Access to Dominica by sea must be examined – Colin Piper

Piper

Air access to Dominica has for a while been identified as a problem but access to the island by sea must also be examined, Tourism Director Colin Piper has said.

Speaking on a DBS radio program on Monday, Piper noted that even by ferry, there is a lack of access. Ferries are forced to fit more trips into their daytime schedule as they have reported that Caribbean customers generally prefer not to travel at night, according to Piper.

“We’ve spoken to the ferry about that, but they’ve mentioned that Caribbean people don’t like to travel at night on the ferry. They’ve done their research,” he said.

Over 30 percent of people come to Dominica by ferry, he disclosed.

Tourism officials have spoken of limitations in visitor arrivals to Dominica because of high costs and availability of flights. Officials here have agreed that easier access into Dominica will have considerable positive effects on the tourism industry and the island’s economy.

Piper said close attention must be given to both air and sea access.

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35 Comments

  1. beholder
    December 14, 2011

    If there were passengers enough and money to be made then ferries would run at night and the only local airline, LIAT would run direct flights from Puerto Rico for US and Canadian travelers or Barbados for UK passengers with connecting times that are sensible. So I must think that there is not enough traffic to warrant alterations in schedules.

    But, Dominica can license its own freighter that also carries passengers inter-island. The country could be well served by a ship or ships with refrigeration that can transport our island produce and product to and from our neighbors, carry passengers and even travel at night. This could be a joint venture with government and citizen support. Of course, research and a feasibility study should be done to see if this is economically practical.

  2. Satelite
    December 13, 2011

    I am in agreement for a National Airline. Just four planes to start with, four ATRs 72, two travelling north, two travelling south. One of the two does long haul, while the other does island hoping. Paint them in the colour of our flag, wow, i can just see how beautiful that would look.

    That’s my dream, and all our travel problems would be resolved cause as time goes on the business would improve, with additional planes and services.

    • Rabbit Ears
      December 13, 2011

      If it is so easy and profitable, then stop dreaming and start an airline. Allu does talk too much. Put words to action.

      • Malatete
        December 13, 2011

        In case you have forgotten. Thus far we have had three local airline: Nature Island Express in the 90’s, followed by Cardinal. Both failed and ceased to operate and most recently there was Sisserou airlines that was all but still-born, despite being afforded favoured investment status by the Govt. Maybe it is possible to operate a local airline profitably but hell, it won’t be me putting any money into it for now.

      • 4progress
        December 14, 2011

        @Rabbit Ears……What is your solution. Don’t you think it is time DA start thinking big, sometimes the impossible ? DA and dominicans alike should should try a shared ownership scheme

  3. Anonymous
    December 13, 2011

    What is wrong with Dominica establishing its own National Airline to suit our needs?
    Our airline picks up our citizens in the Caribbean hubs like Barbados, Antigua, St. Maartin and Puerto Rico and take them home non-stop.
    Th same happens to catch international connections on their return.
    The last time I read, Dominica was still independent, so why can’t we own something that will cater for the burning needs of our people?

    • Rabbit Ears
      December 13, 2011

      How much money do yuou have to start an airline? I swear allu does talk to prevent flies from resting on allu lips.

  4. Nation
    December 13, 2011

    What a joke, when he said that we don’t need an international airport. What the cry now.

  5. December 13, 2011

    make the ferry rides cheaper at night.
    just a hint

  6. I am Dca
    December 13, 2011

    Taleh people will float on their suitcase to come into Dominica. Most of our villages are coastal, we all can swim. Can’t we?

    I am Dominica. Are you?

  7. mem bet
    December 13, 2011

    I am laughing out loud because I’m thinking that people are not in favor of ferrying into Dominica by night do we expect people to really jump at the opportunity to fligh into MelleVille Hall by night? I love my country but I must be realistic.

  8. Take It
    December 13, 2011

    May I remind the government of the degrading condition at the deep water harbor. Please don’t wait for the facility to collapse before we fix it. Don’t let foolish pride deny the people of the projects that are truly beneficial to the people and if it means thanking Mr Brisbane for being the first to let the public know about then so be it. Use the opportunity to redesign the port for better passenger accommodation.

    • Private
      December 13, 2011

      And your enginnering firm which did the studies is called………

    • Malatete
      December 13, 2011

      Yes, and whilst you are at it develop the facility to handle all cruise ships. Having these boats in the centre of Roseau is a pain in the a..s!!

  9. Anonymous
    December 13, 2011

    Mr piper you be be sacked how comes its now you are speaking about sea access into Dominica we always wait after the horse has bolted to do something if there were more night time travel alternative people would use it people wouldn’t have to lose a days work to travel to the other island and leave before the party done to return

  10. I see
    December 13, 2011

    You living overseas where EVERYTHING is better than down here and you cannot afford to buy a ticket to come home? Something is very wrong. Things not so bad here man after all. Our kids get overseas vacation every year

    • Rabbit Ears
      December 13, 2011

      That is a bald face lie. How many people in Dominica can afford an annual vacation without borrowing from the credit union?

  11. fatty batty
    December 13, 2011

    so ture we need to have ferry services into domininca.

  12. Anthony Ismael
    December 13, 2011

    Are living in the 18th Century? Build an airport already. Sea travel is time consuming.

    • Rabbit Ears
      December 13, 2011

      Did you factor in the time it takes to get to the airport from the west coast?

      • yes
        December 13, 2011

        And it’s not like we can build an airport in the middle of the island either.

  13. Anonymous
    December 13, 2011

    Build a Dawm airport already jokers!!!!

  14. Cerberus.
    December 13, 2011

    Mr. Piper, I for one am not afraid to use a ferry at night. It would make perfect sense to institute such a schedule, not only for visitors to Dominica wishing to connect by air in either Martinique or Guadeloupe but also for French passengers between these two islands, and commercial traffic in particular. No day time would be lost and no overnighting in Guadeloupwe or Martiniqe would be necessaruy as adequate time would be left to make onward connections.
    I would go as far as to to suggest that if the French operators decline to persue this idea we should start thinking of instituting such a service ourselves.

    • Rabbit Ears
      December 13, 2011

      Cerberus…..Are you asking them to make a decision based on YOUR liking? Surely if the research shows the broad market will not respond to night travel, it makes little sense to start a service to serve a few brave souls. I too see no problems in night travel, but our people are generally not that adventurous and our market size is too small to take that risk.

  15. Belle neff
    December 13, 2011

    Why should people travel on ferry by nite,when there should be nite landing? Are there issues with the nite landing? Just asking.

    • Cerberus.
      December 13, 2011

      For a start it takes a harrowing 1 1/2 hr. drive from Roseau to Melville Hall these days, which will cost you a min. $80 per person, one way. ( ferry from Roseau to Ft. de France takes max. 1 3/4 hr.) Secondly, you don’t have to contend with any landslides blocking the road. Thirdly, your luggage is bound to arrive with you. Last but not least in Europe there are many flights, even a tunnel under the Channel but ferries continue to ply between the U.K. and the European mainland, the Greek isles, Scandinavia etc. They would not do so if there was no demand.

      • GOOD PENGUINE
        December 13, 2011

        It is note worthy that Cerebus and his band of flip floppers find it convenient to make reference to the industrialize countries only when it is convenient to their bias causes. It is simple asinine and arrogant to compare or reference the Euro Tunnel and ferry system to our miniscule twice a week ferry operation. The reason is straight forward and I will therefore say that the blogs written by Cerebus is just a result of his natural instinct to defend the PIP. Clearly one can see that Cerebus is not thinking but rather reacting. We do have a ferry operation right now and we cannot support the Cerrebus’s ideas with actual data or should I say evidence ( their favorite word). Note that Cerebus contend that traveling to melleville hall is way to expensive and unreliable – Isn’t cerrebus one of those who think that the 120 million dollar disaster at Melleville hall was the best thing to happen to us since slice bread. Now I am getting the vibes from Cerrebus that Melleville Hall is a total waste. Cerrebus I must ask – “ how does it taste ? because you seem to have your foot and that of your heroes in your mouth at this time .
        Cerrebus have you ever taken the Ferry from France to London? If so can you really understand the nature of this transportation hub.

        What gall this Cerrebus huh – the dude is now promoting a ferry for OUR VISITORS to go to Guadeloupe or Martinique to catch a flight to their returning destination. I thought that the night landing was implemented to account for this travel deficiency Cerebus . what it is that you are saying please clarify. So are we to go out there and promote Dominica in this day and age by offering visitors a flight in Martinique or Guadeloupe and a Ferry to Dominica. You apologist need to get off your high horses and come down to reality. You guys are a disgrace to our country- the scheming lying, concocting , contradicting , dishonesty, foolish pride is off no good to our country.

      • britbob
        December 14, 2011

        @Good Penguin
        Sorry … I just do not understand your point. I see nothing that Cerebrus stated that is wrong. You may be referring to some earlier submission of his but a look at current circumstances tells me he is right. What is wrong with telling somebody to travel to DA via Martinique? What .. you’re scared that they stop in Martinique and not complete the journey ? or that a traveler may think it is to much hassle? On both counts there is no evidence that is the case (esp if you can take the ferry the same day).. it is overnighting that travelers find troublesome. His point about ferries still operating across the English channel I took to mean that passengers will still use ferries even if more convenient modes of travel exist … so long as the price is right! The night landing project is not a waste. While I don’t see planes coming to land in DA at midnight, It will be useful over time for flights not to stop coming to DA if they where going to land at 6:30 or 6:45. … P.S Keep it positive, man! … we all want the same thing here .. Development of our beloved DA.

    • yes
      December 13, 2011

      Yes there are. As mentioned earlier below, AA absolutely REFUSES to land at night there, for the fear that if something happens and they need to make an emergency landing, they’ll end up in the mountains where probably everybody will die, compared to the sea where you have a MUCH better chance of surviving!

      Not to mention it takes forever to get to the airport unless you live just ten miles away from it.

      It’s exhausting to get there too!

  16. 4u2c
    December 13, 2011

    Bro why you scared of saying that night landing NOT working and the country needs an international airport? Say it plain to the common man can understand—NO ACCESS, Tourism is DOOMED!!!!

    • britbob
      December 13, 2011

      What … you mean doomed like the skiing industry where you cannot get airports of any size within hours transfer to the resorts? Doomed like the safari industry where it is prohibited to put an airport in the middle of wildlife reserves?
      If we don’t get creative about this issue.. yes we will be doomed. I just think it’s a little shocking that it has taken this long to realise that incursions into mass tourism in DA HAS to happen by ferry from the French Isles.

    • yeah
      December 13, 2011

      I agree. AA refuses to fly in there at night because of the danger and risks involved, and LIAT only does it because…well…they’re LIAT.

      Dominica needs to do something that it wouldn’t normally do and probably DOESN’T want to do if they want Tourism here to survive and flourish.

      Open yourselves up to new possibilities!

      • December 15, 2011

        what do you mean liat is just liat, LIAT lies at night because LIAT Pilos ar the best in the world.

    • Anonymous
      December 13, 2011

      Totally agree ! As a Dominican overseas I can’t afford to return due to the high cost . Build an airport already u jokers

      • Private
        December 13, 2011

        We in Dominica do not have that “cannot afford” problem like you…sorry you maltwavai!

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