Tourists in Dominica. Photo credit: quintanomedia

The preliminary third quarter review showed a 4.6 percent growth in stay over arrivals in Dominica for July to September 2011 (20,736) over 2010 (19,827).  Arrivals during July just surpassed the previous high of 9,935 in 2006 by only two arrivals, but this represented a 12.5 percent growth over 2010 (8,831), and almost 20 percent over 2001’s 8,292.  There was a 1.5 percent growth in August (7,312) while September (3,487) saw a 7.9 percent decline in arrivals over 2010.

Despite the decline in September, the quarter presents a positive outlook for tourism following declining arrivals in both the first (-5.6 percent) and second (-7.3 percent) quarters.

Intra regional arrivals grew 5.8 percent to 12,407 during the 3rd quarter, driven primarily by a 9.3 percent growth in arrivals from the OECS territories and an 8 percent growth in arrivals from the French West Indies.  There were also increased arrivals from North America; US visitation grew 2.1 percent, while Canadian 3rd quarter visitation was the highest for the decade and grew 10.3 percent over 2010.  Overall, there was 2.3 percent contraction in European arrivals for the quarter, with the highest percentage of that decline as a result 20.4 percent contraction in arrivals from France.  However arrivals from the United Kingdom and German Speaking Markets both grew in the quarter, at 7.5 percent and 45.2 percent, respectively.

There was an 11 percent increase in the number of visitors (excluding medical students) indicating Hotels, Guest Houses, and similar accommodations as their intended place of stay during July to September 2011. Vacation and other leisure reasons for visiting Dominica represented 70 percent of stay over visitation for the quarter, while Meetings and other Business accounted for 10.5 percent and Medical Student arrivals 7 percent.