Aerial Tram Dominica explains shut down

The tram

Aerial Tram Dominica has been listing the factors that forced the company to take its decision to close down.

In a just released statement, the troubled tourist attraction announced its intention to close permanently its “park located in the village of Laudat, Dominica, after nine years of operation”.

According to Chairman of Rainforest Tram Limited, Von Der Goltz, the park has not made a profit in “eight of the nine years we have kept it open”.

“The local tourism industry is not showing any significant new signs of growth and the cruise ship business, a mainstay for tourism traffic in Dominica (95% of our business), has declined sharply in the past few years due to the lack of attractions and services,” the chairman cited as another factor that had impacted negatively on the company’s business.

He also made reference to the “15% VAT tax imposed in 2007”.

“To be a sustainable company, we also have to be economically viable, which forces us to focus our attention on locations where tourism has a stronger growth rate,” he explained.

Von Der Goltz said Rainforest Tram was sad to be making the closure announcement, especially since the company was aware of the negative impact this would have on Dominica and the company’s “wonderful employees”.

More than 65 Dominicans are now out of a job as a result of that decision to shut down.

Dominica News Online first reported the shutting down decision on May 31 (2012), when a source close to the company revealed that slow tourism arrivals had impacted negatively on the business, with Rain Forest Aerial Tram no longer able to stay in operation because of financial difficulties.

Staff had been given the devastating news at a meeting earlier that day.

The company chairman said in its just released statement that “since opening, a significant investment of over $6 million has been made in the park of Dominica with all its facilities”.

“We no longer can justify continuing to invest more money into the operations without seeing a reasonable return on investment as we are experiencing in our other parks,” Von der Goltz said.

The Dominica government has indicated that it is examining the situation to see what can be done about salvaging the tram service and the jobs of the affected employees.

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95 Comments

  1. Canadian observer
    June 8, 2012

    My heart truly goes out to the 65 people who will lose these jobs.

    It is sometimes easier to see things from afar. I’ve been to Dominica 3 times and will go again. The first time I did the “tourist things”, but what got me to come back was the nature.

    This is a short term problem, however, Dominica MUST continue to follow the path of resisting large developments. It is so important to be the one destination that is not covered by Sandal’s or similar type of developments.

    Please keep marketing “the nature Island”. Long term, it WILL pay off.

    I love your place to visit, and promote it as much as I can to friends who travel to the Caribbean.

    Good luck!

  2. deesseafricaine
    June 7, 2012

    the tram shut down. sad but big deal. its time for da to reinvent herself. dominica herself is the attraction. there is not place better in the caribbean. the government must do something to decrease the cost of travel to da and then there will be no issue

  3. June 7, 2012

    Dominica is very difficult to get too and cost financially and in time. 4-5 hrs non stop from New York to Barbados, Antigua, St Maarten, Jamaica, St Kitts, St Lucia, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago but with Dominica it takes 8-12 hrs to get here thats a waste of complete day in travel delays, baggage issues, poor customer service. We need jet service in Dominica.

    • I agreeeee
      June 7, 2012

      I agree with you 100 percent. I am so frustrated planning my vacation to Dominica. Flying from Boston will take me about 18 hrs, and I only get two weeks of vacation wasting a whole day. Then we have to fly all over the world :-x. I do not even want to keep looking for tickest. Bonjieu, all I want to do is come home…..

  4. Jacky Chan
    June 7, 2012

    Just when people like Henry George need to say something they choose to remain quiet. This is time when people must show what they stand for.
    I would like to see the government step in and save the job of 65 Dominicans but alas that would be asking for turning tarrish to gold dust. The bottom line is that the aerial tram service has failed because the country is in economic failure and the government does not have the confidence to shore up the failing company based on the merits of the systems in place vis a vis the confidence for future growth in tourism both local and international.
    All we have thus far is a government who brags about a few Chinese founded projects – bare bones but is unable to speak about economic growth and sustainable development. A government who have spent so much time and resources on fire drills relating to allegations of corruption; A government bent on lies and propaganda while those in the fore front of the propaganda parade are the ones in prosperity and the rest of the masses are drowning in poverty, unemployment, disenfranchisement and the every once in a while handout from the red clinic.

    This is certainly not the Dominica we were 20-30 years ago. I sincerely pray Oh my god that our people wake up and look around – remove the veils of partisanship and ask the yourselves the right question. Reginald Austrie did so several years ago when he ask whether or not we can consume infrastructure. As responsible Dominicans maybe it is time to ask Reginald Austrie and his colleagues –where is the money to buy the food to feed the children and to support local industries. Call me Blue or Green if you want to but your consciences will keep talking to you whether you want to listen or not. Aint nothing like a nagging conscience.

    • RastaMarn
      June 7, 2012

      All of Allyou keep missing the point,,,

      Tourism is not the answer to the issues facing these Islands,,, Look all the major tourist destinations are falling short, I just came back from Barbados and you know them people have 17.5% VAT and a 10% service charge on top of that???

      While waiting for my flight back there was an individual conducting a survey at the airport for the tourism sector and we started talking, she indicated and ALL their efforts to maintain the Tourism sector is flopping, now mind you this is the same country that back in its hey-day was producing sugar and had no issues until they started selling off the Sugar factories and moving over to real-estate investing(s) Resorts, Villas, and Hotel Accommodation(s),,,
      Service Industry is not the Answer to any Economic Model,,,
      Production from Natural resources is what will boost and maintain the livelihood of any nation,,,

      It’s about time you educated Ones start thinking outside the box and stop using those Computer models you review in college and at for Doctorate levels, cause the evidence is Clear!!!

      And yes you can Turn Tarrish into “Gold Dust”,,, Do some research and talk to the little Guy on the Street if you have to,,,
      Find out whats the Profit Margin those guys whom are Mining all that “Black Gold” from Calihaut, Pointe Michel, and ALL that Sand from Layou River,,,

      Find out how much these folks are making on the open market when they go Sell that Washed-up Sand at an International Price in St. Croix, St. Martin, Tortola and all those other islands they sell to,,,

      Then ask the Question how much Value Is added to that raw material once it leaves Dominica Shores,,,

      Then look up the true meaning of Value Added Taxation,,,

      Then come back to this forum and tell know who should really be paying VAT!!!

      • Dan
        February 12, 2013

        I am a Canadian and a tourist visiting Dominica for the first time this spring. You are right and it is unfortuneate many don’t understand. Service Industry is not the answer to any economic model. It will lead to the eventual failure of the US and other strong economies that are beginning to see tough times ahead. Canada’s economy did not stay strong against the US because of its policies but remained stable because of it’s natural resources. Dominica does need an improved airport, but it’s main focus needs to be finding sustainable resources. With Dominica’s climate, agriculture could benefit the economy and provide additional food for the people.

  5. June 7, 2012

    Build an International Airport and stop with the excuses.

    St Vincent & Grenadines is building one and it will open in 2014.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoNwKKNu7K0

    Tortola is building an International Airport with a 7000 ft runway? Where is the progress in aviation for Dominica? Night landing was a complete failure!

  6. Hola
    June 7, 2012

    Where is PROF WIKILEAKS OR PEEPING TOM’s comment. Wow things are good. Somethings happening huh.The best government Dominica have ever seen huh. Who mare they going to blame this time – the tourist are to lazy to come to Dominica; Laudat people lazy; Whic one of the excuses shall mwe use?

    • ROSEAU VALLEY
      June 7, 2012

      Hola, Let’s remain focus and advance our point of view irrespective of what they say or do. Let’s not bother ourselves with these people. They are blindly playing their role in support of a political Party. They were mandated by their leader to engage in an internet war against us. Let them express their point of view. Just punch holes in their brainless arguments. You see, one can imagine the character of someone according to the name that he/she uses in chat rooms and on websites like DNO. Note for instance the lack of originality in the name PROF Wikileaks and the lack of pride that one has in him/herself to be addressed as a “Peeping Tom”- Although, I get the sense these are intelligent individuals. So keep the positive spirit “Hola” for the objectivity of “Even-handed” and say it as you see it.

  7. Monti
    June 7, 2012

    Very disappointing. Just visited DA and was looking for things to do and was so disappointed when I learnt that the tram was closed. It so sad that foreigners and/or returning locals can hardly find any activity if they visit the island outside of tourist season (outside of the festivities). Luckily I was able to do some snorkelling and whale watching but that was all. We need to have year run activities to attract more persons – just my 2 cents!

    • Local
      June 8, 2012

      Come on! Do a little – more – research. While you may not find a night life like a long stay tourist destination there is much you can do and injoy here. Remember, our country has its natural pecularities and activities will differ from other destinations. Have you seen ‘100 things to do in Dominica’? Trust me….

  8. Malgraysa
    June 7, 2012

    Well, not all lost. Scrap merchants will have business in Dominica.

  9. June 7, 2012

    they should jus look for another more attractive location. a location that tourist will enjoy visiting.

    • Malgraysa
      June 7, 2012

      They found one. St. Lucia, just like Fine Foods Inc. Aearial tram St. Lucia not closing, KFC St. Lucia not closing.

  10. gratel
    June 7, 2012

    YOU ARE SOO DUM dum 4EvaTru where u go to school our effort should be more on stay over visitor they bring in more revenue and pay more taxes by staying in hotel so attraction has lot to do tourism sector u need attraction that influence people to come and stay in your country rather than cruise tourism who visit for couple hour everybody 4EvaTrU IS REALLY DUM

  11. hmmmm
    June 7, 2012

    that’s why the farmers are crying don’t for get agriculture. the soil never fails but people will, even they push tourism please don’t forget agriculture cost of production is too high reduce the VAT it has accomplished its purpose already.

  12. 4u2C
    June 7, 2012

    SAd for business in Dominica and sad for the folks who are now unemployed.
    This only occurs when you have the people who suppose to make an environment for business favourable do NOT know what they are doing.
    That is what Dominicans voted for, a set of folks who have no business mind, lack in skills but have beauty and dimples…..It leads to poverty!!
    Question:
    1.What happen to night landing?
    2. Why not an International Airport to promote employemnt and jump start the economy?
    3. Where is the Eco-economy?
    4.Are the locals making any money to enjoy local tourism?
    5. How are new industries, tourism base, are to survive in such unfriendly environment?
    7. Any plans to eleviate poverty in the rural areas?

  13. For a starter...
    June 7, 2012

    Whether it is agriculture, tourism, festivals, fast-food outlets or bus stops in town, what we don’t do beforehand is market research. It will be the same with the often “guessed at” International Airport.

  14. m&m
    June 7, 2012

    so the tram is really closing down. ha is because of that same tram thats y st.lucia got theres operational. bad management in dominica thats all and i hope u guys pay up the people that u a owning all the 10yrs u operational on the land and stop blaming lawyers for the money

  15. Faceup
    June 7, 2012

    Well, its very sad, but as i have said before,we have to take every tourist ship that comes in to DA,even a hundred ships of gays a year that would help,but some dont miss the water until the pool runs dry. lololol

  16. Shameless
    June 7, 2012

    While I am no fan of Eddison James (Nor Skerrit), I cant help but remind everyone how much this man has been singing the same song; “Invest in agriculture”. And rightfully so because at least he realizes that this is the manistay of our economy and not tourism..at least not yet. after the last elections, I actually gave suggestions to the current government by simply saying the following;

    1. Invest very heavily in agriculture particularly in animal husbandry (Chicken, Pork, Duck etc with the sole aim of exporing to caricom countries. Why are we buying so much pork and chicken from foreign countries when we have so much land and unemployed people? Teach them to do it on small scales all over the island and our problem will be solved.

    2. Build a “proper” agriculture market venue in Salisbury, Castle bruce, Marigot and Grand Bay so the farmers can sell fresh products 7 days a week and avoid going to roseau thus reducing their costs. This would also create employment in these communities and encourage city dwellers to go and find fresh products from the source. It would also help in stopping the imporatation of products like carrots.

    3. Focus on feeder road rehabilitation and construction to provide better access to agricultural lands

    4. Make micro loans available to farmers regardless of their political affiliations.

    5. Build staff and equip a new hospital for the main purpose of performing all kinds of surgeries. A helipad should be part of the plan. The labratory should be well equipped to perform several medical tests. This will be our initial step to medical tourism.

    6. Advertise like hell regionally and internationally.

    Matter of fact, if we build it they will come. No one is saying tourism is not important but that market is very unpredictable. We cannot put all our eggs in one basket.

  17. Socrates
    June 6, 2012

    To be successful a business requires a certain volume of customers with a regular turn over of those customers to make the business viable.

    I am no economist, but even before the aerial tram was built I wondered how they would survive.

    With a trip costing US $55 and its main clientel being cruise ship passangers I could not see the math working: cruise ships are seasonal (at most 5 months in the year) and the industry depends on calls that rise and fall for the slightest reason. The cruise industry is very fickle.

    I could see it coming.

  18. Scape goat
    June 6, 2012

    The real problem is that the time has come for replacement of major components of the TRAM. This calls for major capital investment. It is moreless like building the TRAMway all over. The company does not have the funds to do so, it is making loss and so cannot access bank funding, and the shareholders do not want to invest any more since they are getting no returns. The best choice is to close down. Simply put. This has nothing to do with VAT

  19. lol
    June 6, 2012

    Are these the same Dominicans who don’t want GAY tourists?
    Gays have all the money and they are friends with the straight folks with all the money to spend.

    If we welcome them, we will see more tourist. Put your beliefs aside and welcome the GAYS.

    They have all the disposal income. Check out the Statistics.
    They have the best jobs, no wife, no kids.. They have money to spend. But we don’t think we can tolerate them , so what do we expect?

    Dominican republic, Mexico, Pacific countries, SM, Barbados welcomes them…

    We are always last caca rat in DA. We have too much to say and we don’t have our lapoo boy day!!!

  20. ROSEAU VALLEY
    June 6, 2012

    The 66 + who are now unemployed in Laudat can take solace in the comforting words of our Parl Rep. Be calm, all is not lost, at least we can still be proud that we have the Red Clinic, according to Petter St Jean.

    But I am restless as I studied the reasons put forward by the Mr. Von der Goltz for the closure of the tram. I am very concerned with the damning and serious indictment of the performance or lack thereof of the current administration. Thee reasons advanced validate the recent comments of Mr. James. It expose the wisdom and astuteness of those who have warned that we cannot put all our eggs in one basket and certainly if we stubbornly decide to do so , let it not be an all or nothing dive into tourism as this would certainly be a one-way ticket to our socio-economic abyss. Barbados and Antigua can take that route because they have nothing else- but we can do better in Dominica.

    A new business venture is based on demand projections as contained in its business plan. Ten years ago, perhaps the projections for tourist arrivals to Dominica were sufficiently encouraging to sustain the aerial tram. After all, we were promised better airport facilities including nigh landing. The projections would most likely have factored an increase tourist arrivals based on increased promotion of Dominica as an environmentally friendly, eco-tourism destination. The evidence suggests that this has not happened.

    So now we hear that currently, “the local tourism industry is not showing any significant new signs of growth and the cruise ship business, a mainstay for tourism traffic in Dominica and 95% of our business, has declined sharply in the past few years due to the lack of attractions and services,” Added to this, the imposition of the 15% VAT has succeeded in killing all business prospects in Dominica. Dominicans better appreciate the current reality of business in this competitive global environment. The fact is no business venture is sustainable in a dying economy and for those who can -they will simply move on to greener pastures. This is also true to our dwindling population, as people continue to migrate away from Dominica in large numbers.

    Having said this, I am disappointed with the management of the Ariel tram as they have not displayed good corporate social responsibility in assisting to promote Dominica in the way that a company like Sandals does for Jamaica and St Lucia in the United States. The company could have helped financed a series of ads in niche markets in the US whereby it promotes its unique services in all the territories in which it operates. It did not do that. I also note that 95% of the company’s business was tourist based, yet the company made very little effort to increase the other 15% of its market, when it recognized the fall in the 95%. There were no local or regional promotional activities to encourage. There were no efforts to increase the patronage of locals with special, off-season price reduced packages. What about joint packages tours with major hotels in neighboring Islands and time share businesses in the US? More could have been done. Now it is all over. Let’s be clam, according to our Parl. Rep and await the Next Level.

    • hmmmm
      June 8, 2012

      Indeed, lets wait. Government is all about lip service. They talk a lot about tourism, but have not got a clue. However, the Ariel tram was controversial from the onset, so though a fabulous attraction, was doomed. They owe thousands and thousands of dollars to everyone Vat, DSS, etc It is indeed sad to loose not only 60+ jobs but an interesting tourist attraction.

  21. Anoushah Alie
    June 6, 2012

    Wow! 15% vat on an industry that has been declining year after year? It is sad that those workers are losing their jobs, but, he is right to shut it down!! People go into business to make money, not see their investment(s) decline as he said, “eight of the nine years we have kept it open”. Sad for the business and workers!!

    • Unbiased Successor.
      June 7, 2012

      @Anousha Alie..

      Lets add to your comment.The world is in a second stage of recession(Depression) right now.

      The POOR will continue to pay to sustain growth whilst the RICH are let off.This is happening all over the world.

      Investors like myself will not invest in a country that are not capable to justifying where growth is coming from without the support of the banks,Government and its people who they expect to remain strong.

      My sincere advise to these economist are and would be.Make cuts to some of the key elements such as V.A.T-(Value Added Tax)and the Interest rate so that everyone one can have the opportunity to reinvest and to recreate growth that could in turn maintain sustainability to the Country.

      • Anoushah Alie
        June 10, 2012

        I agree with you entirely! The British recently increased the APD by 8% to people traveling to the Caribbean; that was/is a major blow to tourism in the Caribbean! The government only step in when your tax bill is due, or you’re being arrested for not paying on time; they rarely step up efforts to increase prosperity FOR ALL!!

    • forreal
      June 7, 2012

      wow you got a vivid sense of reason,you swallow a side of a story so quikly,the reallity in life is,that there are always two sides to a coin,they gave the 15% vat as the reason,this is what they said,we are not sure that they are not only useing an excuse,or is their greed,that they want make millions,because these people think that third world countries are so poor,easy pickings to mllk and advantage a valnerabale situation,you never know the intentions of these foreign investors,i am not putting hand my fire for know one,trust know one,my heart goes out to the 65 employees.

  22. beholder
    June 6, 2012

    There are a lot of other islands with fancy all inclusive resorts and directs flights that are suffering too. Plenty of empty rooms in Jamaica, St. Martin, etc. In case you haven’t seen an international newspaper all of Europe and the US are suffering an economic downturn of epic proportions. What Dominica has and could exploit without much effort is something quite special a non-toxic pollution free environment where until recently is was not unusual for someone to live to be a hundred. What we need to do is attract retirees looking for a healthy lifestyle and a reasonable, comfortable and safe place to live. This would require and upgrade in healthcare facilities, but we need that anyway. It’s a thought.

    • Anonymous
      June 7, 2012

      brilliant. of course. ‘Sustainable’ is not just a buzzword, but reality!

    • My2Sense
      June 7, 2012

      To have a push in that direction we would also require a larger police force. Violent crime is on the rise and the criminal element will see retirees as easy targets.

  23. remember
    June 6, 2012

    sad news . i thought the tourism minister said that we had a viable and growing tourism industry with added amount of visitors which would sustain the industry

    • Right
      June 6, 2012

      lol
      , jokes!

    • Shameless
      June 7, 2012

      Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!Politicians doh tired fool allu? Darpwayoo!

  24. makeeda Alfred
    June 6, 2012

    what a sad thing

  25. Ericx
    June 6, 2012

    Any macro economists related to the gov’t?? ?

  26. Met Yo
    June 6, 2012

    (8) Here Dominica my true confession….is what I didn’t do

    I watch u suffer …for my allegiance was to someone else not u

    Your advantagers ….many in numbers
    The patriots are few

    So its no wonder we are where we are
    We did not stand with u

    Now we harvest in poverty

    Fruits of our misplaced loyalty

    Now we must turn back to country….. each and everybody beginning with MEEE(8)

  27. Tutunee
    June 6, 2012

    mi daybar woyyee woyye,

  28. Country
    June 6, 2012

    Tourists love the Tram and most of the other spots such as Emerald pool or the hot springs, but imagine how they feel when they stop at the store or pharmacy and the clerks are in slow motion or stop waiting on you to go chat with someone or what ever? Then 25 or so grown men ask you for a dollar in and around the Market, and the they spend ten minutes trying to find a clean toilet? It’s just too much man! Dominica needs to shape up or the investors will all ship out.

  29. June 6, 2012

    so sad, so sad, so sad, a song.are we living in a fool’s paradise? the apes are now calling the humans BEAST and are now in charge but the day when we will try to escape from the planet of the APES we will then realize that we’ve been home all the the time. IAN DOUGLAS & COMPANY CEASE your ineptitude & INCOMPETENCE and save those people JOBS otherwise we will continue to sing sad songs on the planet of the APES.

  30. (.) (.)
    June 6, 2012

    The sad thing is we like to depend on government too much to do anything for the country. And, I always knew that ariel tram would be closed sooner than later. How do you expect to have successful business when you open late and close early? I visited that place a few years back, got there at 3.30pm and was told to return the following day because they were closed already. That just discouraged me…haven’t been back since.

    • EMILE Zpatos
      June 7, 2012

      I did the tram tour a few years ago .The staff seemed untrained and uninterested in their work .They did not make you feel welcome enough to want you to return.
      I also did the Dunn river and waterfall thing in Jamaica on a cruise .Two days befofe we arrived in port the tour was advertised constanly ON BOARD and the customers service was super.
      HOW EFFECTIVE WAS THE TRAM PROMOTION! HOW WELL WAS THEIR STAFF TRAINED .This is a private interprise and should be responsible for their own success.
      A business success or lack thereof is that of MANNAGEMENT
      wHEN YOU NSEE ANY jamaican tourist ad it usually nincludes the fall.
      This tram is a great idea and some interprising Dominicans suould form a company and lease it.

  31. June 6, 2012

    D MAN WHO DOES WALK ON WATER THERE!!! WHATS HIS NAME AGAIN?
    YES HIM.
    ERH… WHAT DOES HE HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT?

  32. Anonymous
    June 6, 2012

    What is his reference to vat? Is vat payable on the sales? Since 95% of his business is in the tourism business, (assuming it is to cruise ship passengers), maybe the ministry of finance could consider granting the same privileges as “duty free shops”.

  33. firstlady
    June 6, 2012

    first of all the government of Dominica should be the ones running this TRAM instead of foreign company this where the problem begins something like that government should take charge of an stop having all these outsiders come take the country monopolly out to foreign investors an leaving the counrty broke and jobless, The tourist minister needs to step in and do something to keep that tram running, this is one of the achivements of the rainforest tours i proudly tell my friends to do while visiting the island we need it to remain open. whatever it take to keep it operational even thou a fews days a week.

    • Right
      June 6, 2012

      nonsense. where did you study economics and public services?
      The must be a private sector, and it must be larger than govt.
      The issue in DA is we are clueless as to what the true purpose of our govt is.

      Businesses should be privately operated. If a foreigner can’t reap a profit who expect if would be any different if govt owned it?

      the only difference is that tax payers would be the ones covering the losses…

      It is high time that we stop depending on GOVT for every thing.. come one people….

      Dominica needs a strong. large private sector. Govt can’t be the single largest employer. That must change!

    • Lennah
      June 7, 2012

      Fistlady,

      please stop that argument about foreigners shouldn’t be coming down to our country and invest…you didn’t say it in much words, but that is exactly what you are leaning at.

      a country has to open up for investors, who will come to assist in the development of our country. the government cannot do everything, and additionally they do not have the financial capacity, I believe you are one of them who are quite comfortable with the begging and red clinic story, we need to open up our country, provide attractive MOUs to pull in as many investors-this will assist in providing employment, exposure etc, in turn, we will have more visitors at our shores, not only cruise tourism, not only tourist period, but other investors, off shore banking etc….we need to think big to enhance our country.

      a lot can be done while we still try to protect our nature isle of the Caribbean.

      we need to think beyond.

      I am sorry that the Tram has to be closed, but who wants to continue to invest in a declining economy? not even billionaires!!

    • Hmmm
      June 7, 2012

      Dominica need to take back DOMLEC not take over an aerial tram…

    • Anonymous
      June 7, 2012

      Are you for real? Have you ever heard the term “Private Investment/Investors?”.

    • beholder
      June 9, 2012

      Government runs the Rainforest Pavilion in Syndicate. It is never open. You can not get projects off the ground without foreign direct investment. Government begs and borrows from Venezuela, China, EU, US., etc. It has no excess capital to invest in tourist attractions, it only has debt obligations. What government needs to do is create an environment where enterprises can get off the ground and become established. Incentives, tax breaks, streamline customs, licensing,improve export and ag storage facilities. Government, just like a business, needs to be more customer friendly. Singapore is a tiny island that has thrived for a century, attracting investment by being a duty free port with an educated workforce.

  34. Just sayin'
    June 6, 2012

    Next level…we reach…now what?

  35. shame, Shame,SHAME!!
    June 6, 2012

    ALL PART OF SKERROS PLAN …. “WELCOME TO THE NEXT LEVEL TRAM WORKERS”…. NOW WE SEE WHAT U ALL VOTED FOR…

  36. Unbiased Successor.
    June 6, 2012

    Sorry to see the loss of a good business.

    Perhaps the government should keep this going as it meant to promoting our nature Isle. The best initiation would be for full government support and intrusion without handouts.

    Any 3rd party would want want to inspect the books of the past and with no profit in the making could pose a significant problem.

    So come Mr Governor.Show your strength now as Dominica needs to show what’s on the cards for us tourist.

  37. Huh!!
    June 6, 2012

    I have one question. Did the honorable minister of tourism, Ian Douglas, know any of this? I ask because I heard this man giving a speech via the nation’s station, saying how the tourism industry in Dominica is booming despite losing a few ships. I would like this man to take his head out and smell the reality. I do not want to say Dominica is alone because it is not. There are quite a few countries with businesses shutting down. What I cannot take is the bs which comes out these people’s mouths. These politicians need to be punished.

    It is indeed a sad situation which we are facing and I would think that before these people shut down and put 65 out of work, the government could have worked with them by way of decreased taxes and subsidies and even allocating a portion of the 27 million to help keep businesses afloat. We do not have to see them die while we are leaving a life of vanity building palace.

    • Shameless
      June 7, 2012

      Our leaders are bankrupt when it comes to vision and new ideas. And to make matters worse, they all seems to have graduated from the “University Of Lies & Spin”. In an earlier post I mentioned that Leadership was the most lacking commodity in our country and now this proves me right once again. I guess this is all part of the next level!I await word from the Honorable PROFESSOR from the north on this one.

  38. Inconsistent
    June 6, 2012

    So many ppl without jobs! Oh my

  39. Anonymous
    June 6, 2012

    Thats nice

  40. What?!
    June 6, 2012

    ohh well, How do they say it? Together we must.

  41. Peeping Tom
    June 6, 2012

    DNO: “The local tourism industry is not showing any significant new signs of growth and the cruise ship business, a mainstay for tourism traffic in Dominica (95% of our business), has declined sharply in the past few years due to the lack of attractions and services,” the chairman cited as another factor that had impacted negatively on the company’s business.

    Well, there may have been “a sharp decline” but i believe that the number of attractions and services have actually increased in the last few years. We have founded new sites, launched new festivals, launched the Waitikubuli Trail, etc.

    I sense that something is not right with this closure and the reasons given for it. My suspicion is that the head management of the tram had a significant part to play in its demise. Secondly, i wonder how successful are the company’s other operations in other parts.

    Again, this is an opportunity for the local media to probe and inform the public. Get the facts and ask the right questions. For example, what arrangements did the company have with the state? What initiatives did the company take to attract persons to the site?

    • Mary
      June 6, 2012

      What dam answers you want again. You all guys just squeezing the country. But there will be a time that all of you in this wicked government will find all you french visa and swim to Guadelope.

  42. June 6, 2012

    keep the faith people our sources reported that talks are ongoing with Donald Trump together with Bernard Wiltshire and Pappy to take over the operation of the Aerial Tram. Lets hope things work out.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      June 6, 2012

      If Donald Trump is your hope to save Dominica, that is a dead hope; Donald Trump will not spend one single penny in Dominica.

      The Donald Trump kind does not invest their money in backward places unless they find some potential for development, who in their right mind is going to invest money in a place where the government favors an municipal airport talking about night landing in primitive space in favor of an International Airport?

      Trump owns more than one 747, he fly’s around in his very own 747, which cannot land nor take off in Dominica, what you are talking here I am sure is false rumor!

      The business failed for lack of participation, not enough tourist visiting the site!

      Someone suggest giving deals to school children, that is sort of thinking is foolish, you can give every school in Dominica to ride the team for a thousand dollars per day or week, the business would still fail, because our local population is too small to sustain that.

      Take for instance, places such as Disney Land, Sea World, Magic Mountain and such places here in California, where millions of people resides, if you go to the mentioned amusement parks on some days they are practically empty; though City of Los Angeles alone we have more than six million people residing.

      Yet all of the parks I mentioned depends on tourist visiting their neighborhoods:

      From overseas visitors, to people visiting California from other parts of the United States; their success depends on tourism also, and not so much the local economy.

      It matters not what concession is given to the operators of that tram, it will fail for a lack of the seasonal crowd, which the tourist industry should generate.

      Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

      • money
        June 6, 2012

        Donald Trump, invest in SVG! What make you think he wouldn’t invest in Dominica..?

      • Shameless
        June 7, 2012

        Great job FET but the Hopes’s posting is filled with sarcasm :-D and should not be taken seriously. Just imagine reference was made to Pappy! LOL! A lot of people seemed to have missed it though.

    • Malgraysa
      June 6, 2012

      Hope, you really make me laugh there! The three stooges would be nothing compared with the trio you put together. Everyone would want the last word for a start. My belly hurting already

  43. wowo
    June 6, 2012

    Sad news, One reason is that Dominica is not accessable to the outside. It is a struggle to get to Dominica.Secondly, Dominica’s infracture is not developed. Government need to concenterate on a better Air-strip that can accormodate bigger planes, wider roads, manifacturing and export and liberalizing the import export tax.

    • 4EvaTru
      June 6, 2012

      The article said the cruise ship business, a mainstay for tourism traffic in Dominica (95% of our business so what does bigger roads larger air-strip and so on have to do with that.plp dont travel to a place because of big airport and large roads.

      • joe
        June 6, 2012

        fool , they do if the flights are straight transatlantic flights and not PR,ANU or SLU bunny HOPS

      • Hmmm
        June 7, 2012

        Yes but a bigger airstrip alleviates the problems faced in getting to Dominica. larger roads alleviate traffic. The only type of tourists are not those who come on cruise ships but also those who come on planes. The stayover tourists usually contributes alot more to a country than those who come off a boat. Simply because they stay and do things. They pay hotels and go out on hikes (where they pay a tour guide), and are more likely to explore and patronize tourist attractions.

    • Larry
      June 7, 2012

      All good points. I would add to them, immediately take steps to address violent crime.

  44. Francisco Telemaque
    June 6, 2012

    ” The Dominica government has indicated that it is examining the situation to see what can be done about salvaging the tram service and the jobs of the affected employees”

    It matters not what they do in the interim it will not help since the company’s business totally depends on the amount of tourist visiting the park and taking a tram ride!

    The dependency on the volume of tourist ships arriving in Dominica to sustain such an operation will never cause such an business to be successful.

    I am of the opinion such business would stand a better chance if Dominica had an International Airport, decent hotels, and as the man complained services was better!

    Nevertheless, if we prefer a primitive lifestyle, and hope that if we live in natural nature, when people hear ” Nature island ” of the Caribbean that will woo them into Dominica is a mistake, false belief, call it a fantasy.

    Whereas the name Nature island has not yet drawn world attention to Dominica, or cause millions of people to overnight on the island perhaps it is time for us to cut this nonsense out, build an International Airport, and try to encourage at least one international chain hotel operator to set up shop in Dominica, thus we might be able to attract more visitors to the country.

    We need vacation facilities such as Sandals in the country, we have zero tourist resorts in Dominica, where are our golf courses?

    None exists!

    However Ian Douglas boast that Dominica is the Nature Island of the World; indeed he has crowned us the most primitive place on earth, because Nature island to me indicates no change since creation; everything remains the same prior to human habitation.

    What a joke!

    If night landing at Melville Hall Airport has not help to boost the tourist industry, what should be our next move?

    I leave that to the Dominica, inelegance, the Dominica punditry, all the smart people to answer that question!

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

    • wowo
      June 6, 2012

      Hey Telemaque, you could not have said it better. Exactly what i tell Dominicans whenever and where ever i meet them. Dominica infrastructure is one of the main reason this kind of madness is happening. The roads, the airport, not even a beach resort, how can we be competitive?

    • resident
      June 6, 2012

      Dear Telemaque,

      That’s very good analysis and wrap up of what is going on in Dominica. Well said, sir! I always wondered how it is possible to bet on so called ‘nature tourism’ while its known that the money comes thru another type of tourism which requires good roads, safety for tourists, at least one decent international chain to open resort here, airport etc

      Interestingly, but such rudimentary development of services can be meet in all industries in Dominica: international financial services are just non-existent, international shipping business undeveloped and many other things which are just so bad quality and primitive, so you can’t market it for international clients at all

      Its hard to say what should be done to improve it…maybe its important to stop talking about tourism/services etc and start preparing some development program ..like a business plan for 5 years which should have clear goals…not propaganda bs…but real measurable outcomes like: 1) attract at least 1 chain to Dominica 2) give to restaurant owners tax vacation for 5 years etc…maybe such steps might help…maybe as alternative it make sense to invite people who develops tourism in successful locations..like Bahamas, Barbados, Turks and Caicos

    • anonymous2
      June 6, 2012

      And you know how fast government is at getting anything resolved.

  45. Tiger
    June 6, 2012

    I would never go on that tram if government takes over its operation. Furthermore, when businesses talk to government about their policies, they think the businessmen are making joke until it is too late.

    So if this company who have similar businesses in other parts of the world cannot make this one work, what makes the government thing they will find another company that will make this a successful venture?

    Let’s admit it folks, Dominica is a very difficult place to do business.

    • wowo
      June 6, 2012

      True!

    • (.) (.)
      June 6, 2012

      you are right

  46. Rastafari
    June 6, 2012

    Ok, so much for OUR tourism “industry” LOL! Go back to Agriculture, it’s the only sustainable, practical industry for any country to survive the onslaught of empire!!! …and if you don’t know what I mean by empire, don’t ask me, you should already know by now. :mrgreen:

  47. gratel
    June 6, 2012

    very important there has declined sharply in the past few years due to the lack of attractions and services this speak volume how poor the govt is marketing dominica as a destination that and vat as i said is to high for business imagine the business man said the need to be reduce for tourism and manufacturing

    • Correction
      June 6, 2012

      So why is the government alone to promote Dca? What happen to the other stake holders, shouldn’t they do it too?

      • Mac Vibes
        June 6, 2012

        It is the government’s responsibility to lead the marketing efforts and they have a tourism department and a quango called discover Dominica, they are probably paid more than you and I, so if you ask me I would say that those departments are not fit for purposes, much like the government itself.

    • Anonymous
      June 7, 2012

      I really don’t believe that Dominica has a lack of attractions. that is just not true.

  48. June 6, 2012

    well. that’s not good at all. am sure if they were doing more adds locally, like offring pakages to schools and groups it could have work out.having somthing like this should not be only for tourist visiting island. we are in a global ecconomic downturn and it is affecting every aspect of life.

    • Correction
      June 6, 2012

      Strong point!!!

    • Tiki
      June 6, 2012

      Nonesense

      • Mac Vibes
        June 6, 2012

        Why nonsense, I have been on the tram on two occasions and the vast majority of passengers were non Dominicans which surprised me because nationals enjoyed discounted fares to ride.

    • Local
      June 8, 2012

      I think your view in a nutshell is that the company may not have done their best at marketing business (locally) in which case I strongly agree.

  49. derp
    June 6, 2012

    the government should just nationalize it and run it with the workers who are now out of a job

    • weezib
      June 6, 2012

      then it wud surely never make any profit

    • Malgraysa
      June 6, 2012

      Boy, you trust govt. to run that safely and profitably? We even can not put adequate traffic signs in Roseau. Safety of that thing is paramount and no cruise ships will send passengers on that if no reputable insurance company will provide cover.

      • Tiki
        June 6, 2012

        Well said.

  50. .....
    June 6, 2012

    such sad news :cry: :cry: :cry:

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