As the cruise industry rebound continues, Dominica participated in the Seatrade Cruise Global 2022 to regain market share. The event was held at the Miami Beach Conference Center from April 25-28, 2022. The four-day cruise conference is the leading cruise business event bringing together thousands of cruise professionals from over 100 countries. The event sets the platform for over 30 cruise brands and 500 exhibitors to share the very latest in cruise technology, design, innovation, and services from the show floor.
The Dominican delegation comprised of Benoit Bardouille, CEO of the Dominica Air and Seaport Authority (DASPA); Odile Jno Baptiste, Product Promotions Manager (Ag) of Discover Dominica Authority (DDA); and Lise Cuffy, Marketing Executive of DDA. The delegation held productive discussions with major cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Virgin Voyages, MSC Cruises, Disney Cruise Lines, and Carnival Cruise Lines among others. The discussion focused on increasing Dominica’s cruise business, product offerings, and the plans for improvement of the cruise experience and cruise port operations.
A key highlight of the event was the 2022 State of the Cruise Industrykeynote session. Cruise leaders such as Kelly Craighead, President and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and Arnold W. Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation examined the resilience and the re-start of the industry, environmental sustainability, destination stewardship, health and safety, economic impact, and the future of cruising. The discussion, led by the BBC’s Lucy Hockings, explored the work of the industry to lead the way as a model for responsible tourism practices, as well as its commitment to deliver memorable travel experiences that make cruising the best way to see the world.
Since the resumption of cruise services in July 2021, Dominica has welcomed over 180 cruise ship calls to its shores. The initial projection for the 2022/2023 cruise ship season indicates that the island will receive 211 cruise calls. Virgin Voyages is expected to make 13 calls for the upcoming season, while Disney Cruises is expected to make an inaugural visit during the early part of the season. Other lines which are expected to call are the Tui Cruises with 21 calls and Royal Caribbean with 11 calls.
Dominica’s tourism industry directly employs over 3,000 persons. The tourism sector represents one third of the national economy’s GDP. Dominica is committed to delivering memorable experiences to our cruise visitors with unique offerings to include waterfalls, rivers, whale watching, diving, hiking, relaxation, black sand beaches, and natural hot water spas. We will continue to market Dominica as a desirable cruise destination with a difference to increase cruise calls to Dominica.