August 18 will mark 10 months since Dominica was hit by Category 5 Hurricane Maria. Dominica has continued on the trend of progress around the island in restoring routes to and from the island, essential services and amenities, and transportation throughout the island.
The destination continues to work on awareness of the destination highlighting the recovery efforts and encouraging persons to Re-Discover Dominica, the Nature Island.
Connectivity to Dominica continues to be improved with both air and sea access. InterCaribbean Airways began operations in March this year with 3 weekly flights to and from Dominica with connections out of Tortola and a new Ferry Service out of Guadeloupe to Portsmouth increases the opportunities for travel between the islands for business and leisure.
Dominica continues to have full connectivity to international and regional markets with regular flights offered by regional carriers including LIAT, Seaborne Airlines, WINAIR, Air Sunshine and Coastal Express Carrier.
L’Express des Iles fast ferry service continues to operate its scheduled services between Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Lucia.
A total of 544 hotel/guest house rooms are available. This represents 57 percent of the total stock of 962 rooms available before Hurricane Maria. Secret Bay, and Citrus Creek Planation are expected to reopen in the last quarter of 2018. Fort Young Hotel is expected to open in March 2019 and two (2) new properties, Jungle Bay Resort and Cabrits Resort Kempinski, are expected to open during the first half of 2019. Anichi Resort is slated to open late in 2019 to early 2020. The opening of these three new hotels will increase Dominica’s room stock by 340.
SITES AND ATTRACTIONS
The majority of sites and attractions, 19 of the 23 on the island, have been officially declared open to visitors. These include the signature sites of Trafalgar Falls, Middleham Falls, Emerald Pool, Fresh Water Lake and the Indian River. Visitors can enjoy magnificent easy to moderate hikes across the island including, Syndicate Nature Trail, Cabrits/Fort Shirley and others. Diving tours are currently available with six dive operators offering dive tours at all of the key dive sites on the north, south and west coasts of the island. Divers can explore a world of incredible underwater vistas and discover why Dominica is ranked amongst the world’s top ten dive sites.
A total of 189 cruise calls are projected for the 2018/2019 cruise season which equates to approximately 30,364 cruise passengers. With these 189 cruise calls, Dominica expects to welcome nine (9) new cruise ships to its shores.
For summer 2018 (July – August, 2018), Dominica welcomed Carnival Fascination to our shores for four (4) calls. Visitors have been delighted with on-shore activities to include a variety of cultural performances from traditional dances, steel pan, along with carnival and art presentations.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
Events continue to be a major economic generator for Dominica and the Dominica Festivals Committee staged the 9th Jazz n’ Creole Festival in May 2018 at Fort Shirley in the Cabrits National Park. A number of fringe events organized by private sector organizations who partnered with the DDA in the execution of the weekend long festivities were well attended by patrons.
The World Creole Music Festival is the next major event to be put on in Dominica, and with the launching held in June 2018, activities are in high gear for the hosting of the Festival in October. Regional promotions have already been done in the FWI and English Speaking Caribbean, and along local promotions this year’s WCMF is gearing up to be one of the bigger events staged in the 20 years of the Festival.
While a number of private sector entities continue to promote voluntourism opportunities on island, the Discover Dominica Authority has taken additional initiatives to strengthen the development and to build the capacity of relevant public and private sector persons and organizations involved in the said niche.
A three (3) day targeting Tour Operators, Dive Operator, Hoteliers and Community Tourism Representatives involved in Voluntourism was held and 25 persons received certificates enabling them to improve on their skills in developing and implementing voluntourism packages.