Dominica mounts vaccination drive for cruise industry stakeholders

The Ministry of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives has gone on a massive vaccination campaign which targets stakeholders in the cruise industry.

This campaign is being held as the country prepares to receive its first cruise ship call on June 6th, 2021.

There are about 943 stakeholders in the sector including vendors, hair braiders and taxi drivers.

“To-date 51 percent of our stakeholders have been vaccinated and so we are continuing this effort,” Tourism Minister Denise Charles disclosed recently on Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit’s Sunday talk show. “To-date we have trained over 200 people in respective fields on how to vend in a COVID environment or to interact with passengers in a COVID setting.”

Charles continued, “We also did a lot of training with the Caribbean Tourism Organization in customer service, in quality control and also, we exposed some of our stakeholders to e-transactions which is also going to be critical going forward.”

She said one cruise vessel has proposed that unvaccinated taxi drivers or tour operators, in order to be able to carry passengers or to go on a tour, should be required to get a PCR test weekly, “and that might be a big challenge.”

“Because you would have to book it; you will have to get the results on time and you would have to pay for the PCR test,” Charles pointed out. “But now all stakeholders have the opportunity to get vaccinated.”

“The vaccine is free,” she said and encouraged stakeholders to take advantage of it.

She further emphasized that in order for Dominica to receive more cruise calls, vaccination is key

 “As you are well aware, every week we have to report how many people have been vaccinated on our island to our cruise partners and that makes a difference and determines how many calls a destination will get,” she revealed.

This she said is important to in order to get a good restart of tourism, in order to continue to promote Dominica as one of the safest, “it is already but in order to continue the promotion of our country as one of the safest destinations, so partners feel comfortable  in recommending their residence to visit  Dominica vaccination is the key.”

Dominica is expecting two cruise ship calls in June, 4 in July and it progresses.

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