Stay-over visitor goal difficult to achieve – Nassief

Nassief believes the Tourism Master Plan must be full implemented
Nassief believes the Tourism Master Plan must be full implemented

President of the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA) Gregor Nassief, believes that the country’s goal of achieving 90,000 stay-over visitors by the end of 2015 is easier said than done.

He opines that if such target is to be realized, the Tourism Master Plan must be fully implemented.

“There is a great blue print, that is the Master Plan, which was finalized and approved in 2013 on how to move the industry forward and unfortunately many things in the Master Plan that we should be doing, we have not done,” he told DNO.

The goal was set after consultants who attended a tourism summit here in 2013 said Dominica must increase its stay-over visitors to 90,000 by 2015 if it is to remain sustainable in the tourism industry.

To reach the goal the island must increase its rate of stay-overs by seven percent per year.

But according to Nassief, reaching the goal is going to be very difficult.

“So while we go for our goals of 90,000 at the end of 2015, it is actually unlikely we will be able to achieve it and what is important is not to wait until January 2016 and ask why we have not achieved it and to realize from now that it would be very, very difficult to achieve it,” he stated.

Nassief said that basic things that the Master Plan called for such as marketing investment to be between $8.5 to $12-million ““is not actually being done and we really need to be focused on trying to follow the Plan.”

The price tag for marketing Dominica currently stands at an average of $4-million annually.

Nassief said a number of issues need to be addressed including vagrancy, crime, the tedious visitor experience at the ferry terminal, improving the visitor’s and investors’ experience, increased number of quality hotel rooms and optimizing the schedules from the island’s seven hubs of Antigua, St. Maarteen, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados and San Juan.

Nassief is hoping that this year some significant headway is made in improving the sector and one of DHTA’s goals, he said, is to establish a common vision with the public sector, specifically with the ministry of tourism, to work in strong partnership to achieve change.

He commended moves towards more “improved and more convenient air lift to Dominica,” and the government’s decision to repeal VAT on the service charge on accommodations.

He said the DHTA has been pushing for VAT removal on meals to employees and rooms for the travel trade that hotels have been forced to pay for years.

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75 Comments

  1. anonymous2
    January 20, 2015

    The airlines are down to one flight a day from each from San Juan. How many tourists do you think can be carried in that manner? Seaborne airlines has very high fares except every once in a while if you catch the specials. DA is not easy or cheap to get to. And the trip over to Melville Hall is no fun from the west coast. Add on the departure taxes and you will not have a lot of repeat visitors. Everybody except for govt. officials gets penalized.

  2. Dominican
    January 18, 2015

    Would it be better to put the effort behind attracting additional institutions of higher learning vs tourism? Considering the high cost of getting Dominica to the level of some of its neighbors — Jet capable airport $$$ etc.

    It might be best if we could replicate similar institutions like ROSS U and the development that comes with it in several regions of the country? This would bring in more international students (longer stay-over than tourist)….locals can utilize their entrepreneurial skills with (restaurants, bars, coffee shops, dry cleaners, maybe even move theater?)

    Just a thought on my end

  3. Malgraysa
    January 17, 2015

    A reported $32 million was spent to promote one man and only a miserly $4 million to promote the entire country for one year. You may say that $ 32 million is a five year investment to keep Skerrit in power but even amortized over that period it is $6.4 million per annum, $123,000 a week, 60% more than we spend on advertising Dominica to the world. I sometimes wonder if we have our priorities right.
    PS. And don’t blame Colin Piper or Benoit Bardouille, they are doing what they are told.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      January 18, 2015

      “A reported $32 million was spent to promote one man and only a miserly $4 million to promote the entire country for one year.”

      It might be interesting if only you stated where the few miserly dollars are spent to promote Dominica: can you identify a single media, News Paper, Radio, Television or any magazine you know in any country in Europe, or North America in which, or on which Dominica is advertised as a tourist destination!

      As I stated the only person in Dominica who made an effort to promote Dominica, and his Hotel business is the one and only Sam Raphael of Jungle Bay Hotel. I stake my life on that because I saw on Television Nation in the United States, and some parts of Canada. (and the only other person beside Sam is the one and only bad dog Francisco king of de mud Telemaque oui!).

      • Dominican
        January 18, 2015

        Actually, Dominica was featured in the US Airways magazine (USA) in Q4 ’14. This magazine is present on every US Airways flight similar to the magazines on LIAT flights. I have an actually copy of that magazine and the featured article.

  4. Dominican
    January 17, 2015

    A good first step at achieving that goal would be to increase advertising in Europe and North America for starters.

    • Caribbean Lover
      January 18, 2015

      Since promotions are cheaper than advertising; try promoting Dominica on popular game shows like: The Wheel of Fortune, the Price is Right, Let’s Make a Deal, etc. Offer contestants trips to the island and showcase where they will be staying; millions of viewers watch these popular game shows.

      Getting the final episode of ‘The Bachelor’ to Dominica is also a good way to promote the island. St.Lucia had them for season 14 and 18; I don’t think they would want to go back there anytime soon. It’s time for the people in your Tourist Board to wake up and start manning the phones. Hey! You have to try.

  5. Caribbean Lover
    January 16, 2015

    “According to statistics revealed by the SLTB this week, there were 338,158 stay-over arrivals to the island last year, up by 6% over the previous year’s total …. the cruise sector, too, held its own, accounting for 529,127 passengers, a 5.7% increase (or 28,589 cruise passengers) landing in Saint Lucia over 2013’s total of 500,538. There were also 316 cruise ship calls to the island last year, 39 more than were recorded the previous year, representing a 14.1% increase.”
    ———————————————————————————
    If St.Lucia, which is very much like Dominica, can lure so many tourists to its shores; I don’t see why Dominica can’t lure a mere 90,000 stay-over visitors per year.
    Like St.Lucia, you aren’t blessed with sandy white beaches, nor a flat terrain; but you have rivers, water-falls, and rain-forests, etc; enough to make places like Antigua and Barbados envy.
    So play on your strength; flaunt what you have, and you will get…

    • anonymous2
      January 20, 2015

      Cruisers don’t spend much on the islands that are visited. The only people making true money on them are the tour guides and the govt.

  6. Anthony Ismael
    January 16, 2015

    “But, what we can help you with in the international airport project, is some of our skilled workers, with cement for the project and with stall, because we produce these in Cuba. We cannot help you with the communication equipment, with the night-lights or the navigational aids. We cannot help you with the diesel or the gas, we cannot help you with the dollars. But we can help you with our internationalist workers, some equipment and some of the materials we produce. And if you want that for your country, then Cuba is more than willing to give it.”

    President: Fidel Castro, 1982.

    • PS
      January 18, 2015

      And if you wan to set up a one-party state, advice on how to isolate political dissidents, control the news media and restrict your citizens freedom to travel, then Cuba is more than willing to help.

  7. Francisco Telemaque
    January 16, 2015

    “We can easily make 100,000 visitors goal if you see yourself making it happen and work towards it.(Emile Zapatos).

    Emile, the attribution of reality to what one wishes to be true, or the tenuous justification of what one wants to believe, is nothing more than simple wishful thinking! Reality is the quality, or state of being real. Every person in Dominica may wish for a hundred thousand overnight visitors: The reality is simply this ; it is not going to happen by mere political rhetoric!

    Cleaning up Roseau or the entire country; getting rid of vagrancy, and changing the attitude towards the tourist at this time will not make any difference. Why? Because in every country in the world where tourists visits they may encounter the same problems as they experience in Dominica. If we are ever going to improve on the industry in our country, it is paramount that the government immediately take the necessary measure to ensure the construction of an International Airport. Tourists…

    • Francisco Telemaque
      January 16, 2015

      Tourists Resorts must be encouraged, there must also be suitable places of dining, and entertainment, for the vacationing tourist who may wish to remain on the island for periods of up to ten days or more which normally are the amount of vacation time most people in North America, and Europe accumulates over a one year period.

      Where are our Golf Course, where are our Five Star Hotels. Our hope is that as soon as someone hears this nonsensical crap about “nature island they will pack their bags and head to Dominica! No such thing anything nature has to offer in Dominica the same can be found on the American continent, and other places of the world, there is nothing extraordinary about Dominica, which will pull a large amount of tourist as it is into our country, we can fool ourselves as much as we wish, reality however is something else. Dominica is not a house hold name any place on earth, the only business or Guess House operator in Dominica who made an effort to advertise…

      • Francisco Telemaque
        January 16, 2015

        This is the conclusion, sorry I had to use three spaces to complete.
        Dominica is not a house hold name any place on earth, the only business or Guess House operator in Dominica who made an effort to advertise Dominica on prime time nation wide on American Television is Sam Raphael of Jungle Bay.

        Every once in a while we here someone boast, Dominica is named among this and that in some magazine, nonsense! I live in America, I advise Dominica from Los Angeles to Canada, and into Mexico only once I was ask if the Dominica in question is in the Caribbean, and the person who ask the question is from Puerto Rico!

        and if anyone wish to know how I advertise Dominica, be informed on all of my cars I have personalized registration plates with my name written; and the words “The Commonwealth of Dominica W. I.

        Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

  8. Hartley Hinnrey
    January 16, 2015

    4000 visitors were brought into Dominica for one day election. Many of them were placed at the resorts and hotels. Some came in using walking sticks etc. 90000 visitors should be cake walk. Even Donny the preacher R&B gospel singer can come; Bettis Harmond,Destra etc.

    You mad Labar working

    • CYRIL Volney
      January 17, 2015

      That’s 80 additional flights of 50 passengers each coming in, and 80 additional flights of 50 passengers going out, over the election period, to get the figure 4000. Do the math man. Where do people come up with this BS? You can hardly get a LIAT flight in or out nowadays… (This is common sense, not politics).

      • Titiwi
        January 18, 2015

        Don’t forget the ferries mr. Volney !

    • Malatete
      January 18, 2015

      To bring in 4,000 people by air over a period of,let’s say one week is not inconceivable.
      The Boeing 737 has been used on previous occasions for this purpose and even the older 737-300 version holds 137 passengers in an all-economy configuration (the latest version can seat up to 215!). Using the conservative payload of the 737-300 one could easily bring in more than 3,800 people people over a period of a week at a rate of 4 flights a day. Melville Hall is capable of handling this.

  9. 4 progress
    January 16, 2015

    The vision of 90,000 visitors is not a bad target, 75% of that can generate a healthy revenue for the island. Various actions however is required to achieve anything like those numbers.

    1 Access to DA….International Airport
    2. Specify the products/services to be implemented to improve customer experience, e.g places of interest, improved access to places of interest, new fun places eg Aqua centres/theme parks
    3. Appealing to new markets such as the far east, India, China, latin america.
    4 Improved Ferry ports, new marinas

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT……………………AIM HIGH

  10. Titiwi
    January 16, 2015

    Please P.M., can you arrange for Hummingbird to get a permit to operate between Dominica and Barbados? We need that badly, especially now we lost that late Liat flight from there making it impossible to make a same-day connection if we want to come to Dominica via Barbados. Don’t give everything to that lousy Antigua airport.

    • American Tourist
      January 16, 2015

      You are absolutely right! Why is it so difficult to fix such an obvious problem which discourages tourists from traveling to Dominica? DHTA please fix this!

      • CYRIL Volney
        January 17, 2015

        Well said! WE NEED OUR OWN SHUTTLE SERVICE TO BARBADOS.

    • Lang Mama
      January 18, 2015

      Please PM my Behind!!! you guys gave Skerrt the impression that there was no life in Dominica before Skerrit. Before Skerrit we were a mre progressive people. If humming bird wants a license humming bird should and can pursue it operating license on it own. The point t consider idiot worth it. The bottom line s the country at this point does not attract the business such that humming bird can benifit from such a move. After all if there was a vabke business opportunity LIAT would not have abandon and run. Businesses and corporation are not operated upon emotions. Emotions do take money and I a surprise that Cyril Volney would endorse the idea of humming bird jumping into a non viable venture.
      It is no wonder our country is under performing ; people fail to call out the robes and too many of us are busy looking for the solution elsewhere. Many of us know tha the problem is management yet even smart eople lie Volneyare balls less and are afraid to call out culprits

  11. MindsOfThePeople
    January 16, 2015

    People in Dominica need to stop being so bias towards political parties. That is definitely not the point there. The subject here is to increase the number of stay of visitors in Dominica…. It’s not about who in position now and who could do it better. Fact remains it takes every one of us to contribute to the way our country is presented; the structure, crime etc… However money will also be required to get such a wide number of stay overs through marketing… And it’s not only that, When visitors come to our country we must give them an experience to remain and pass on to their family. And people that talking about development. It can’t all happen in one day. It’s a slow process… But mean while we need to do what we can do so that present visitors can have a good enough experience so that they can market our island through word of mouth back home. Hence leading to more awareness of The Nature Isle. :wink:

    • PS
      January 16, 2015

      Sorry, but “good enough” is not good enough for me. If I come to Dominica I want the best!

    • Drake
      January 16, 2015

      Shear ignorance. “Who is in power doesn’t matter?” Are you that naive or just plain stupid. The lack of leadership is the only problem. Countries ,corporations,businesses are successful because there is leadership. When the leaders lead people follow. The government must do its part and so far the government has failed miserably. Stop looking for the problem where it does not exist.The problem is in your face but you must first take your head out of your rear and face the problem. S

  12. Anthony Ismael
    January 16, 2015

    “An airport that we have struggled for, an airport we are determined to build, an airport we will definitely see being finished next year, an airport that all our people want. It is good for our journalistic friends to be here with us and to see the extent to which this project means so much to all of us in Grenada.”
    Compare that speech to Dominicans being “Fooled” with night landing and a plane filled with politicians flying from Antigua to Melville Hall Airport.

    Maurice Bishop: April 18, 1982.

    “Nassief is hoping that this year some significant headway is made in improving the sector and one of DHTA’s goals, he said, is to establish a common vision with the public sector, specifically with the ministry of tourism, to work in strong partnership to achieve change.”

    Gregor Nassief: January 15, 2015.

    He definitely made mistakes along the way, but Maurice Bishop was a “Comrade” ahead of his time. Leadership and forward thinking in action. A man’s man.

    • Titiwi
      January 16, 2015

      hear, hear. Roosevelt Skerrit’s slogan in the election was “leadership is everything”. Where is it Roosevelt? Show us. Five weeks after your victory and you still have not called a meeting for the House of Parliament. What is wrong with you?

      • Peter Potter
        January 18, 2015

        Skerrit could not even organise a drink up in a rum shack!!!

  13. Anthony Ismael
    January 16, 2015

    “The present airport at Pearl’s, as we all know, can never be an international airport because its location requires that, if we are going to extend it, we would have to cut down the whole range of mountains in the centre of the island, between Grand Etang and Gouyave, because otherwise the planes would not have a proper approach.”
    Maurice Bishop: April 18, 1982.

    “optimizing the schedules from the island’s seven hubs of Antigua, St. Maarteen, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados and San Juan.”

    Gregor Nassief: January 15, 2015.

    We can see clearly, the difference between bold thinking and a continuous conservative approach. Need I say anymore.

    • CYRIL Volney
      January 17, 2015

      “optimizing the schedules from the island’s seven hubs of Antigua, St. Maarteen, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados and San Juan.”

      With the exception of San Juan (2 hours away), all these hubs are within 1 hour of Douglas Charles International Airport. ALL WE NEED IS AN EFFICIENT SHUTTLE SERVICE INTO DOMINICA! NOW!

      • Peter Potter
        January 18, 2015

        You are spot on right. I’ve been saying said for years.

      • Anthony Ismael
        January 19, 2015

        Cyril, with all due respect, Douglas Charles or Melville Hall or whatever it’s called a disaster. Why are we counting on hubs for our own tourism product? This approach is like a patient who needs surgery, but keeps putting if off in favor of pain killers.

        Furthermore, I can’t recall one commercial in the US featuring Dominica as a travel destination for tourist. Everyday there are new and moving plans that do not produce the desired results for the tourism sector. Sad, but true.

  14. Bod
    January 16, 2015

    I believe Mr Nassief is right.
    But it will take more than the master plan; we need people who can manage that $4million more effectively. The current incumbents are not up to the job. Find people with track records in project or program management, people who have corporate careers behind them, people who have properly managed large budgets like this. We need better people. We need professional people who know what they are doing.

    • Mahaut Boi
      January 16, 2015

      yeah that would be great, hopefully a salary can be provided to attract these top talent individuals from other higher paying jobs

  15. Love All
    January 15, 2015

    Dominica needs an international airport and night life. Without them forget tourism

  16. The Evangelist
    January 15, 2015

    Church, we have some serious problems ahead and we better invite the likes of Pastor / Artist Donnie Mc Clurkin and Tasha to help us pray and fast our problems away. Here are two major concerns we have:

    1. The Black Sigatoka problem. Well I take this one back because Ryan Anselm told us funds are now available to combat it

    2. Stay over visitors.

    Going into 2015, after the elections I positively thought that by June we would see both The Agriculture and Tourism industry booming. In fact with two BRAND NEW Ministers to lead the way, I was very hopeful. Now we seem to be getting deeper in the hole by the second.

  17. New slave order
    January 15, 2015

    Thing is we can’t talk tourism when we have a crappy country for residents. Anyone staying over in a country (unless you are in the isolated-resort industry) wants to feel free just to experience the land. Until Dominica can become the best place to live for its residents, stay over tourists will remain few and far between. Once Dominica becomes an amazing place for its residents, people will invite their friends, and the word will spread. But after my recent trips to other OECS countries, I have to say I would be slightly embarrassed to have my friends spend tons of $$ for an inferior tourism experience!

  18. Francisco Telemaque
    January 15, 2015

    ” increased number of quality hotel rooms and optimizing the schedules from the island’s seven hubs of Antigua, St Maateen, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados and San Juan.”

    Gregor, here is the truth, there can be a thousand hubs around Dominica the situation will remain the same, the only viable solution is the building of an International Airport on the island! We can entertain as much fifty, and sixty room so called hotels, that will not change anything. Antigua, St. Marteen, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, and San Juan do have what is known as Tourist Resorts, those are places where entire families go on vacation. They overnight for at lease ten days. Many return and purchase property on those islands. We find plenty of that taking place in The Dominican Republic, the common denominator is an International Airport on those islands.

    • Mahaut Boi
      January 16, 2015

      or the fact that more MONEY, way more, is allocated towards marketing said destinations. DMA 4 million is nothing compared to what the countries you mentioned spend on marketing. watch english premier league matches and u see barbados advertising heavy.. people spend big money to travel to places further than, and most expensive than dominica. cost and distance is not the issue if people are convinced it is worth coming to. luckily we are worht coming to… market market market

      • Titiwi
        January 17, 2015

        Amen, instead of spending over $30 million of our money on a campaign just to keep one man in power we could have generated much needed positive images of Dominica overseas with that money to attract visitors to come and spend their money here.

    • Peter Potter
      January 17, 2015

      International airport is nonsense. Who can afford to built a new airport, who can afford to run a new airport, who can afford to maintain a new airport, which US and European airlines would land in Dominica to let a few tourists of??? We keep on saddling the horse from the back. A small national airline is the way to go.

  19. Only Dreaming
    January 15, 2015

    90,000 stay-over is very easy to dream of but much harder to believe. Well, maybe not because if they can get 40,000 Haitians, 20,000 Chinese and some 30,000scattered criminals with our diplomatic passport to come over in 2015, that could be come a reality. However, getting them to come here is another very difficult task because my sources are telling me that Seabourne Airline is all but gone from Dominica and LIAT is still in protest mood. So yes, 90,000 is possible but not plausible. It is easier for me to believe the 70,000 voters that were eligible to vote in 2014 will all migrate by 2015 than to believe in that 90,000 stay-over visitors

    • Titiwi
      January 16, 2015

      Look at that Bondi, there is not even an airline flying from Dominica to Martinique next doors. Is ferry you have to take and that does not sail every day but you can fly from St. Lucia to Martinique every day. They tell me even P.M. had to charter Arawak Air to fly him to Martinique last April for his big meeting there, supposedly for the geothermal. if they are such important partners for us why don’t we have scheduled flights going there? Its the same miserable story everywhere after ten years of Papa Skerrit.

  20. Francisco Telemaque
    January 15, 2015

    “Nassif, believes that the country’s goal of achieving 90,000 stay-over visitors by the end of 2015 is easier said than done.” (Gregor Nassif).

    It is not only ” easier said than done.” There is absolutely no probability of that happening, it is far from possible, and the main reason Dominica, is not a house hold name in any country of the world from which tourist originates, at least not in North America, and certainly not in Europe!

    And even if our country was known as a tourist destination, without an International Airport the chances of attracting 90,000 tourist over a one year period is zero to none! I have critique you in the past, nevertheless, you are 100% correct this time, as the last time when you talk about agriculture, and the dependency on agriculture, when all of Dominica got angry at you. I agree with you on all points of both subjects.

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

  21. chicken gone ye
    January 15, 2015

    if my maths are correct 90,000 stay overs a year is approx 250 people per day everyday,if we can not attract 250 people out of a world population of over 6 billion then somebody is not doing there job and needs to be removed ,nassief said that we are approx 10 million dollars short per year on our advertising budget to promote OUR island again if my maths are right that works out at approx $27,500 per day in advertising if you divide that figure by the 250 people per day we need that would mean each person would have cost us $150 to attract them here and we all know that they will leave behind many times that amount so the figures speak for themselve,goverment MUST invest this money so that the tourist dollar can flow to every corner of our society or maybe that is the problem,this goverment is not interested in investing in anything that benifits everyone,they are only interested in spending (wasting) money that helps them and theres,this one man show needs to be addressed ,D.A first

  22. Views Expressed
    January 15, 2015

    Thanks Mr Nassief for your transparent and open analysis and openness to the failed attempts by this illegal government.
    They have not got it, they will never get, they do not know how to get it.
    This is a failed, illegal, incompetent government. Their only interest is in themselves

    I feel for Dominica

  23. The Facts
    January 15, 2015

    Mr. Nassief you know more than I do and experienced in your profession. Much advertising must be undertaken so that D/ca gets a certain amount of stay-overs.
    LIAT’s tardiness does not assist Dominica and other hindrances you mentioned in this article. If these could be improved then, in time, D/ca may experience additional stay-overs.

  24. suk
    January 15, 2015

    Hell with massif is those mentality of cannot do that keeping the country behind for years now

  25. george Fontaine
    January 15, 2015

    Mr. Nassief is reading from the UWP manifesto?

    • PS
      January 16, 2015

      If he is, that would be a good thing!

  26. Same old same old
    January 15, 2015

    But Mr. Nassief, did you even think those guys were serious when they joked about 90,000 stay- over visitors by 2015? We talking about stay -over? Not even those DIASPORA Tourists that came down to vote in December wanted to stay-over for at least 24 hours, let alone none Dominicans. I sincerely believe that if Team Dominica had won the election that goal would be realized. But with Skerrit and his gang back in office, we should simply expect worse than the same old same old of yesteryear.

    • Anon
      January 16, 2015

      You talking as though them man have never won an election, they did, and were there for 5 years, how many more years did they need to prove anything? They made one very serious mistake – sold Domlec, and Dominicans immediately saw electricity bills multiply sky high like never before, strangled foreign investment and stay-over tourism. I do not think Voters have forgiven them for that.

      It’s not corruption, tiffing of votes etc. that’s just a strategy your boys are using just because that strategy worked for dlp back in 2000 to beat them at the poles. If they had not sold Domlec they would have won years ago. That was a grievous, serious mistake they are yet to recover from pal.

      • Titiwi
        January 16, 2015

        So why didn’t Skerrit buy it back, or even nationalise it when he had the chance.?No, he kept quiet and charging us 15% vat and the higher Domlec bills the better for him, the more tax he is collecting.

  27. Observer
    January 15, 2015

    90,000 stay-over visitors will never be achieved until the towns of Roseau and Portsmouth are rehabilitated to get rid of their shanty-town appearances and there are decent bars and restaurants of a standard expected by international travellers such that can be found in places like Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Guadeloupe etc.

    • New slave order
      January 15, 2015

      Took the words from my mouth. In the past 2 years I’ve been a tourist in almost ALL the OECS countries, and have to say, a stay over trip to Dominica cannot compare to the experience in any of these countries. Travel access is the first hurdle. If one is willing to accept the cost and inconvenient travel, hotel options cannot be compared to ANY of the other islands, and in terms of “things to do” for the casual, laid back visitor there truly aren’t any. There really is no compelling reason for Dominica to be a stay-over hub in comparison to its neighbors, unless you’ve already been to all the other islands and want to check out this “hidden gem”. That is a terrible position to be when trying to grow an industry by 7%.

    • Titiwi
      January 17, 2015

      What do you mean? Didn’t Roosevelt Skerrit say his state palace would attract tourists? Where are those tourists?

  28. Noke
    January 15, 2015

    Questions.

    How much was paid to retain that Minnesota based marketing company.
    Who is auditing the marketing spend of that institution.

    Right now you have a small group of the same usual suspects running tourism and getting nowhere and asking for more and more money to be pumped into tourism. OUR MONEY.

    Every aspect of tourism is run by the same people. The cruise ships, the hotelling, the DHTA, DDA, the DFC.

    Just churning money between themselves.

    the bus drivers are the only real other non status quo people making significant income from tourism.

    In the meantime there is no advocacy for agriculture except a few people who can barely speak properly asking for fertilizer. Agriculture, to lower the import bill or to drive export earnings is still the best way to create employment rather than tying people to the same paymasters from yesteryear.

    Open your eyes dominicans.

    • Anthony Ismael
      January 16, 2015

      This is how Dominica functions. A small band of “Merry Men” run the whole show. It’s what I call a: “Quasi Democracy-Dictatorship.” There’s the appearance of Democracy up front but, behind the scenes, it’s a case of the usual suspects with the same dead ideas being spun around like a bobbin.

      How do you entice 90,000 visitors to visit Dominica with this “Rubbish” called Melville Hall. Bus drivers can’t even drive near to it during inclement whether. At US 800.00 a ticket plus 8.5% sales tax, Dominica is by far the most expensive Caribbean destination from North America, only few hours away.

      I would like to know DHTA’s target group of visitors, their median income, demographics, location etc. It’s easy to just print figures and fool simple-minded Dominicans. Fortunately for me, I am not one of them.

  29. fantastic4
    January 15, 2015

    Mr. Nassief continues to be on the ball first on the absolute nonsensical argument by both political parties having stated that the building of an international airport; in my opinion this not a necessity especially when we already have in excess of 7 international airports in close proximity we can make use of. secondly all of said airports are under utilized and heavily subsidized by the state in which they are in and Dominica’s will be no exception in fact it will be worse. Therefore I want to agree with Mr. Nassief and that is to increase our marketing budget while improving the quality of our product and the services that goes with that product. So we really need to get our act together and get moving and stop chasing after waterfalls and some illusionary things.

  30. American Tourist
    January 15, 2015

    A few months ago Liat inexplicably dropped its 5:00pm flight from Barbados to Dominica. This means that tourists from the US, Canada, and Europe who are flying though Barbados cannot get to Dominica the same day. Thus incurring an extra day of travel and expense. Barbados is the biggest and cheapest Caribbean “hub” airport to pass through on the way to Dominica. Either make the existing 2:00pm flight later, or reinstate the 5:00pm flight. This is a perfect opportunity to “optimize flight schedules”. Fix this please!

    • PS
      January 16, 2015

      Couldn’t agree with you more. This not only applies to tourists but to Dominicans as well, who want to do a day’s business in Barbados. I thought mr. Skerrit’s $8 million input into LIAT bought us a seat at their boardroom table and give us some influence?

  31. Truth be Told
    January 15, 2015

    The last Minister of Tourism told you all that VAT is the mainstay of the economy! :lol:

  32. grell
    January 15, 2015

    Nassie is going to remain the same not until we have great aie access a new hospital and better hotels and more rooms,and i dont see that happening in 5yrs.Stop wasting your time man.

  33. January 15, 2015

    Dominica will be known as the only Caribbean Islands without a international airport

    • Titiwi
      January 16, 2015

      Well, that makes us special!

      • Hartley Hinnrey
        January 16, 2015

        What about the Phantom airport Skerrit has in his briefcase that makes us special right? JACK HASSSSS

  34. January 15, 2015

    Build an international airport and spread the wealth amongst the people of DOMINICA. Some don’t want no airport so they can stay wealthy , hence they fraud competition. Freedom of speech is a good thing. When they build a international airport the tourist will come in there thousands

    • Mahaut Boi
      January 16, 2015

      if there was an international airport the rich man would still get the lionshare of the profit because he has more money to compete with. ur argument is nonsense because it assumes that an increase in market size means more money for more people instead of realizing that u live in a capitalistic world. it also does not make sense that people who already have money would not want their market conditions to improve (which u seem to think would be the case if an international airport were to be built, this is not actually true), because a better market means more money for them too. think, if a foreign company wants to come invest in a serious multimillion dollar operation are they gonna do business with just anyone as their local partner? no, they will pick someone with a proven track record… will they look to make as much money as possible to get the best return on their investment? yes, does that mean using local services as applicable, not necessarily…

  35. Emile Zapatos
    January 15, 2015

    VAT is not the problem. The problem is you with your negative and pointing fingers attitude. We can easily make 100,000 visitors goal if you see yourself making it happen and work towards it. In term of visitors, that is a small number. But with a mind set that it cannot be done is old school, not moving forward.
    DNO and our radio stations are being seen and heard everywhere. There are all kinds of travel magazines you could write articles too, and advertise in.
    The only problem I see is accommodation. Do we have the hotel rooms?
    Your being on DNO speaking noise is no good advertisement or promotion.

    • Lang Mama
      January 16, 2015

      You are so naive that I almost want to forgive you for such stupidity however I know that you are also conviniently an idiot and partisan fool.
      you are attacking a man who has invested in Dominica’s tourism sector. The man’s business /resort has been promoted in magazines and commended too yet you promote your ignorance just because the incompetence of the Labor Part government is again exposed.
      As far as you ton ton mskoute are concerned see no evil hear no evil

    • Frenz
      January 16, 2015

      Makak the exiting room occupancy is 40% yet you are claiming that the failed and failing goal is due to inadequate rooms. No wonder you and your political party in government only look through a frosted glass. Your only purpose is distortion and deception. You guys are shameless no different from hard core drug addicts. Your life of crime is controlled by the absence of a conscience.

  36. January 15, 2015

    First of all visitors are badly spoken to at the customs , dominica needs people who can speak many languages at the ports or airport…they need people that can speak correctly to visitors ,most custom officers talk to you like you went to school ,pick mongoes and give the pigs food together with them…if the police who checks the passports gives you all clear to enter the island ,why does the custom’s officer searching the luggages ask so many question…many people travel with nail kits ,even a nail cutter is taken from you as an object which is illigal,a man refused talking to me and only made head movements to tell me about the bag on my shoulder,,…a lady asked me where did you get a ticket ,,,a custom’s officer cursed another staff worker infront of all the visitors ,,,such an attitude is not acceptable and visitors are waisting to much time to get out of the ports…visitors say over and over that they are waisting to much time ,

    • Lang Mama
      January 16, 2015

      There is Daryl Titre who speak mandarin; Simeone who speak crap and Lang loo language;Mervin P speak the sort language; Ambassador sweety like it who speak Arsenal language for the people from San Francisco who come cruise ship sometimes; then we can put the rogue ex priest to welcome people running away from whatever; put all these characters at the airport so they can be bored and eat ech other cause the airport is a ghost building until creole fest ,carnival and election stealing.

    • Ma Moses
      January 19, 2015

      I get so upset you know. When I arrive at the airport with my Dominican passport I have to fill in a form that asks me the purpose of my visit , how long I will be staying and where! For God’s sake I am coming back to my own country where I live. They are acting as if they are doing you a favour to let you back into your own home. And on top of that they have a plan to tax you for allowing you back in. That is so insensitive and insulting. Does the P.M. or his colleagues have to do, the same thing or is there a rule for them and us? Please, change that so I can feel truly welcome when I get to my country.

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