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Experience Dominica – The Nature Island: Dominica Vacations | Exotic Vacations | Honeymoon Destination

Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.


The entrance to the sulfur spring, DominicaPhoto by:quintanomedia

Tourism is, largely a self-involved business. Basically, it involves partnership between government and business design to cater to the tastes of the ignorant (as in “unfamiliar”) traveler, while highlighting the best of a country. The most successful tourist economies are extremely skilled at branding their cultures in order to attract visitors and their dollars to their lands. In this regard, the Caribbean islands have shown particular abilities.

In the eyes and mind of the world, “the Caribbean” has become, quite simply, a collection of beautiful beaches, the same except for their varying degrees of exclusivity. The ideal place to “get away” to for some “rest and relaxation.”

The problem with this mythic vision is that it is just that, a myth. Missing from this lavish picture is anything truly Caribbean beyond, of course, the landscape. Unlike most other destinations where pleasure is vital in tourism, the Caribbean on-a-whole hides its heart from travelers who seek her shores. The richness and diversity of its people, its history and its cuisine are artfully and intentionally hidden from view, with the exception of a curious few.

Even on an island as small as Dominica, it is rare for tourists to venture from their itineraries and limited guidebooks to seek out the island’s true beauty – her rich culture. Even when surrounded by Dominicans and Dominican culture, many tourists only see what they want to; what we have encouraged them to see, the brilliant sunshine, the smiling faces, vibrant colours and natural sites. What is missing from the experience of tourists to Dominica is a full cultural experience.

Do we not have a rich history to share? Do we not have unique things to offer to the world? Are we not a world of our own, and can we not be described within our own context, rather than being compared to other islands?

We must begin to export our culture, first by acknowledging to ourselves its importance on the world stage, followed by an intensive effort to make the world, starting with tourists, take notice. We may be small, but we are powerful.

We must also show our visitors that despite their well-deserved popularity, there is much more to Dominica than the exotic waterfalls and world renown diving sites and introduce them to our unique Carnival and traditional dances like Hill & Toe, Waltz, Quadrille; and Bèlè.

I believe it is our responsibility to ensure that, in the future, rather than hiding in the shadows, our cultural wealth shares renown with our exotic shorelines and natural sites.

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