Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) was pleased to support the watersports sector by partnering with Soufriere Outdoor Centre (SOC) on the inaugural Waitukubuli Sea Trail expedition. The objective of the expedition was to design a permanent sea kayaking trail and tour from the north to south of Dominica utilizing high end sea touring kayaks.
From June 7 – 10, 2022, Wes Moses, owner of SOC, and Melanie Grant, an award-winning filmmaker from Barbados, kayaked the length of Dominica. The duo began the mission at the Guadeloupe Channel off Capuchin and paddled south over four days to the Martinique Channel off Scott’s Head. The Waitukubuli Sea Trail will be the only sea kayaking trail in the Caribbean. During future expeditions, kayakers can expect to observe various marine life such as turtles, dolphins, schools of colorful fish or even a gliding shark’s fin. The sea trail provides much opportunity to explore hidden beaches, rock outcroppings, inlets, and the cliff sides.
North America, Europe and Australia are the key markets for watersports activities such as kayaking. In 2018, 22.9 million Americans took to rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans to participate in at least one paddling activity (Outdoor Industry Association). Additionally, marine and coastal tourism constitutes one of the largest and fastest growing segments in the tourism industry (Dwyer 2018). Dominica is an ideal location for these activities due to its sunny and warm weather, and a mix of optimal and varied wind conditions.
Having recently acquired Nature Island Standards of Excellence (NISE) certification, the SOC plans to expand the trail into a full circumnavigation over the next few years. Moses states that the “sea trail will appeal to everyone who has a sense of adventure and the right skills set to paddle one or all of the segments.”
The Waitukubuli Sea Trail will eventually be sectioned off into various segments much like the Waitukubuli National Trail so a kayaker can opt to do the complete expedition or just a few parts. Realizing that “collaboration with multiple stakeholders will drive the success of the trail,” Moses expressed his gratitude to “have the support of Discover Dominica Authority and the Ministry of Tourism.”
The development of this activity aligns with the Authority’s objective to attract 200,000 stayover visitors to the island by 2025. “DDA shares in the excitement of developing this activity which has the potential to add value to Dominica’s product offerings. Coupled with the American Airline’s daily flight from Miami, the island is well poised to attract kayakers and other water sports enthusiasts,’” says Colin Piper, Director of Tourism. DDA will continue to promote marine and adventure tourism, and other niches within its mandate.