In an effort to enhance the appeal of Dominica’s tourism product, the ministry of Tourism and Culture, through a recent announcement made by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, has unveiled plans of establishing a Cruise Village in Dominica and has given a status update on the long awaited international airport. Both projects have captured the attention of the public and that of private sector organizations like the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA).
The construction contract for said airport, the prime minister affirmed, could be signed as early as next year. As for the Cruise Village, the idea is to move speedily into construction phase and upon completion, the village “will be a completely duty-free zone with all the facilities” to include the Roseau Ferry Terminal. This, to encourage business and foreign exchange with the neighbouring island natives of the French territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
The details of the projects have not been outlined in their entirety and the plans have not yet been solidified, this, the DHTA says, is the opportune time to increase public-private sector collaboration to assist with the final plans and establishment of both the airport and cruise village.
The DHTA is giving its full support and approval of the construction of the projects, and finds that collaboration is increasingly necessary to add to the existing narrative of the country’s tourism product. “The DHTA welcomes these new infrastructural developments, they will definitely go a long way in developing the industry for the better.” Mr. Francis, the Association’s executive VP commented. “I also know that the DHTA and other private sector participants and organizations should to be consulted before the ultimate roll out of plans and designs. It is important to maintain our branding and hospitality guidelines that we into important, and all, tourism infrastructure. What [visitors] see when they arrive should be a slice of Dominica in itself”.
“The design should speak to our culture and give a glimpse of the nature of our tourism product, while sticking to the theme of climate resiliency,” DHTA President, Arienne Perryman suggests. “Another concrete superstructure simply cannot fit”.
A great example, she mentioned, is that of Singapore’s Changi Airport. The airport, arguably, has been voted one of the best in the world and offers a variety of entertainment options for nearly every type of visitor while maintaining eco-friendly qualities. Changi has multiple gardens and green spaces, a butterfly sanctuary with over 1,000 species, an indoor waterfall and also features modern and traditional Singaporean artwork, among other things.
To achieve something similar in Dominica, Perryman says, there needs to be an open dialogue about the nature of our tourism product and how it represents the Dominica brand.
“Now that we are a Ministry of Tourism and Culture, collaborating on the design and layout of these important structures secures the longevity and preservation of tradition and culture in Dominica, which is also a part of our tourism product” Perryman affirmed.
With the industry contributing over 30% of the nations GDP, it is one of Dominica’s most important sectors and will need to be given tremendous support in this financial year. Increased collaboration and information sharing is key if we are to Ignite this important growth engine, post disaster and the DHTA will be speaking to this at their 49th AGM carded for August 15th 2018 at the Prevost Cinemall.
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.