The CEO of the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA), Colin Piper and the President of the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA) Gregor Nassief both say they are welcoming news of a possible increase in the budget for marketing the island.
Recently Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, announced that an increase in the island’s marketing budget is under consideration and the amount will be revealed when the national budget is presented in July.
The statement has been welcomed by tourism stakeholders who have been lobbying for an increase for years.
“We welcome the statement that the DDA may be getting an increase in marketing funds and it is something that we have lobbied for the past two to three years because we feel that it would benefit the destination,” Piper told Dominica News Online, while Nassief stated that “the DHTA is very encouraged by the indication.”
According to Skerrit, an increase of between $8-million and $12-million has been proposed.
“I cannot promise that I will get to the 12 (million dollars) now but certainly we will move closer to getting to that range which the DHTA and the Ministry of Tourism are asking for,” he said.
Piper said he believes that DDA has successfully convinced the government of the increase this year.
“I think this year we have been successful in convincing the government that the time is right for this increased marketing budget which again I look at as an investment in the tourism industry and hopefully will generate results,” he said.
He noted that the DDA has partnered with the DHTA and the two have pledged to work hand in hand in marketing the island.
According to Piper a study was conducted for the DDA’s Corporate Strategy and Action Plan, to determine what the figures of an increase marketing budget would be in order to compete against some of the destinations in the Caribbean and try to generate at least more returns.
He noted that the figure stood between $8-million and $12-million.
“It is more than we have gotten in the past and we will work with it the best that we can,” he continued, adding that in addition to air access; the marketing spend, the marketing effectiveness and guest experience have been identified as major issues that need focus.
He said addressing these issues would put Dominica in a better light.
“And the better light that we want is to see some increased visitation, increased numbers and it is also possible that even without increased numbers to increase the amount of revenue generated by visitors,” Piper noted.
Nassief was a bit more cautious saying that he will wait for the final budget presentation but an increase in market share is something that has been proposed in the past by the DHTA.
“This is something that we have been proposing for a while based on the fact that Dominica’s key challenge, we believe, is the fact that we are still virtually an unknown destination and marketing is a very key component of fixing that problem,” he said.