ROSEAU, Dominica (September 25, 2018) – The world over, governments of small island developing states are looking to strengthen the capacity of their tourism industries to diversify and improve economic development and to include the industry in the integrated approach to mitigate against difficulties arising from climate change.
The Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA) in collaboration with TurtlCo, held a series of consultations with DHTA members, representatives of Discover Dominica Authority and the Ministry of Tourism, and members of the newly formed Portsmouth Hospitality Association (PHA) to discuss how the organizations could work together to build a more profitable industry through sustainable development.
TurtlCo is a Swedish based consultancy that analyses, consults on and implements targeted environmental efficiency measures for island hotels. They guide the transition to becoming sustainable businesses by implementing innovative energy, water, sewage, waste management, restaurant, and wildlife solutions, while securing natural resources for years to come. With the broader scope of the island as a whole, they highlighted the need for updated infrastructure to facilitate the transition, stating: “In order to achieve sustainability goals – issues must be tackled at both the hotel and infrastructure level.”
In Dominica “the industry is under immense pressure to rapidly develop and carry the country’s economic growth. How this development occurs will largely determine the fate of Dominica’s current and future generations,” DHTA Executive Vice President, Kevin A. Francis stated.
“So, right now there’s a small window of time to join and build a thriving tourism industry that lasts – one that enhances Dominica’s natural resource base instead of destroying it.”
The recently concluded discussions have been described as “productive, timely and worthwhile.” Founder of TurtlCo, Bonnie Lewtas said, “We really appreciated the entire time, the level of engagement and enthusiasm towards environmental issues. We look forward to further partnerships and working with Dominica to build a thriving and sustainable future for the island.”
“We are trying to build a sustainable bridge between Sweden and Dominica. And so far, all people we have met ended in very successful meetings and understandings. So I’m looking forward to the next step. Now we are going home. We have a lot of things to discuss and report” co-founder Ulf Larsson added.
The consultation was well received by DHTA members, including the newly formed Portsmouth Hospitality Association who is positioning themselves to represent Picard properties. Given the various challenges faced post Hurricane Maria, members were grateful for the opportunity to learn how to generate revenue and increase their resilience through embracing environmentally friendly practices.
Operating as a membership-based tourism development organization for over four decades, the
Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association is a focal point for the tourism industry in Dominica.
The DHTA assumes a leadership role in the industry, and acts as a catalyst for enabling
Dominica’s tourism economy to reach its full potential to the benefit of our current and future
members, visitors, investors and travel partners, citizens and the Commonwealth of Dominica.