DWA stresses importance of Dive Fest

Perryman said the event must be successful this year
Perryman said the event must be successful this year

As the Dominica Watersports Association (DWA) launches the 23rd annual Dive Fest, DWA President, Daniel Perryman has stated that it is imperative this year’s event be successful, in order to remain at the “head of the pack” in the Caribbean.

This is now particularly important with the inception of the first-ever St. Lucia Dive Fest, and hindrances to Dominica’s tourism industry, he said, at a press conference held to discuss the event.

“The DWA’s pride was [that] Dive Fest was the only one of its kind in the Caribbean. Now, this is no longer the case,” he explained. “And with the difficulty of airlifting to Dominica, and other hindrances to the overall development to the tourism industry, we’re now facing dive fest competition with our neighbor island, St. Lucia; and it will not stop here.”

The Lucia Tourist Board recently announced the island’s first Dive Fest, to be held from September 10 to 17, 2016. The island boasts of several dive sites easily accessible by boat and shore.

Meantime, Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge, stated that although water sports contributes greatly to the tourism sector and the national economy, there is potential for a 20-percent increase to the annual 3,000 diving visitors.

Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge
Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge

“Historical data shows clearly that divers are, in fact, the most faithful and loyal tourists to our shores,” Tonge elaborated. “Currently, Dominica welcomes approximately 3,000 diving visitors to Dominica. And, there is a great potential to increase this number by at least 20-percent in the next coming years.”

In 2015, Perryman announced plans to expand the reach of the annual Dive Fest, regionally and internationally, in order to bring more divers to Dominica, in the region of 5,000 by 2016.

Tonge divulged that the government “has potentially approved” an increased budget for marketing the island, to ensure that the individuals are encouraged to come to Dominica. Improved air access is a key step to achieving this goal, he said.

Additionally, the Minister commented that several individuals will undergo training and retraining, to guarantee that “all persons who are going to be touching these visitors are trained, to ensure that the visitor gets a much better experience.”

Dive Fest kicks off with a Happy Hour at the Fort Young Hotel, on Friday, and will span from July 8-17, with several activities in villages around the island.

dive fest calender

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7 Comments

  1. Hortus
    July 9, 2016

    Dive Fest used to attract international sponsors, now it attracts none. Why ? Because it attracts so few divers; like everything else on this island it has simply become a local fete. Dive Fest offers no incentives for international or even regional divers to come here. It has become an afterthought, arranged at the last minute with no creativity or strategic ambition.

  2. joe hy
    July 9, 2016

    Trinidad has developed calypso competetion jamaica reggae festivals there are festivals all over the world,both calypso and reggae.Dominica has developed a new tourism product dive fest,so expect other caribbean islands to develop their own dive fest. All.Dominicans should work to make the fest better.

  3. keepingitreal
    July 8, 2016

    divers have disposable income and education,we could be on the moon and offer the product we have and they will find a way to come..i think we should focus on upgrading our product and the overall experience..the world is full of dive sites and st Lucia is just another one..what we have have is unique and exceptional..lets keep it so and continually improve and we will be OK.

  4. Lenovo
    July 8, 2016

    Is not Dive Fest alone St. Lucia will take nuh. Just now is “World Creole Music Festival Lucie Style” we’ll be hearing about. Just mark my words.

    Too much politics and poor management in Dominica blighting everything we have.

    Mr. Perryman must turning in his grave. :(

    But then is us Dominicans again eh. We don’t patronize Dive Fest. We see it as a bourgeois people thing so it will always suffer.

    • skepticalone
      July 8, 2016

      Really? People don’t patronize Dive Fest? Have you ever been down to the Kubuli Canoe Race in Soufreire? Most of Dominica is down there, must be the biggest village event all year!! Some of the other events don’t get so many people but the kids sure love their events!! Can always be better but how many people working on it?

  5. Megso
    July 7, 2016

    The least you guys could say was ‘thank you’

  6. Miami Vice
    July 7, 2016

    Although I agree that Dominica is a great diving destination, and that Dive Fest has been quite successful over the years; what is Mr. Tonge’s strategy and plan to increase diver arrivals by 20% over the coming years? WHAT?

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