Dominica ready to accept business – Tourism Minister

Tonge was addressing a press briefing on Thursday evening
Tonge was addressing a press briefing on Thursday evening

Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge, has announced that although Dominica was severely damaged by Tropical Storm Erika, accommodations will not be affected during the 2015/2016 cruise ship season which is expected to begin in October.

As a matter of fact Tonge, who was addressing a press briefing on Thursday night, said Dominica’s tourism sector is ready to accept business.

“With regards to the accommodation, that is one of the concerns many have talked about,” he said. “So pre-Erika there were 94 properties which amounts to 1,022 rooms, post-Erika there are 72 fully operational properties which means that over 76 percent of our properties are ready and willing to accept persons.”

Tonge continued, “Ten more are not operational, but of which nine of these are expected to be fully operational before the peak season and the peak season is really between the months of October and November, moving forward.”

According to him by the time the tourism season peaks, 81 properties will be fully operational.

Tonge pointed out that his ministry will be working very closely with Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA) to ensure that, “we receive information on a regular basis to see what are the issues of the hotels and how we move forward in the best interest of the country.”

“Dominica is ready to accept business because as we know tourism is second to agriculture and we have to ensure that we bring in some form of revenue into the country,” he stated.

He encouraged citizens to ensure that they use the country’s local produce in terms of poultry among others.

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  1. gadathy
    September 13, 2015

    dno ask the minister what was the result of the meeting he had with the taxi drivers Friday gone he was rejected with he’s proposal trying to take our business from us this is not lime u dont have to publish i im just giving u info manager of lime and minister were ………….. way back lime boss suggested privatization many persons bid who got it( they got it) one of the top photo shop was given money to invest in water sport hmmmm now coming to take our business from us hell no try to contact the president of combine 2359179 Esprit do ur investigation with the little i gave u all i kwow this is not matt maybe u can pass it on

  2. September 12, 2015

    The thing that is always LAUGHABLE is the insistence by this administration that they are always ready. WE were IBOLA ready wee. Gushhh! cant we be realistic for once and mean what we say?

  3. Sisserou
    September 12, 2015

    Interesting comments. I am currently in Christchurch, New Zealand, which was destroyed by earthquakes in 2010 & 2011. They have actually made the devastation into a tourism site. Life deals you lemons, make lemonade. As a guest house owner in Dominica, I have been pleased with the progress. I am sad that Grace is causing a set back.

  4. Malpardee
    September 12, 2015

    But what i hearing there. Really , you think people going to want to come to da at this time? Mayb in 5 years…

  5. Francisco Telemaque
    September 11, 2015

    “Mr Minister, I would like to one important thing happen and that is to heighten the marketing of the destination… by inviting the international media to come in and see what we have available on this beautiful island we all call home…” (William)

    William, whereas that suggestion above may seem as a good idea, that is not how tourism is promoted! When one say international press, that is very vague, hard to define; since most of the news are compiled by freelance reports; and distributed.

    People are not altogether interested in rivers, trees, and most of what Dominicans believe we have that is so unique to the world. There is nothing we have rivers, trees, mountain and waterfalls, boiling lake and everything else that cannot be found here in America.; Canada, Europe, and most other places in the world. They are all here and more, I have seen such places with my very own eyes, as I drove across North America, and remember North America only comprise of America, Canada, and…

    • Francisco Telemaque
      September 11, 2015

      and Mexico. What is needed in Dominica are tourist resorts, including some gulf courses, and class places of entertainment.

      An International Airport is very essential; when we have such facilities, we then spend some money, to advertise Internationally; i. e. through travel agencies and on prime time Television. Viewers who may be planing a vacation may view Dominica advertise, and become interested and book a flight to Dominica for the adventure; when they get there they must be treated with dignity, and respect.

      After they leave, depending on their experience, they will introduce Dominica to their friends, who may come for the same experience. I’ve seen practically all the of the islands of the Caribbean advertising on Prime Time Television Sam Raphael, is the only one who three times advertise Jungle Bay on prime time, and now his place no longer exists, we may never see Dominica adversities again. Each year we here crap about tourism week in Dominica, that nonsense crap…

      • Francisco Telemaque
        September 11, 2015

        Each year we here crap about tourism week in Dominica, that nonsense crap talk is design only for the pleasure of the organizers, who get their piece of the pie for their efforts, but serve no purpose outside of Dominica.

      • Dominican at Heart
        September 12, 2015

        Mr Francisco Telemaque please go take a purge in the Batalie River mouth… if you know that is… :lol: :lol: :lol:

  6. September 11, 2015

    Any update on the National Parks, Waitukubuli National Trail, Mineral baths at Watton Waven and Soufriere, Boiling lake trail and all our other natural treasures? How were they affected ?
    The Soufriere sulphur springs is washed off !!
    Maybe we place some attention on the core of the sell.

  7. UserName
    September 11, 2015

    A typical political belt delivery. The Min was quick to point out that 94 hotel establishments on island equated to 1022 rooms prior to Erica. Post Erica there are 72 hotel establishments up and running equaling to 76% of total hotels on island…. sounding fancy but saying little and wanting for more. The Min was not quick to point out how many rooms that translates into. By rule of 3, that would equal to 782 rooms. On the ground and out in the field that might not hold. I guess later down the line we will get to know more details, whats the carrying capacity of the 76% of hotels, of that 76% how many are small establishments, medium size, and medium plus size, whats the distribution of rooms across these establishments, etc, etc… is the data not available or was it intentional to omit that part of the equation. This is the kind of transparent and accountable governance that we expect and can settle for nothing less Post Erica.

    • time to stop
      September 13, 2015

      Please note also, in the assessment of damage, they are not considering all the tourism vendors but paying attention only to hotels. They could care less about Taxis lost, damaged, vendors, shops, small inns, tour operators, dive operators etc etc………..this Govt does not have a clue. Its laughable to say the least.

  8. world peace
    September 11, 2015

    how is the country ready for tourism business when the accessibility to various parts of dominica has been badly compromised by tropical storm erika? who are these people fooling?

  9. William Mc Lawrence
    September 11, 2015

    This is the kind of positive feedback people want to hear… Mr Minister thank you for letting the world know that Dominica is open for tourism business, and I hope this includes the staging of the 19th World Creole Music Festival… October 30 – November 1, 2015.

    While we understand some areas like the world class Jungle Bay was badly affected and access to some tourism sites and attractions may still be an issue, there are many tourism sites and attractions around the island that were not affected and still accessible.

    In the northwest for instance a number of sites and attractions are open including Cana Heritage Park (Capuchin), Cabrits National Park/ Fort Shirley Garrison, the beaches along Portsmouth’s coast (Purple Turtle, Picard/Coconut beach, Secret Beach (Secret Beach is accessible only by boat unless one seeks permission and pass through the Secret Bay Resort property) Syndicate Rain Forest Trail (Parrot Habitat), the North East coast (Chaudiere Pool…

    • William Mc Lawrence
      September 11, 2015

      —the Red Rocks at Calibishie, Hampstead/ Batibou beaches, Turtle Beach, Wood ford Hill Beach, Kalinago Territory/ Kalinago Barana Aute all accessible…. The are a number of small guest houses/ apartments/ cottages/ villas in the north and north east that provide excellent accommodation and great service… The Cabrits cruise ship berth can be used to accommodate some of the cruise ships calling during the cruise ship season (October/November 2015 to May 2016)

      Mr Minister, I would like to one important thing happen and that is to heighten the marketing of the destination… by inviting the international media to come in and see what we have available on this beautiful island we all call home… This is a great opportunity to create destination awareness and to also continue to look at how best we utilize the country’s marketing budget… There is so much to be said but the important thing is to give hope to the many people who work in the tourism.

      At least I can wink now…

  10. jojo
    September 11, 2015

    I taught ian dog _last was minister of tourism.aben mwe slow papa.
    right after the storm we were branded as a poor island with galvanised houses (by some smart mouth on fb) wonder what will they band us now

  11. Francisco Telemaque
    September 11, 2015

    “With regards to the accommodation, that is one of the concerns”(Tonge).

    That should not be a concern, since we do not have overnight tourism in Dominica. A ship comes into port; spends eight hours in port, the passengers eat aboard the ship, hence there should be no concern.

    Now if we were in the kind of tourism where thousands of visitors booked in Hotels, and could not access the island because of the devastation one would be concern. The only hotelier who lost something is Sam Raphael, usually all the little huts so called hotels including Fort Young are basically empty year round, so there is nothing to be concerned about as far as tourism is concerned in Dominica. As for the Creole festival, if our nation is suffering, the festival should be canceled until the country is fully back to normal, i because while some will be enjoying the dance, some will be suffering!

  12. Come and See
    September 11, 2015

    Can we clean up before we invite outsiders to see so much devastation? Chances are they won’t deposit a dollar to help clean up the devastation. rather they will talk in derogatory terms about the country. Who gives such poor advice to these leaders? Build up the Agricultural Industry first so we can have food to eat just in case the ration that has been so poorly distributed stops coming ashore. then clean up the tourists sites.
    What is more important? The Natives or the Tourists? Send them to New Orleans if they want to see flood mess. They won’t talk negatively about that but they will give DA a “Tongue Lashing” – MR. TONGUE!

    • Robert
      September 11, 2015

      Hey, I’m one of these tourists who plans to visit Dominica in November2015! I follow the news at DNO almost daily. TS Erika will not stop me. Such stupid comments like yours won’t stop me, too. I want to visit the island no matter how it looks like. Dominicans were one of the most friendly people I ever met anywhere in the world (except for the custom services in the Roseau ferry terminal). Ever since I visited Dominica for the first time I want to return. I hope my dollars spend on the island will help a little bit, too.

  13. IamDominica
    September 11, 2015

    Then if we are so ready to receive visitors and we are encouraging people to visit the beautiful sites and stay at our finest of accomadsrions here on island then why is it so important to cancel he most visited festival?? Are we really saying what this is truly about?? What I am selling to our prospective visitors at this time of the year??

  14. diabless
    September 11, 2015

    Then y r u all cancelling the World Creole Music Festival??!Rethink and revoke this decision IMMEDIATELY!!

  15. Hmmmmm
    September 11, 2015

    I guess we ready for creole fest too

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