Dominica, in its effort to regain market share within the cruise sector, participated in Seatrade Cruise Global which ran from March 27 to 31, 2023 in Fort Lauderdale. Seatrade is an annual premier cruise event which attracts the global cruise community all in one place for networking and information gathering opportunities. The show saw an estimated 10,000 attendees exposed to the latest cruise products and services from 500+ exhibitors and new launches on the show floor.
The Dominican delegation comprised the Honorable Minister for Tourism, Denise Charles, the Chief Executive Officer of the Dominica Air and Seaport Authority, Benoit Bardouille, and other key tourism stake holders from the private sector. One -on-one meetings were held with the major cruise line executives and other representatives. The discussion focused on increasing Dominica’s cruise business, product offerings, and plans for the improvement of the cruise experience and cruise port operations. The feedback for Dominica was very positive as it relates to cruise guest experience on the nature island and the cruise business stands to benefit with increase cruise calls and passengers visiting Dominica.
As of April 2023, Dominica received a total of 190 cruise calls and 236,288 passengers for the 2022/2023 cruise season, compared to 189,334 passengers and 143 calls for the 2019/2020 season. This clearly points to an increase of some twenty-five (25) percent over the 2019/20 figures and signals a strong return to cruise business in Dominica.
Initial projection for the 2023/2024 cruise ship season indicates that the island will receive 224 cruise calls and some 270,000 cruise passengers. Major cruise lines such as Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, TUI Cruises, and Disney Cruises, are expected to make increased calls to Dominica during the upcoming season.
Efforts to strengthen guest experience and explore new tour option opportunities for the many guests arriving on the island will be pursued. The Government of Dominica will continue its effort to increase the destination’s visibility in the marketplace and make investments in improving the cruise infrastructure, thereby increasing cruise passenger arrivals.