Tourism minister outlines plans for tourism budget allocation

Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge. File photo

Tourism Minister, Senator Robert Tonge has said that he plans to use the $12.54 million allocated to his ministry in the 2019-2020 national budget to improve various tourist and cultural sites in Dominica in order to enhance the tourism sector.

During his contribution to the budget debate on Thursday, Tonge identified the ways in which the money is  to be used.

“Under site enhancement, we are looking at the upgrade of our sites. One of the things we want to do is to ensure that our sites meet and exceed international standards. This will involve the construction of gazebos, benches, picnic tables and rehabilitation of the washroom facilities,” the minister said. “Our Morne Bruce site, one of our very important sites which will include the rehabilitation of walk ways, the construction of the gazebo and the installation of the appropriate signage.”

He continued, “Installation of solar systems for sites [such as] Trafalgar Falls, Emerald Pool, Fort Shirley, Indian River as we build to make our tourism infrastructure more resilient. The installation of better water catchment…..areas again to ensure the resilience of the area.”

Tonge stated that there’s a need to ensure that the country’s cultural sites are established in order for the youth to know Dominica’s history.

“Under community culture, we’re looking at the rehabilitation of commanders quarters at Fort Shirley, the development of the Kalinago gateway and the 1930’s memorial, the development of the Geneva Heritage Site, the Indian River exit trail to ensure safety and security of our visitors, the Marigot/Melville Hall road beautification project, the rehabilitation of the Old Methodist Church, restoration works at  the Old Mill Cultural Centre to include the restoration of the water mill and tunnel,” Tonge stated. “We have so much rich history, we have to ensure that we establish these areas so that our youth can understand where we came from.”

Other proposed projects outlined by the minister include, among others, the upgrade of the Roseau museum and road signage, the construction of the Purple Turtle beach board walk, the Red Rocks site enhancement and the development of the Champagne  Beach.

He said over 227 persons were trained by the tourism sector last year adding that another 94 will be trained soon.

“In terms of training the ministry of tourism continues to support training.  we have trained over 227 persons last year. I am very proud of the 91 persons who did the training in  Portsmouth recently and this included taxi drivers…and the basically learnt how to provide the 5 star level of service and more importantly they were also taught how to have a sustainable business,” Tonge said.

“Very soon, we have the American hotel and lounge in an educational institution, via the organisation of American states will be providing training to 94 persons and i wish them all the best in this training programme.”

He said before the end of the month 94 persons will receive training facilitated by the Organization of American States (OAS) to improve and increase the ability of Dominicans in providing the best level of service to the nation.

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29 Comments

  1. Dofraid
    August 6, 2019

    What ever plans you have if it’s good the it will be utilized by the incoming government

  2. jamie
    August 5, 2019

    Tonge your just a bag of hot air,and every year bunch of empty promise,where is roseau enhancement project?

  3. "maho pima
    August 5, 2019

    mr. minister stop painting a beautiful picture for the people, this 2019-2020 cruise is not going to be better than last year, less cruise ship calls for this season. Tell us why is the cruise ship calls are decreasing instead of increasing.

  4. "maho pima
    August 5, 2019

    12 million is almost for marketing, he never said how much would be allocated to the different sites, every year these tourism ministers come with the same plans,but never implemented, they must give us the cruise ship report for 2017-2018, these things he is talking about should have already been done. the minister said persons were trained in the tourism sector, how many tour guides were trained? how many in the hotel sector was trained? he did not give a breakdown of the different sectors in which the persons were trained. DDA and the ministry of tourism meet with the different tour operators, taxi drivers,tour guides,vendors and other people involve in the industry almost every year, at these meetings they ask for suggestions from these groups, the suggestions given are never implemented and the sites remain the same year after year, very little is done.

  5. viewsexpressed
    August 4, 2019

    “Tourism Minister, Senator Robert Tonge has said that he plans to use the $12.54 million allocated to his ministry in the 2019-2020 national budget to improve various tourist and cultural sites in Dominica in order to enhance the tourism sector.”
    Tongue, (shut up)you watch that tongue of yours, because it isn`t going anywhere as far as Dominica is concerned. You and your failed, incompetent Skerrit and oversized Ministers are a bunch of political clowns, misfits, blind, hypocritical and much more. You all have created and increased poverty in our Dominica and with the fear of Hon Linton and his highly professional UWP Team, you`ll in panic, nervous mood. Why, because you all have failed our people of Dominica and have crippled our agricultural industries and Skerrit clown want us to say that we love that PM? Well, no way, this man Skerrit is a damn big joke failure and he must just get out, go away and don`t come back, you liarbility. It`s ok that he takes Melissa with him. Please…

  6. Frank N Stein
    August 4, 2019

    Here goes troll joseph john all over the place trying to defend, last man standing :mrgreen:

  7. Winston Smith
    August 3, 2019

    So not a single dollar is going to be spent on any of our hiking trails ? Everything is going to cruise ship tourism ? This is appalling.

  8. Kalinago Justice
    August 3, 2019

    :?: These rogues had 20 years to do all what they’re trying to come up with now! :?: But here they are behaving like they’re just starting their first term in office :?: Why is it that on an eve of an election that all these pie in the sky nightmares are coming up :?: It’s time that these rush on the eve of an election of all wild promises stop! No government should be allowed to come up with any promises of so-called development during an election period!!!

    • Joseph John
      August 3, 2019

      Mr Tonge has had only 4 years in office and has proved that he is the right man for the job. Good choice Skerro.

      • Kalinago Justice
        August 3, 2019

        joseph john; there’s nothing your one-man corrupt rogue regime prime mistake will do that’s not right in your eyes and head closed blindness! Even if he breaks your neck, you’ll think he’s a chiropractor! :?:

      • KaliNeg
        August 3, 2019

        joseph john; I don’t know what school you went to or if you ever went to one, cause you’re really not a thinker, neither do you have any analytical skills :?: If your failed tourism minister is so good,why was he rejected as a possible candidate by your one-man corrupt rogue regime prime mistake to bring in his dotish wife for benefits :?:

    • Joseph John
      August 3, 2019

      Can you imagine if he was there for 20 years or more ?
      Are we that unappreciative to post such disparaging comments, such harassment is uncalled for. How does this prospective motivate others, how does it affect our young people’s attitude. They man left his employment and took up a position to make a positive contribution and that is the thanks he gets. How will others respond when they are called. MAGRASA.

      • Ibo france
        August 3, 2019

        Are you on some sort of mind altering medication? Do you have difficulty thinking rationally? You have to be the world’s greatest comedian. You CANNOT be serious!

        • viewsexpressed
          August 4, 2019

          Ohhhhh Ibo France, you are so right, and on behalf of all right thinking Dominicans, I repeat you statement above:
          ” Skerrit, Are you on some sort of mind altering medication? Do you have difficulty thinking rationally? You have to be the world’s greatest idiotic comedian.”.
          As it is referred to you failed, comical, immature, failed Skerrit. Drink with some bush Bobol Tea.
          This man Skerrit is just a big failure and has crippled our nation of its resources. Skerrit has been this damn failure comic now for 19 years. He must Go.

      • Kalinago Justice
        August 3, 2019

        :?: I suppose if he was there for 20 years, there would no tourism on island, not a single ship would dock! :?:

      • viewsexpressed
        August 4, 2019

        You Joseph John are we that unappreciative and full on idiotic talk to appease your fail immature Skerrit and you think we will buy that BS of yours?
        We are that alert to get rid of this failed Skerrit and to have you post such disparaging comments of Skerrit out of our Domininca business and you are welcome to go with him, to continue to write his disparaging idiotic, politically illiterate comments. All you failed clown of Skerrit do is occupy yourselves to this nonsensical approach of Skerrit that he has failed Domininca and its people big time. Shame on you, shame on Skerrit and those blind labour loyalists. Domininca is in a worse state since or Independence. …and your failed Skerrit has elevated this corrupted behaviour in office with our resources, tax payers money. We do pay tax, and be reminded that Dominica has not moved anywhere forward since the “First Communion of baby, immature Skerrit, Never again must Skerrit be Prime `Odd` Minister of our nature Isle. Get lost.

  9. Bwa-Banday
    August 3, 2019

    Reminds me of the old calypso; “The moo-moo, the moo-moo talking”. Tongue will always be Skerro’ “moose boy and left-over consumer 8) “. You can never run elections and win a seat so be content in the shadow of your master bro.

  10. little yout
    August 2, 2019

    All this guy says is ” we are looking at and we plan to do” an he has been saying that for the last five years. Our cruise ship arrivals and stay over tourist numbers continue to drop into the abyss. This is the worst minister of tourism ever anywhere in the entire world. The prime minister has rejected your silly projection as the candidate for Roseau central and your paid for motorcade. How else can the prime minister tell you to get lost and he hates you with a passion?

    • Joseph John
      August 3, 2019

      Why the hostility ? Why the hatred ? The tourism industry need every one to be positive and encouraging. Benefits will affect all of us .
      So get off Mr Tonge ‘s back. He certainly made a positive contribution to elevate a national awareness in the tourist industry as a key driver for economic development. He has defined the government policy in this aspect.
      If the private sector tap into this policy we will be on our way to become a better Dominica. Better for all.
      I salute you Mr Tongue, you have done a fantastic job in only 4 years. You are a head above the rest. Thank you Sir.

  11. My favourite minister
    August 2, 2019

    Now nice. I look forward to seeing improvements to roads near the tourist attractions. Now, 12.54 million may not be enough to do all of that but when the Minister of Finance finds the missing $1000,000,000 (1 billion), the 17 ministries can divide it up. You’ll get an extra $58,823,529. Add that to the 12.54 million you already have, that’s 58.8 million. So, take a 🔦 , go help him look for it. Good luck bro.

  12. Ibo france
    August 2, 2019

    The air and sea ports must be modernized to attract international airlines and cruise lines to the shores of Dominica. Tourists want to get from their homelands directly to their destinations hassle free as island hopping is stressful. It’s the stay over visitors where the bulk of the profits is made. Statistically, Dominica is languishing at the bottom of the ladder among all the independent territories of the Eastern Caribbean States in tourist arrivals. What the Minister is highlighting, most of these things should have already been in place. Training should be ongoing every year. There are so much catching up to do with too much incompetence at the top. No doubt, a change of government, with qualified people at the helm, is urgently needed to guide the country through these turbulent economic waters.

  13. Joseph John
    August 2, 2019

    I am impressed with the priority given to training in the hospitality sector. Good friendly customer service is the key to attract return visitors.
    Two areas that were not mentioned are sports and entertainment . Entertainment especially need to be at the highest level.
    We need to endure that visitors will enjoy their stay . If they leave happy they will return and they will tell their friends.
    On of the tricks of the American competition in the tourist is the designation of a “tourist season” for the Caribbean during the winter and fall because their season is not very active during cold weather. We need to do like Barbados and ignore that designation. We need to have the mind frame that our tourist season is all year round.
    An other recommendation is that we need a higher level of promotion and advertisement. We need to do like Jamaica where a significant portion of the tourism budget goes to promotion.

  14. Casio
    August 2, 2019

    365 rivers are boasted from now til the end of time. when will we seek to develop one as an attraction for recreation? Granted our rivers are vulnerable due to flash floods in the rainy season, there can be steps taken to ensure safety. We boast our rivers and cleanlines of our waters, but none of them are an attraction except the indian river, which we do not swim in. chaudier pool cannot be accessed by everyone. We just need 2 or 3 rivers developed to create nice swimming pools, changing rooms, toilets not too close or too far from the area, eatery and bar and a security station. Easy employment for 4-6 people to ensure that a section of a river is clean and well kept and the guests are serviced properly. Product development people. We need to create more products using our nature. We say we are the nature isle right?

    • Joseph John
      August 3, 2019

      @Casio,…..this is the best idea of all. Activating our resources to enhance our development. I would just add that fresh water fishing could be a form of recreation.
      Our rivers and water resources are not being exploited at all except for homes use. We need to be in the business of exporting water . Export it like the oil producing countries export oil.

      • KaliNeg
        August 3, 2019

        You can see all what is needed to be done that has not been done by your one-man corrupt rogue regime prime mistake after 20 years, but you still follow with your head closed! :?:

        • Joseph John
          August 5, 2019

          You and others who want to follow the trouble making gang cannot tell me what to do. It is still a free country and I have a right to self expression.
          I cannot support your party with no ideology, no vision, no value and no ethics. But demonstrate attitudes of terrorism with insults and fake accusations.
          I also see in you all attributes of extreme cowards. You write under fake names like evil ghosts writers and you support those who go hiding when the going gets tough. You all went M.I..A three times in a row : Mathew, Erica and Maria. Three strikes is not a mistake but a bad habit.
          You show no signs of appreciation or respect.
          You disparage our ladies by calling them prostitutes, witches and old handbags and you deputy leader has been arrested for sexual offences with minors, with children.
          If you want more reasons listen to the hateful rhetorics you utter on the media including the social media. I am placing you all negativers on ignore and on dropped mikes. 000

          • Joseph John
            August 6, 2019

            Did you all see Lugay’s misbehavior during the last house of Assembly meeting. Statesmanship ? I think not, more like a drunken brawl on carnival jump up.
            Once again the uwp misunderstanding of the procedure of the House was on displayed. A 5th grader would be more competent.
            What about the plagiarism in the rhetoric of the fake leader, the imposter, the poser with the diplomatic passport. Looks like he could not understand what he was reading again.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
        • Casio
          August 6, 2019

          Who follows? I am not a Laborite, nor a Workers, nor a follower of politicians and aspiring politicians nor politics. Its all a game played by people who want to control the masses, while playing self important. In the end i want to see the proper management of my country’s resources. sadly we leave that to the politicians to do on our behalf.

      • Casio
        August 6, 2019

        Everyone thinks water is easy to export, but there is much more to it than we realize. There is much much more to it than simply filling container from the tap and shipping.

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