.
Most visitors would wish to stay in or near the capital , and the hotel industry would be totally unprepared.
Trinidad does not have the tourist infrastructure of say, Barbados , and that is no accident.
Tourism , going back to the days of Dr. Williams has never really been a priority of the Trinidad government.
Because we have oil , it was thought , and the economy is based on that fact.
But the only real way for a nation to profit from its culture is through tourism , and any major business enterprise based on a cultural art-form such as the steelband would have limited success if only based on the local economy without an influx of foreign income.
(Incidentally , that is another reason I advocate for Panorama in the middle of the year ; if the panorama grew really big and attracted its own pan people , there would be accommodations for them , without competing for hotel rooms with the Carnival people.
But that’s another story)