Tonge said discussions have began with hotel owners in the north

Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge, said the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) wants patron of this year’s World Music Festival (WCMF) to seek accommodation in the second town of Portsmouth while in Dominica for the event.

Some have wondered where the influx of visitors will stay after the island’s hotel room stock took a severe hammering from the passage of Hurricane Maria last year.

At the launch of the festival last week, Tonge said plans are being put in place to have the north of the island accommodate some visiting patrons.

“So what we intend to do is create a small village in the north where persons can go and visit and stay and come to the city on a daily basis,” he stated.

Tonge said he hopes that stakeholders in the tourism industry will have their properties in a better position to welcome visitor by October when the festival is held.

“However, we began discussion of owners of hotels and apartments in Portsmouth…” he stated.

He stated that discussions are also being held with owners of boats and large buses to provide transportation to the capital from Portsmouth.

“We are positive that this model will work well and also open up the other areas of the country to our visitors,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tonge urged Dominicans to take ownership of the WCMF.

“To see it as a triumph over the recent adversity and another step in our journey to recovery,” he said. “Dominica is ready once again to welcome the world to its shores, to experience a celebration of epic proportions. It is our 40th anniversary of Independence and the WCMF stands as a centerpiece of what promises to be a cultural explosion.”

The 2018 edition of the WCMF will take place at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium from October 26 to 28.

Acts include Chronixx and Mavado, Machel Montano and Kes the Band, Zouk All Stars, Franky Vincent, Jean-Marc Ferdinand, Orlane, and Stephane Lavor.

There will be performances by local bands and artistes including Signal Band, Midnight Groovers, Triple Kay International, Carlene XP and Michele Henderson.

Also, Sweet Mickey, Klass, Kai and Yemi Alade from Nigeria are expected to perform.