Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge, has stated that the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF), is an event that stimulates the Dominican economy through the number of visitors coming to the country for the event.
He was speaking at the launch of the 20th annual festival on Thursday, July 13th at the Fort Young Hotel.
“The World Creole Music Festival creates strong economic activity in Dominica for all. In 2016, over 6,000 came to our shores in the one week preceding the World Creole Music Festival. In previous years, statistics indicated that 3,000 to 5,000 individuals have made visits to Dominica spending millions of dollars in our economy,” Tonge said.
He added that the focus remains on making Dominica a “center for events and festival tourism in the region,” as events such as the WCMF, Dive Fest and others become more and more popular.
Not only does the festival generate income and stimulate Dominica’s economy and has a multiplier of seven to nine times more than what the government spends, Tonge added that it plays a major role in the social aspect of life where people meet and the beauty of Dominica is appreciated by many visitors.
“The World Creole Music Festival is a place where people meet, allows us to meet to discover the wonderful sites, the wonderful sounds and the wonderful people of the nature isle of Dominica. The festival is an opportunity for us to gain valuable insight into what makes us creole and to discover an abundance of natural beauty in our land, and a chance to meet the people that we haven’t met in many year,” he stated.
Tonge also said that he take pride in the Ministry and other partners’ collective efforts in promoting the event has reaped many benefits and will continue to do so.
“I am extremely proud that our World Creole Music Festival has been featured in billboards, several Caribbean music festivals have it right. So obviously, we see that we are doing something right, and the intention is to continue working on these,” Tonge said.
According to him, the strategic planning and effective management of the festival is what leads to it being executed at international standards.
“Ours is about ensuring that the event lives up to its reputation as most indigenous music festivals in the Caribbean, reflecting our Creole heritage and incorporating various elements of our music culture that represents our common humanity,” he remarked.