There has been a significant increase in ferry arrivals in recent months. Preliminary data suggests a total of 9,961 ferry arrivals as of July 31, 2022. From January to July, 2022 ferry arrivals accounted for 27% of visitor arrivals to Dominica, compared to zero for the corresponding period in 2021.
After more than a year and a half of absence due to the pandemic, ferry services recommenced in November 2021. To maintain the safety of visitors during travel, ferry operators were restricted to 50 passengers initially, which limited the number of visitors that could enter the island via ferry. The restrictions were lifted in the first quarter of 2022. This resulted in a gradual month-on-month increase in arrivals, peaking in July 2022 with a total of 3,587. July’s performance, which can be partly attributed to an influx of visitors for the Cadence-lypso Tribute Festival, reflects a 190% increase over June 2022 (1,234) and accounts for 36% of Y-T-D ferry arrivals.
The upward trend in ferry arrivals is expected to continue in upcoming months. The increasingly popular Breakfast Fete resulted in a significant increase in ferry activity. This is expected to manifest in visitor arrival numbers for August. Upcoming activities, including the return of the World Creole Music Festival in October after a 2-year absence, should result in a large influx of visitors to the island. Ferry arrivals are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels when they accounted for more than 40% of island arrivals.