President of Dominica Water Sports Association and one of the Organizers of the annual Dive Fest, Simon Walsh, has said that the diving sector has contributed at least $8-million to the island’s economy.
Speaking at the launch of the 2014 edition of Dive Fest on Thursday evening, Walsh said this figure could be doubled in just one year if air access to Dominica continues to improve.
“It’s roughly about $8-million that the diving brings to Dominica,” he said. “The good news is if we continue to improve air access we can actually double those numbers in one year.”
He described the event over the years as ” extremely successful” saying that it has accomplished “the objectives that we want it to accomplish.”
He noted that objective is to raise funds for the marketing of Dominica globally through trade shows and other marketing initiatives.
“So every dollar that is raised in Dive Fest goes into a marketing fund,” he remarked, noting it is done through a partnership of Discover Dominica Authority (DDA).
Walsh stated that Dominica is one of the “most successful islands in the Caribbean” in battling the invasive Lion Fish through public awareness during the Dive Fest.
At the launch on Thursday, at the Tao Restaurant, telecommunication giant Digicel contributed $15,000 to the festival.
Presently 25 divers are on the island to participate.
Activities for the festival include, beginners dive at the Anchorage Hotel, Jonny Walker Jing Ping Ting at Al Dive, Island Chef at Anchorage Hotel featuring Michele Henderson, Irie Safari Kids Snorkel Treasure Hunt at Champagne and the Kubuli canoe races in Soufriere.
There will also be a trophy and prize giving ceremony on Sunday July 20th and a Kubuli beach party in Soufriere, featuring WCK Band, to bring an end to this year’s Dive Fest.
The festival runs from July 11th to 20th.