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There is no doubt that in the last few years, tourism has actually brought in much more foreign exchange to Dominica that the once dominant banana industry. According to the latest statistics, tourism contributed EC$179 million in 2007.

But tourism can do more, much more, particularly in meeting Dominica’s need for jobs, sustainable jobs.

The only way we in Dominica can get on sustainable path of development, is to help these onging operations and enterprises that continues to offer sustainable growth in employment; for example the local hotels and guest-houses who are struggling to make ends meet.

Despite these challenging, global economic times, tourism continues to offers an opportunity for job creation and foreign exchange earnings.

Government needs to demonstrate more confidence into the Tourism sector by providing more assistance, in particular, the many Dominicans who have invested in hotels and guest houses – they’ve been literally struggling to survive for years. As we all know, some have been forced to actually close their doors.

It is time for the government to put some of the tourism revenue earned back into the local tourism industry, which in turn will create more sustainable jobs for more Dominicans.

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5 Comments »

Comment by pete
2009-06-03 12:58:35

Good point to focus on Chris. However my contention is that yes, more support should be given to the tourism industry by means of incentives and infrastructure and ways of facilitating business. But tourism really is everyone’s business now. Or at least it should. And if we focus instead on overall country development, not just physically, but socially, environmentally, including human resource development, and other agents of economic development, this will filter into the tourist industry. For example, a highly educated population will make it easier to give better customer service to the tourist. If we aspire to have sound environmental and planning policies and encourage things like proper waste disposal, construction of buildings and roads for sustainable progress, then the visitors will benefit and also have a more rewarding experience. If you have more people gainfully employed you could have less crime or less harrasment of tourists, resulting in a better experience by visitors. I have always said you don’t put your house in shape because of a visitor, but do it because its the proper thing to do and if the visitor appreciates this, then kudos to you (and the word gets around)!

So yes, let’s focus on plowing investment in the industry where possible, but if we need to emphasize people development first in all considerations, then some things will filter down to that industry as well. We also realize that financial resources are scarce and that the government is not sitting on a pile of money at all. But yes, lets seek to prioritize and support this vital industry where possible!

 
Comment by Joel Halfwassen Subscribed to comments via email
2009-06-03 16:10:56

Airport, airport, airport. This project is #1 priority in improving the tourism experience. Allow for early morning and night landings would go WAY far in getting people to the island. Do you know how tough it is to get to and from Dominica in one travel day? You have to REALLY want to be there in order to use your dollars to get there.

 
Comment by pete
2009-06-03 17:44:27

Good point. That airport! Every administration conducts feasibility studies. Invariably, someone of major influence says its too expensive and shoots it down. (Freedom party claimed the UWP prevented the US gov’t from helping start one). One administration actually bought the land for the airport and claimed that the money was already secured to start work. Indeed a school was moved to a new location partly in preparation for this. The current administration (put a hold to review major projects including the airport planned) and then claimed that the European Union would only give funds for rehab of the existing so it accepted that instead. Not sure why no one thought or acted on a BOOT (Build own operate and transfer) arrangement, whereby it could be funded from private sources, at little or no cost to the taxpayer and later transferred to the country This has been done the world over, even in the Caribbean. See the attached document.

http://rru.worldbank.org/Documents/PublicPolicyJournal/202silva.pdf

Of course even with a BOOT it has to be shown to investors that it would be profitable. But indeed, Dominica will be the last to have its international airport in the region.

 
Comment by Larry
2009-06-04 11:22:13

From pete’s 1st comment I quote – ” I have always said you don’t put your house in shape because of a visitor, but do it because its the proper thing to do…”
Right on Pete! Words to live by in a broader sense as well. Do right for yourself and others becuase it is the proper thing to do, don’t wait to do it to be showy.
I also agree with the commenters here that night lighting at the airport would make Dominica more accessible. The airport has greatly upgraded in the last year and it was nice to see.
God Bless Dominica!

 
Comment by delina Subscribed to comments via email
2009-06-11 22:50:32

how ar u chris and pete 😆

 
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