Melville Hall Airport from the air. Photo by Elton Letang

Discover Dominica Authority will be hosting an Access Conference at the Fort Young Hotel from September 25 to 27, 2012 – the first of its kind in the Eastern Caribbean.

The Conference will bring together key stakeholders and engage the support of Caribbean carriers to develop a holistic approach to improving intra-regional and international access to Dominica whilst enhancing the viability of the carriers.

Over the last year, work has been ongoing on the development of an Access Strategy for Dominica. The Access Strategy and resulting Access Conference will address limitations faced by Dominica in its drive to increase year-round visitor arrivals to the island.

Many airlines servicing the region have already expressed keen interest in the Conference. Regional organisations such as the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariats have indicated their intention to have representation given the pivotal role that improved access plays in by filling gaps in Caribbean intra-regional travel.

Over the three day period, presentations and discussions will cover: Dominica’s tourism product and marketing strategy; the hotel plant; partnership opportunities between Discover Dominica Authority, tourism private sector, and air and sea carriers; the port infrastructure; network access; the importance of distribution systems to getting the visitor to Dominica; and the role of financiers in assisting interested carriers. Whilst discussions and presentations will  focus mainly on Dominica it is anticipated that the Conference will provide much needed input into formulating a workable regional approach to solving air access challenges.

Presentations will come from Dominica Air & Sea Ports Authority, Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association, Costa Rican airline – Nature Air, Distribution system providers – Radixx and KIU, Access Consultant – Ian Bertrand, Ross University, Dominica AID Bank, and Discover Dominica Authority.