ROSEAU, Dominica, Monday November 2, 2015 – The Ministry of Tourism is looking to further develop the yachting industry as a means of attracting more visitors to the island.
Minister for Tourism and Urban Renewal, Senator Robert Tonge has disclosed that the ministry will be focusing on the French West Indies to attract tourists through yachting.
“As part of our marketing strategy, we plan to increase our advocacy on the neighboring islands. Once we pitch in the right way, we should be able to bring a lot more people to Dominica with the funds which we have,” he said.
OECS Ambassador to Brussels Dr. Len Ishmael says yachting has the potential to contribute more to the social and economic development of the region.
“About 80 years ago, we produced what is now known as the UN Economic Commission for Latin America Caribbean report. These reports were pioneering because for the very first time, we were able to show in a dynamic and real way the total number of yachts which were moving through the region but more importantly, the sort of asset base that difference countries had with respect to yachting,” she said.
“For example, the British Virgin Islands, with fixed assets of about US $500 million [and] contributions to GDP of US$220 million annually even then and then at the lower end St. Vincent and the Grenadines with an incredibly beautiful product in the Tobago Keys and the rest of the Grenadines having far less funds generated by that sector into the national treasury from yachting.”
She says, however, that Dominica is ripe for investment.
“From the US Virgin Islands all the way down to Trinidad and Tobago, we have a little less that 7,000 berths only compared to turkey which in two or three marinas will have more than 7,000. It says therefore… that we are massively under-invested and given the comparative advantage which we have, we are ripe for investments in the region.”
Dr. Ishmael says Dominica is exactly what visitors want to experience in the Caribbean and the yachting industry will capitalize on those markets.
“Dominica has something which nobody else has – it is the Nature Island and the Creole hub for our part of the world.”