Dominica has begun to receive funds from $3.5-million allocated by the European Union (EU) to help boost the country’s tourism industry.
The money will go towards marketing, according to Tourism Minister Ian Douglas.
“The 10th EDF Budget Support Program will provide an amount of $3.5 million to be allocated to access marketing, aimed at driving the increase in visitor arrivals to accurately capture tourism contribution to the national economy,” Douglas stated at the start of a three-day national tourism summit on Monday.
He noted that the funds will be made available over a period of three years and the first tranche has already been disbursed to start up some projects in the current 2012/2013 budget year.
Douglas also indicated that the construction of a new facility at the Cabrits in Portsmouth will significantly enhance the nation’s tourism sector.
“Government has in the past, and is presently utilizing every available funding opportunity to channel investment into the sector. Consequently, with the support of the government of Morocco, the construction of the cabrits resort and spa, a 60-room hotel is well on its way and is expected to become operational in 2013,” he said.
Douglas said the venture will contribute to an increase in the number of export ready rooms in the sector and rejuvenate the Cabrits and Portsmouth area.
Meantime Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Claudia Bellot, said it is only with a strong, public, private sector partnership that the success in the Tourism Master Plan will be evident.
“The Tourism Master Plan embraces the entire tourism sector. The ministry counts on the continued collaboration on everyone,” she pointed out at the summit.
National Authorizing Officer for the EU Development Fund, Carlene Roberts, said the EU is committed to assisting Dominica in developing its National Tourism Policy and Master Plan.
The national tourism summit is being held to review the island’s tourism policy and tourism master plan.