CEO of Discover Dominica Authority Collin Piper has said that a total of 2,606 visitors came to the island in 2012 for the 16th edition of the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF).
Speaking at the media launch of the festival on Monday evening, Piper described the festival as an economic success.
He pointed out that most visitors to the island came from Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Martin, St Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda.
It was revealed that a total of $2.5 million were spent by visitors during the event.
“As we embark on our journey to welcome 90,000 visitors to our shores by 2015, we recognize that festival tourism plays a major role so we continue to use culture and the many attributes of Dominica that will result in creating unique experiences for our visitors,” he pointed out.
He impressed on the businesses to partner with the WCMF to show their corporate citizenship and sponsor the festival in cash or kind in order to sustain it and encouraged the private sector to ensure that there is enough for the visitors to do while they are on island.
Meanwhile, minister for Tourism and Legal Affairs Ian Douglas, pointed out that the festival highlights culture, creative dynamism and will be incorporated into Dominica’s independence celebrations.
“This year we want to enforce the World Creole Music Festival as part of Dominica’s 35th Independence Celebrations,” he stated. “The festival is a major part of our efforts to use our culture and the arts to stimulate the tourism sector. The event was conceived as a means of increasing visitor arrivals during the early parts of the official tourism season and to create greater linkages between tourism sector and culture.”
He added that the festival can be used to draw visitors to experience the dynamic tourism product that is offered here. Douglas stated that the event has stirred much interest in Dominica and noted that this year promises to be better.
He also indicated that organizers of the event must find a creative way to market and sell the creole period in Dominica since it is a perfect time to welcome visitors and celebrate the island’s creole culture.