Dominica’s marketing budget to increase

budget1Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has announced an increase in Dominica’s marketing budget, to allow for several new initiatives.

It will include increased budgeting for the World Creole Music Festival.

“In this upcoming budget, you will see an increase in the marketing budget for Dominica,” he stated, at a meeting, in Soufriere, on Monday.

Skerrit did not reveal the amount of money which will be allocated for the increase in the marketing budget, however, organizations such as the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA) have been calling for an increase over the years.

In 2014, the organization said it would like to see Dominica double its budget in marketing the destination, from the then $4-million to $8-million.

In 2015, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced an increase of $2-million to $6-million.

However, at that time, the Opposition believed that the amount was not adequate and proposed that the budget should be increased to $10-million.

In 2015, CEO of the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) Colin Piper said a study was conducted for the DDA’s Corporate Strategy and Action Plan, to determine what the figures of an increased marketing budget would be in order to compete against some of the destinations in the Caribbean.

He noted that the overall figure stood between $8-million and $12-million.

Meanwhile in Soufriere on Monday evening, Skerrit revealed that funds from the Citizenship by Investment Program will be made available to the Agricultural Industrial and Development (AID) Bank for on-lending to existing hoteliers.

“You will see a substantial amount of money from the economic citizenship program will be set aside, and placed at the AID Bank, to on-lend to existing hotel plans, to upgrade their rooms to export-ready rooms, upgrade their restaurants, upgrade their pools and ensure that they can be at a level to compete,” he explained.

These loans, he said, will be given at a highly concessionary interest rate.

This, he noted, will pair well with LIAT’s increased flights to Dominica, to take effect on June 1, 2016.

The new schedule follows a meeting with the island’s tourism officials, earlier this month, spurred by the Prime Minister’s strongly worded letter to the regional airline’s Chief Executive Officer, on April 8, 2016.

Based on these recent developments, the prime minister is of the view that the tourism industry “is on the cusp of really taking off, and taking off in a huge way.”

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20 Comments

  1. May 25, 2016

    Skerrits policies is to ignore, destroy and spend alot of money to start all over again :-D :-D

  2. Chappie
    May 25, 2016

    It’s on the cusp of really taking off and leaving.

    Here’s a great idea; let’s throw even more money down the toilet commonly known as World Creole Music Festival and let the island’s hiking trails and facilities deteriorate even more.

    Lucky we have so many forward-thinking dynamic professionals in charge of tourism or we’d all be completely stuffed.

  3. Frank Talker
    May 25, 2016

    Anyway Skerrit, Skerrit, Skerrit. Bon dieu all you hear Skerrit! The marketing budget was increased to $6 million last year, but less than $5 million was sent on marketing the destination. Now, we hearing about another increase. This strategy is targeted at the private sector, in the hope of appeasing them. The private sector is turning out to be a rocket in his astronaut, so he is looking for ways to gladden their hearts. Too late, my boy; the horse has long bolted from the stable.

  4. Roseau River
    May 25, 2016

    Besides Creole fest….can the government help us all by advising where marketing dollars were spent previously, what was the outcome of their efforts, where are efforts focused moving forward in order to get maximum return on investment.

  5. Geez
    May 25, 2016

    St. Lucia’s tourism budget is $40 million. Even by doubling our current budget we are a far cry from competing in one of the most popular tourist regions of the world!

    • Titiwi
      May 25, 2016

      If that is so our marketing budget should be min. £15.8 million on a pro-rata basis.

  6. Laplaine
    May 25, 2016

    After 16 years there is not one Dominica Touristic brochure in any Swiss Tourism Office neither in any Swiss Travel Agency we are in 2016 and majority of civilized world Citizens still does not know what and where is Dominica…

  7. passing cloud
    May 25, 2016

    Here is a prophetic word in tongues first guys. Tafu, tafu, tafu futata tatay. Here is the interpretation: here is the interpretation “With this increase expect some new jobs for the boys to be created.” Expect Ian Pinard to head this “Dominica Marketing ” trick. No wonder he chose Soufriere to make this announcement.

  8. The panama Papers
    May 25, 2016

    I support the increase for marketing Dominica, especially for the World Creole Music Festival. However, I also need to ask Skerrit if there has ever been a marketing increase in the sale of our passports, since it is selling like hot bread on the global market and, it is there one and only thing they have identified to bring real growth to our economy. Though I support the increase, I must admit that I am very skeptical about anything that comes from the mouth of Skerrit, especially when it has to do with money.

  9. Shaka Zulu
    May 25, 2016

    After 16 years after destroying everything it is on the cusp of taking off. Running away. Cuba is opening up. We are going to take a beating if we try to compete. I think the best way to solve our tourism problems is to form pattnerships with resorts in the more porpular destinations like antigua and Barbados. Make dominica part of the overal experience. Example a resort can orgsnize day trips on a 35-45 minute plane ride to experience mountain hikes, river tubing, volcanic baths, whale watching, kalinago voyage experience in conoes etc etc in Dominica. This would solve half liats problems and boost touridt arrivals. Liat can have lower fares. $80us round trip. We have to try new things since part of tiurism development is having acess. We have attractions thst are unique.

    • Laura
      May 25, 2016

      That’s a refreshingly new idea. Kudos!

    • dee
      May 25, 2016

      Antigua and Barbados tell allu they want to share their tourists ?
      I remember when day trippers used to visit Da from their month long vacation to Martinique and Guadeloupe . Dem pilots would sometimes spend the day at Canefield Airport and would reveal in conversation that these were wealthy vacationers
      Where’s all that gone to en ?

      • Shaka Zulu
        May 26, 2016

        The resorts are not government runned so Antigua or Barbados don’t have any say necessarily. It can be part of package. All this should be part of Caribbean unity. The ministers of tourism of the islands have met several times. Why are they meeting if we are going to have a competition? Case in point: disney orlando offer packages that take thier customers to several parks in central florida. Over 200 miles driving. Dominica to antigua just over 90 miles/35 min flight. The hotels can pay the airlines itself discounted. Ticket price from vacation package. The government of Dominica and the tourism officials dont understand that two things that build tourism are desired attractions and access. We dont have direct flights from markets so we have to find innovative ways. 38 yrs i hearing bout international airport. We keep seeing the islands as separated. Time for true Caribbean unity so i am suggesting an option.

  10. May 25, 2016

    skerrit good initiative but you been bull…….. the people of da for so long i am not excited over your statement

  11. Another round of empty promises to appease the masses while our passports continue to fly off the shelves in the global marketplace. Who is getting rich? If you’re not getting rich you’re not in the “inner circle” you are just a pawn in Dominica!

  12. White Plains Rd
    May 25, 2016

    again Dominica will continue to be in the doldrums once this PM is in charge, he is a joker period..

    he tells a amazing levels of untruths he said the NEP is being funded by Venezula now he says it’s from the sale of passports..very deceptive as usual..
    the sales of funds from passports should be in a sustainable angle, the NEP surely isn’t they don’t pay into Social Security and it’s not wise that the Govt takes on the role of Employment directly of citizens, you will never see growth, Venezula is a classical exp of bad policy choices…sadly dcans lack the ability to be deep thinkers…

    Dominica should be investing 20million in marketing to get the best gains..the WCMF should have at least 10 million to drive it’s stake up in terms of production, artist fees etc
    Up till now the WCMF can’t give a headline artist for this year’s , when u look at the other islands they’re smarter at all levels..they would have a artist on the bill since Jan to wet the flavor for the…

  13. LifeandDeath
    May 25, 2016

    Many of of tend to be very skeptical with words from the PM nowadays, but I am very pleased to hear this coming from Him..These are the ways we begin to build a nation..

    Next initiative is to convince E.C.C.B to further reduce the interest rates at the banks to incentivize local investment..and Gov’t themselves should reduce taxes at Customs, which will influence price deflation and increased spending..get Agriculture back on track and make way for light processing of Agri. produce..

    Make Dominica a better place to Live, Work and Enjoy Life..

    PS: I support Policies and not merely Politicians

  14. Dominican
    May 25, 2016

    All this will be to no avail if you don’t fix the infrastructure firs mr. Skerrit, particularly the roads. I can see that this hurricane season Portsmouth will be cut off from Roseau and perhaps also Melville Hall from Roseau . For all our sake I hope I am wrong. The Sun reports this eek that we have no official office for Disaster Management in place, yet the roads are even more delapidated now than immediately after Erica. What is going on?

  15. Me
    May 25, 2016

    Forgive my ignorance but what is unlending please? There is no such word in the dictionary and I have never heard of that. Is that the same as debt forgiveness?

  16. Not a herd follower
    May 25, 2016

    Skerrit stated that the tourism industry “is on the cusp of really taking off, and taking off in a huge way.”

    PLEASE, Skerrit, stop making this outlandish statements!

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