Stay over arrivals decline by 70% so far for 2020 says DDA

Samantha Letang

Dominica has recorded a 70 percent decline in stay over arrivals from January 2020 to September 2020.

Marketing Executive at the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA), Samantha Letang made that disclosure at a press briefing on Wednesday night pointing out that the tourism industry has been and continues to be affected greatly by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

She said the 70% percent decline of stay over arrivals from January to September 2020 is  over the same period in 2019.

“It should be noted that for that same period January to September 2019, we were already, as a destination, showing a 7 percent increase over our pre-disaster levels which actually spelt very good news for the sector,” Letang stated.

But COVID-19 now poses a new challenge for the tourism industry and, according to Letang,  stakeholders in the sector continue to see declines with some actually being forced to close their doors and “of course, to lay off workers.”

Letang said the Ministry of Tourism, International and Maritime Initiatives, along with the DDA, continues to work with stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment and the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA) in aiding in the revival of the industry.

“We first launched the CARICOM Travel Bubble towards the end of August which afforded persons from select destinations in the travel bubble relax entry requirements into Dominica, while ensuring safety and security of both the visitor and resident being of paramount importance to us,” Letang noted. “And on October 2nd we presented ‘Safe in Nature’.”

She explained that ‘Safe in Nature’ is a commitment to visitors, specifically visitors traveling from the high risk category of countries in which almost all of the country’s tourism source markets lie.

“Safe in Nature is a managed experience where guests are catered for throughout the first 5 to 7 days of arriving in Dominica before they take their PCR test on day 5 to assure their health condition,” Letang said. “It guarantees that Dominica continues to focus on the safety of our local residents, and of course our visitors, while doing all we can to bring the essence of the nature island to them.”

She said the DDA is currently working with DHTA on a booking line to ensure guests go only into ‘Safe in Nature’ properties as well as with taxi associations at the airport to ensure they follow rules and regulations and play their part.

According to Letang, said the DDA is currently carrying out training with the Caribbean Tourism Organization for taxi operators as it relates to service and protocols during the COVID-19 period.

“We had already begun training for taxi operators and are continuing to educate and inform all our service providers,” she said.

Letang encourages service providers and the local community “to make our visitors feel welcome” as Dominica continues to push forward with the reopening of the tourism industry and its Safe in Nature commitment.

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  1. Lucas
    October 16, 2020

    If the DDA and Tourism Ministry staff actually ventured out of their offices, they would discover that Nature isn’t safe at all. There are umpteen ways of hurting yourself out there and there is absolutely no safety framework in place – no way of recording hikers on trails, no emergency service/rescue team that is equipped to evacuate people if needed, no dedicated emergency hotline for people to call (and no-one actually answering it, of course), no functioning hyperbaric chamber with trained staff, no legal requirement for guides to carry emergency care equipment, no trail signage, and no up-to-date information on the current status of every hiking trail. Safe in nature ? Good luck with that.

    • Roger Burnett
      October 18, 2020

      These are very valid points, many of which I stressed during the planning of the National Trail.

      Before even reaching “nature” nothing could be more hazardous than the “pavements” of Roseau.

  2. Sasa
    October 16, 2020

    I’m from da living in a high risk area I took my vacation went to st Lucia cause of the stupid restrictions in da test negative when I reach at airport stay in my hotel room for 5 days I had norestrictions on where or how I have to move around I had a good time went back to the state had another test done when I reach back in the state still negative so why should i have my own house and go in a boot camp to make money not me putting my foot in da unless I can go to my home when I’m test negative my next vacation I will go anywhere in the Caribbean stay looking for quick money da will fall

  3. Roger Burnett
    October 16, 2020

    In 2012 Timothy Speaks produced a promotional video for DDA titled, “Are You Breathing Dominica”.

    At this point in time the video is all the more relevant and could serve as something that potential visitors could add to their wish list.

  4. Wake up People
    October 16, 2020

    It’s unfortunate that the Caribbean region is suffering so much due to this so-called deadly virus (there are no more people dying daily across the globe than any other year! The figures coming from the WHO (financed by those who want to inoculate the entire world). It’s about time the region asks for some concrete evidence of what they’re really doing – apart from destroying people’s livelihoods and freedoms. God is waiting for us all to wake up to those who are out to destroy us!

    • Wake up people
      October 17, 2020

      Why the thumbs down? This is fact. With those dumb folks who put the thumbs down button, you’re the same one’s who will drag us all back into slavery!
      Please explain your reasons for your thumbs down. Even though the evidence is right in front of your faces, you just don’t see what these evil people are planning. Please go and do your research. The Caribbean region will suffer the most through ignorance. This so-called deadly virus that you believe will kill you, will not kill you. Your ignorance and face masks, restrictions, lockdown, job losses and depression is what will kill you. Please open your boarders and allow visitors to stay at hotels or their own homes. This is ludicrous. Please get the regions scientists and doctors to advise their own people about what’s really going on and stop listening to those who are trying to destroy us before it’s too late. Now, as I’ve stated, the ignorant amongst us will of course press the thumbs down. So go ahead as you first will…

  5. Magway ca
    October 16, 2020

    No sh.. Sherlock. How the hell did you figure that out alllll byyyy yourself ?

  6. Ibo France
    October 16, 2020

    The government is much too dependent on tourism, a very fickle industry, as its main economic engine. The best economy is a diversified economy. Agriculture, food processing, manufacturing, technology, entrepreneurship, just to name a few, should be vigorously pursued to boost the ever struggling economy.

    The country lacks VISIONARY LEADERSHIP . Where there is no vision the people perish.

  7. RastarMarn
    October 15, 2020

    But you think people foolish den why come to a place that already doh have nothing to offer just to be put in some jail-like conditions,,,

    Especially when it’s Cronies of the administration that is getting all the benefits,,,

    All you must be Mad man!!!

    RastarMarn Pray dat no body doh come back Dominica ever again for any stay-over or whatever scheme allyou planning to [break people han] and force dem to be put in some camp,,,

    • Kari
      October 17, 2020

      My fiancé has a house down there so why should I be forced to stay where they want me to stay at my expense and cannot even see him for a week or 2 no one even knows for sure how long! That is why people are not coming! If u test positive then yes by all means but if u are negative you should be able to quarantine for like 5 days at the house of your family or friends and take a second test and be set free! This whole covid bs is bogus anyway. Lock down the whole world for flu 😷 🤦🏻‍♀️

  8. October 15, 2020

    I visit Antigua with 7days pcr result prior travelling date 737 airline were full and everything went smoothly this folks handled all arrival smoothly every passenger were screen,

  9. October 15, 2020

    You know why because you guys made it to difficult for visitors come to our shores Antigua and St.Lucia experiencing high volume visitors by placing 7 days pcr result and Dominica 72hours ,By the time you receive result and filled questionnaire one day or two to response 72hours gone.

  10. our Sisserou laying Eggs
    October 15, 2020

    that was expected. international travel was restricted and discouraged worldwide. problem is, if one of our major income generators is hampered, maybe it’s time to think of diversification. Tourism is one of the most fragile economies in the world. agriculture is one of the most stable. we should stop listening to the $1 a year minister who said that agriculture is a has been economy. what a jest. seems like eating is a has been custom of humans. Listen to your black people. the soil is the key. and bring back our parrots please.

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