Non organized tours affecting tourism – PM

A cruise ship docked in Roseau

The impact that non-organized tours of the island’s scenic spots are having on officially organized cruise ship tours is becoming a worrying trend for both tourism officials and the cruise ships, according to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.

He has called for a review of the organized tours, telling a tourism awards ceremony this week that government is concerned about non organized tours hurting the sector.

“We have to watch our practices. The issue of non-organized tours will eventually bring cruise tourism to a halt in Dominica,” the prime minister warned.

“I am saying to us, yes, there are some of who are individually benefiting from it now, but if we do not stop, and recognize that our action will either deepen our relation with the cruise industry, or it will destroy it, you will not have to blame me tomorrow night, you will have yourself to blame,” he said.

The prime minister said he has been informed by the cruise liners that their organized tours are losing money because of local practices that remain unchecked.

He said the cruise ships are indicating that they will look elsewhere if the trend in Dominica continues.

“They are saying that they are in the business to make money but they are losing money and if we can’t make money, there is no reason why they should come to a particular port, as lovely as the port may be,” the prime minister said.

He is emphasizing that the warning from the major cruise ships should not be taken lightly.

“They are moving towards Europe and Russia because in Russia for example, for anyone to get a cruise ticket, they must have an organized tour,” PM Skerrit explained.

Copyright 2012 Dominica News Online, DURAVISION INC. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of Inc. All comments are approved by before they are posted. We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • violate or infringe the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or include personal attacks
  • a reasonable person would consider abusive or profane
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are excessively long and off-topic

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.


  1. Nathaniel Peltier
    May 6, 2012

    This is utter nonsense. Tell the cruise ships move to Europe and Russia they will get rain forest and what we have to offer there.

    What exactly is the problem? You first say,
    “The impact that non-organized tours of the island’s scenic spots are having on officially organized cruise ship tours is becoming a worrying trend for both tourism officials and the cruise ships” and then you talk about the cruiselines loosing money.

    WHich points is more important?
    Tell your professionals in the tourism departments to do there jobs efficiently and the first problem will not exist.

    I have been in Tourism all my life and see the effects that tourism has on out Natural an Scenic sights. As it relates to this there are so many things that can be done but a lack of creativity and short sightedness has blind the tourism authorities.

    I am just asking myself why is it that a cruise ship have to hold more that 75% of the moneys on land tours when they already hold almost 100% on the cruise? A land tour is an exra booking.

    While there is a lot that can be done in the cruise tourism sector to improve Dominica´s position. I personally think that we should be paying more attention on Stay over Tourism.

    • February 20, 2013

      You MUST be doing very well to be in tourism all your life. You should have some VERY GOOD ideas to pass on to the other people involved in the tourism industry to help steer the industry to a very profitable business for all and sundry. Lets hear your ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTIONS.

  2. Dave Thomas
    May 4, 2012

    Violence is affecting tourism. Garbage along the roads is affecting tourism, bad drivers affect tourism, the sight of men urinating in the streets is affecting tourism, poor customer service is affecting tourism.

  3. tourism major
    May 4, 2012

    You people only talk so because you all have no idea what tourism is all about, Thats my major and what the PM is simply saying That in today’s world not only for Dominica but for the rest of the world we need to have organised tours for the tourist its best for there safety. last week i gave up a plan base on tour operators and my work was the best. before any tourist travel they go to a tour operator to plan a trip for them and base on where they want to travel the tour operator needs to find out information base on the country that the tourist wants to visit. organised tours is what tourist are looking at today. and in other for we dominicans not to lose that we need more people to invest in the business of tour operators and then what ever tour operator there is they need to work with private and public businesses. private means the taxi drivers, tour guides, security, trips to different sites etc.. and public meaning the community… there so much to let you people no but i looking forward in finishing my degree to come back to my country to help educate and develop my country.

    • ricky
      May 6, 2012

      way to go..hurry up,,cause da need it,,,to much blind poeople over there….iuf only they would look at their neighbors and pick up n learn

    • Nathaniel Peltier
      May 6, 2012

      While Tourism may be your major. I think you still fail to see the big picture.

      • February 20, 2013

        Spell out the BIG PICTURE? You have not given the readers the big picture. Please be specific so we can at least analyze what you are saying and agree with you if what you put forward ahs value.

    • February 20, 2013

      THANK YOU!!!!!!!Knowledge is Power. Very promising! ‘Wish you well in your studies.

  4. Tiger
    May 3, 2012

    The cruise liner want to strongarm the government into eliminating competition for them. They want to be the only ones offering tours so the will be free to fleece their customers.

    The government should not let them have their way because if these cruise liners charge more, most people will just not go on thr tours. They will fill their bellies on the ship before they disembark, then just walk around Roseau for an hour or two and return to the ship. They will leave even less money on the island. The only winners here will be the cruise liners.

    As I said before, all the island should ignore the bully tactics of the cruise liners. They are bluffing and they know it.

    Despite what they say, the Caribbean is the most popular5 cruise destination bar none. They cannot pull the ships out of all the Caribbean islands.

    What the governments need to do is get together with the othe destinations and push back against the cruise liners. Individually they will get pushed around. As a unit, the cruise liners must play ball with them.

  5. May 3, 2012

    so if one organise a walking tour,then he or she is not in line with the program of organise tour?

  6. Big-Bannan
    May 3, 2012

    Russia is a communist country, which simply means, people do not have a choice. Witchurch makes 35% of all organized tours and seems to be loosing, thus using the Prim Ministers as a puppet. Amazingly, neither the cruise or Witchurch cannot tell tourist which tours to take or how to spend their money. I would’nt be suprised if the Cruise Ship has no Idea what Skerrit is talking about.

  7. me
    May 3, 2012

    The PM is right, the cruise ship makes a lot of money in organized tours and so does whitchurch. Compare to what happens on the other islands, this is nothing here. The people who take private tours are people who will not do organized tours, so whould the people who do the organized tours just let them walk around roseau and do not take them anywhere?, let the tour money go back or go to another Island. That is tough.

  8. amonrah kobadi
    May 2, 2012

    Ilove my PM but on this one i say he is crazy. how the hell is the cruise company expect to have people pay them to go on a cruise, come to our beautyful dominica and expect to pimp us? if they control the tours then what will be left for us locals? selling tee shirts. when you control the tours you become the first to touch the tourist dollar and when you are the first to touch the tourist dollar then and only then will your island improve economically. if you do not control the tours then your people will suffer. tell the cruise company f-off. mr pm on this oun you have sold the people out.

  9. May 2, 2012

    Organized tours the best for Dominica :
    I can tell you, I organize tours in Dominica since 14 years not being in associations that mean nothing to me (association is the start of corruption because when they start to be in power, You don’t have “YOU” any more power).
    Again they are fighting for some greedy groups existing that will never leave 1 cent to any Dominicans.
    You have to choose it’s true a real guide but not the one being corrupted by association.
    I really don’t like association……so situation.

  10. j...
    May 2, 2012

    I’m totally at a loss here. Is the P.M saying that to go on a cruise YOU HAVE to book a organized tour wheter you want to or not ? Huhh,
    what if your just walking around Roseau and decide you would like to go see Emerald Pool, does that mean you have to go back on the ship and try to get on a organized trip at the last minute. Are people now not being allowed to make up their own minds. This makes no sense at all.

  11. stupes
    May 2, 2012

    i believe the cruise liners said that if violence against tourist doesn’t stop they will have to pull out of dominica.

  12. Cerberus
    May 2, 2012

    Logic tells me that, of course the cruise lines are in business to make money. However, so are we.
    What is the point of these ships calling at our ports if we allow them to lick off all the cream and leave us with the buttermilk, if we are lucky?
    If there is little, or no profit left for the locals, the costs associated with those calls may well outweigh any benefits. I think the writing is on the wall and we should expedite the development of our stay-over business instead.

  13. Wake up Dominica
    May 2, 2012

    Capitalism doesn’t work. the cruise companies are in competition so they reduce prices, then make every penny they can on tours. Dominica is special, a unique port on the Caribbean tour. But the cruise ships come here to make money, not to offer the best opportunity to their guests. So organised tours make money for them and for Whitchurch, way more money that the drivers and guides make. So the PM is walking a fine line. Is he making a valid point about the value of cruise visitors, or is he reacting exactlt as Big Business wants hime to? Is he working for democratic Dominica or under the influence (if not control) of external business influence?

    • Asterix
      May 3, 2012

      This is just scapegoating by the PM. There is more to it than he claims. Non-organized tours have been with the industry for almost forever and we have not had that these concerns. If you ask me there are more organized tours now than before and the restrictions as per the cordoning off of the bayfront is more effective now than before too. There are also more taxi/tour operators to in the business. There is a litany of other reasons why the numbers will drop,eg. incompetence of the tourism minister and ministry, ineffectiveness of the tourism promotion body (DDA),violence against tourist, foreign affiliations and irresponsible utterances and actions at times of the head honcho and I can go on and on on

  14. It’s time to implement toff laws. if we talking about going forward.

    • Anonymous1
      May 3, 2012

      what tough law? This is a ridiculous statement. Persons have a right to chose what they want to do on their vacation. The fighting among our people to undercut one another that has to be curtailed.

  15. Tiger
    May 2, 2012

    This is not something unique to Dominica. The cruise liner are bluffing. They face the same issue in other places. It must not have occurred to them to reduce the price of the organized tours to attract more of their customer to their tours. They want to charge haut-toh-toh l’argent and expect people to apy what they charge. It is very simple, it they were more competitive, their customer would definitely not have to deal with un-orgainzed tours on shore.

  16. Mr JT
    May 2, 2012

    Honestly this does not make sense!

    For one – Tours are not the core business of the Cruise ships. Why then are they trying to make it sound like this is affecting them. I do not believe for one moment that this statement by the PM is accurate. Their is more to the story regarding the reduction in calls. I have been on Caribbean Cruises and this happens in all Caribbean Islands I have stopped at. There are tonnes of bus drivers (much more than lined up outside the ports, waving placards in an attempt to get tours. And in my opinion, its much more organized in Domini ca given the restricted areas and organization of tours. It’s up to the Cruise ships to sell their tours to their passengers. The Tourists should still be left with the option to take organized or non-organized tours.

  17. It beggars belief..
    May 2, 2012

    It beggars belief that that is the real reason why cruise ships are pulling out of Dominica. Yes, their mark up on tours is huge: a US$15 tour available on shore is sold for US$60 + aboard the ship. Even so, their income from tours is peanuts in a billion dollar industry. If passenger feedback demanded calls to Dominica, the owners would row the ship here if need be.

  18. Truth
    May 2, 2012

    So if Skerrit is not in the country non of the ministers can’t give an address on what is affecting the nation?
    I have not heard the minister of Tourism say one word about the crime and tourism in D/ca.
    Is he being silenced? HHMMM
    Rayburn is now the one in line to lead.

    • Heheheheehe
      May 2, 2012

      The Prime Minister is THE MINISTER IN CHARGE OF MINISTERS!!!!!! LOL

    • Malatete
      May 2, 2012

      …who was that minister of govt. again, who accused Dominicans overseas wanting to run the country by remote control?? He was right, it has come to pass practically every week now.

    • ideal
      May 2, 2012


      • February 20, 2013

        He is the PRIME MINISTER and I am sure you know what this means. He has the right to speak on or about any Ministers’ portfolio as well as to know what happens in every area of governance. In an undemocratic country, many of the things we get away with in DA could not happen. We should be happy for the perpetual freedom of speech which we enjoy 27/7. We are also very free to work or not work. Some of us prefer not to work and blame everyone else for for our mishaps in life. Man enjoy your democratic freedom to do and say what you like when you like and to whom you like.

    • February 20, 2013

      You must have just come out of Limbo. You are not LISTENING TO THE NEWS ON RADIO , NOR WATCHING IT ON TV. Time to read, listen and watch the local news. Be better informed before you write.

  19. Evolved
    May 2, 2012

    what you sow is what you reap

    You should have stopped Yvor Nassief – the then minister of tourism from handing our licences when he was in office. He saw no need for the system – had been a little bit more brain smart he would have realized that it was a way of controlling the process.

    In addition to the pressure being placed on organized tours – the PM needs to understand that the pendulum is shifting – more cruise ships are moving to Europe – for cost savings not only as ports are closer in distance from each other but there are over 350 ports in that region of the world alone.

    This may be a good thing for Dominica – it will force the powers that be to place more emphasis on stay over tourism and less on cruise.

    The plot thickens

    • February 20, 2013

      You should know that as a Dominican if you are one; that whatever you wish for your country you wish it for yourself. Time to be reflective.

  20. Robin
    May 2, 2012

    Too much people with buses an means. Dominicans are a bunch of unregulated people that need rules because they too like to do what they want and not what the country/community need. Regulate those with buses and taxi like vehicle. Dominica bus and taxi service! Skerry acting like he scared of da people but dont worry it will have another government in power one day and things in da will chnage. Rules less leader in a rules less society.

      May 2, 2012

      Becareful what you said…Dominica will call this dictatorship….But again Dominca to free.

      Remember the PM got blows for saying that.

      I see it everyday, everybody likes to do what they want and how they want.

      • Papa Dom
        May 3, 2012

        and that my dear friend includes your PM. That is why he contested an election knowing full well that he did not qualify. Why he allowed casino on island with legal authority. Why he stated giving money to his supporters in the red clinic without a budgetary provision. I can go on and on but I suspect that you already know all the other things which he has done as he wants and when he wants.

  21. Valley Rat
    May 2, 2012

    Let the games begin.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available