Dominica’s Minister of Tourism and Legal Affairs Ian Douglas has told tour guides that their role in the tourism industry is a vital one.
He addressed the group on Friday morning and told them, “we recognize that your role in this industry is very important. You are the very first person and perhaps the persons that the visitors interact with for the longest amount of time while they are on island.”
He said that it is through their eyes and words that the visitor gains an appreciation for the island.
“You more than anybody else can have influence the experience the visitor has on island be it cruise or stay over visitor,” he reminded the tour guides, and stated that it is important that Discover Dominica and the ministry hears and understands the challenges that they face in order to assist them to overcome those challenges and perform their duties to the best of their abilities.
Douglas added “it is also for us to get a sense as to how you do what you do so that we in turn at our level can set policies that will enhance your service, enhance the service that you give the visitor and also enhance the experience.”
Head of Marketing at Discover Dominica Authority, Cathleen Cuffy, noted that at the end of the discussion the DDA will determine if there is really a shortage of tour guides and what it is that they could do to curb that situation.
Cuffy pointed out “we are also working feverishly to get a tour guide association together and that has been done but we are still hearing that it is not really functioning so maybe in this discussion we can understand why and what needs to be done because we think it is very important that you have an association, it is a very rewarding thing, to do there is strength in numbers.”