With a new logo and branding strategy, the Caribbean island of Dominica is gearing up for tourism growth.
In February, the Lesser Antilles destination unveiled an ambitious rebranding, complete with new marketing materials that include videos and trade show assets. It’s all part of a joint effort between Discover Dominica Authority and the Ministry of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives.
In the same way that travelers and the tourism industry are evolving, the destination is changing its approach, too, according to Kimberly King, destination marketing manager for Discover Dominica Authority. In our exclusive interview with King, she shares insight into the destination’s transformation and the shift in traveler preferences.
Why did your organization decide it was time to rebrand Dominica?
Discover Dominica Authority recognized the need to establish a bolder identity for the Commonwealth of Dominica. Dominica is frequently confused with the Dominican Republic, so it was necessary to emphasize and distinguish the two countries, because they are significantly distinct.
Dominica is frequently confused with the Dominican Republic, so it was necessary to emphasize and distinguish the two countries, because they are significantly distinct.
Additionally, a global study revealed that changing the logo would help Dominica stand out in a crowded market for travelers interested in what the island has to offer. With this, we aim to better present Dominica and to attract more visitors to the beautiful nature island.
How would you describe Dominica’s tourism recovery?
As tourism continues to rebound, we’re seeing a steady and consistent increase in visitor arrivals. For example, our January 2022 arrivals show a 207% increase over January 2021, and our February 2022 arrivals show a 324% increase over February 2021.
Coupled with improved visitor confidence as COVID-19 protocols become more relaxed, and enhanced airlift via a direct flight from mainland U.S. with American Airlines, we are even more optimistic about Dominica’s tourism recovery.
What do you think is driving tourism growth in 2022?
Wellness, regenerative and adventure travel, and sustainable and eco-conscious destinations will be the driving force this year — and people will travel to less crowded, off-the-beaten-track destinations. Dominica is ready and prepared to welcome these types of travelers in 2022, thanks to our health and wellness assets, rich flora and fauna, and cultural heritage.
What types of travelers does Dominica attract?
We actively seek out travelers who fit well within our niche strategy. Those niches are adventure, aqua, cuisine, health and wellness, and culture. We believe health and wellness will be one of our trending niches in 2022, in part because the pandemic has prompted many people to realize the importance of their own health and wellness and prioritize travel around that.
Destinations need to protect what is distinctive and focus on quality over quantity, and on the traveler mindset of ‘How can I support this place?’
Additionally, the Commonwealth of Dominica has declared 2022 as the “Year of Health and Wellness,” and both the public and private sectors will collaborate on a calendar of activities to help locals and visitors experience the benefits of health and wellness and transformative travel.
Dominica’s ideal traveler enjoys less crowded sites and places off the beaten track; is adventurous at heart; and is curious about the local way of life. They are wellness enthusiasts, nature lovers, and divers, and they tend to travel solo, as a couple or as a family. They actively seek out authentic experiences and are interested in self-actualization.
Travel, of course, won’t be the same as it once was. Destination cities and major tourist sites will be quieter and less crowded. We predict the rise of the conscious traveler — people who are far more discerning of the journey they take. Experiences will become deeper, more distinctive, and more meaningful. Destinations need to protect what is distinctive and focus on quality over quantity, and on the traveler mindset of “How can I support this place?‘‘
How is the travel experience evolving in Dominica?
We strongly believe that post-pandemic travel will be a very different, new world. New travel reassessments might come into play, such as overtourism and climate change. We may begin to see smaller, more controlled crowds on vacation.
We believe Dominica is in a great position to offer the travel experience people will want — where they can be one with nature, be among friendly people but not at mass gatherings, and have a transformative experience that provides lasting memories.
Post-COVID-19, people will rethink how and why they travel, and travel more consciously. We believe Dominica is in a great position to offer the travel experience people will want — where they can be one with nature, be among friendly people but not at mass gatherings, and have a transformative experience that provides lasting memories. Dominica is ready to provide a safe haven for visitors.
How are you working with travel advisors?
We offer an Online Travel Training platform where agents can become experts in selling Dominica, and we operate an updated destination website with all the tourist-related content they need. We also have an active presence on social media, have source marketing representatives in all our major markets who are in touch with the trade industry, and we organize fam trips for trade and media partners.