A cruise ship in port in Dominica

Although Dominica experienced a drop in cruise ship passengers in the past two years, Tourism Minister Senator Robert Tonge has announced that there will be an increase of over 50,000 passengers for the period 2017 to 2018, as compared to previous years.

The Minister made these remarks during a town hall meeting in the Community of Soufriere on Wednesday night.

“We have just reviewed our cruise ship listing for the period 2017-2018, we’ve reconfirmed with all of the ships to make sure that they are coming and I can say to you we gonna have an increase of over 50,000 people coming to Dominica as compared to the previous years,” he said.

Senator Tonge stated that the Ministry of Tourism is speaking with the relevant stakeholders on a regular basis to ensure Dominica receives better scores from cruise ship passengers.

He said that the increase in arrivals expected for the 2017-2018 season is going to put a lot of pressure on all of us.

“It means there are going to be more people, you going to have more persons trying to get business…It means you going to have more people going to sites so we have to try to reduce overcrowding, to make sure persons have the best possible experience in Dominica,” Tonge stated.

He said that however Dominica’s scores are increasing which means “we are making the possible changes we just have to continue making those changes.”

Statistics from the Caribbean Tourism Association show that there has been a drop in cruise arrivals to Dominica in the past two years.

The statistics show in 2016 Dominica received 277,132 cruise ship visitors as compared to 279,341 in 2015.

That represents a 1.6 percent decrease for 2016.

In 2014, the island received 286,575 cruise ship visitors. Compared to the 2015 figure of 279,342, this represents a 2.5 percent drop.