The tram

Aerial Tram Dominica has been listing the factors that forced the company to take its decision to close down.

In a just released statement, the troubled tourist attraction announced its intention to close permanently its “park located in the village of Laudat, Dominica, after nine years of operation”.

According to Chairman of Rainforest Tram Limited, Von Der Goltz, the park has not made a profit in “eight of the nine years we have kept it open”.

“The local tourism industry is not showing any significant new signs of growth and the cruise ship business, a mainstay for tourism traffic in Dominica (95% of our business), has declined sharply in the past few years due to the lack of attractions and services,” the chairman cited as another factor that had impacted negatively on the company’s business.

He also made reference to the “15% VAT tax imposed in 2007”.

“To be a sustainable company, we also have to be economically viable, which forces us to focus our attention on locations where tourism has a stronger growth rate,” he explained.

Von Der Goltz said Rainforest Tram was sad to be making the closure announcement, especially since the company was aware of the negative impact this would have on Dominica and the company’s “wonderful employees”.

More than 65 Dominicans are now out of a job as a result of that decision to shut down.

Dominica News Online first reported the shutting down decision on May 31 (2012), when a source close to the company revealed that slow tourism arrivals had impacted negatively on the business, with Rain Forest Aerial Tram no longer able to stay in operation because of financial difficulties.

Staff had been given the devastating news at a meeting earlier that day.

The company chairman said in its just released statement that “since opening, a significant investment of over $6 million has been made in the park of Dominica with all its facilities”.

“We no longer can justify continuing to invest more money into the operations without seeing a reasonable return on investment as we are experiencing in our other parks,” Von der Goltz said.

The Dominica government has indicated that it is examining the situation to see what can be done about salvaging the tram service and the jobs of the affected employees.