Dominica’s tourism industry is quickly growing although one can argue that it is still in its early development stages compared to other Caribbean islands. For many years, it has been said that this beautiful unspoilt island has been left behind due to its rugged terrain, lack of white sand beaches, and underdeveloped infrastructure which have prevented the influx of tourists that most other Caribbean islands enjoy. However, in recent years, Dominica has successfully marketed itself as the “Nature Island of the Caribbean,” seeking to attract eco-tourists interested in experiencing a different type of tourism and this is proving to be a success.
The government realized that intensive tourism is incompatible with preserving the island’s eco-system and in 1997 signed an agreement with Green Globe, the environmental division of the World Travel and Tourism Council, to develop the island as a “model ecotourism destination.” The three-year program provided technical expertise on environmental management as well as marketing through specialist travel companies. The Discover Dominica Authority further championed the development of a 10 years Master Plan to further ensure the tourism sector is strategically focused on achieving its mandate.
We have accepted that we are not the typical Sun, Sea and Sand, beach holidays but we can surely boast the many natural and healing attributes of this island that sets us apart from the other islands in the Caribbean. Dominica can boast the Waitukubuli National Trail; a 14 segment trail that runs through the entire island, 365 rivers with many springs and waterfalls; creating the most heavenly place on earth for many who have visited, natural therapeutic hot springs, and the 2nd largest boiling lake in the world. And these are but some of what we can boast and what entices nature lovers to the island.
Those involved in the investment promotion aspect of the island realizes that “the typical investment in the Caribbean is generally around the Sun, Sea and Sand, beach holidays with some variations”, but Dominica is by no way competing with this. We are pleased to highlight to the world that what we are offering to investors in the tourism industry is “a totally different experience in the Caribbean, and one unique to the island of Dominica”. “Dominica caters for tourists who are looking for a different experience, a more natural experience, a more adventure base experience, and a more eco-centered experience, and those who have a fundamental interest in health and wellness. We also feel that it is a huge benefit to the investors those who take advantage of these opportunities at the early stages of our tourism development”.
Some of the opportunities offered are the “capacity for building and operating boutique hotels, opportunities to build and operate eco resorts, opportunities to build and operate health and wellness spas, opportunities to build and operate marinas and opportunities to build and operate marine based activities like diving and whale watching”.
There is already a number of “small operations in almost all of those areas and some are very successful and of a high quality, but there is a huge opportunity to tap into the millions of visitors into the Caribbean in offering them either a completely different vacation or a completely different element to their vacation. What we in Dominica would like to do is partner with the investor in both the development of their facility and the marketing of the location for mutual benefit”.
The Investment Promotion Unit at Invest Dominica Authority continues to promote investments in this lucrative sector, and invites all to visit and explore the many niche investment opportunities and capabilities that exist in the tourism sector on the island, both in accommodation and services. We look forward to facilitating all investors to ensure that their experience will be an awesome one.
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