Tonge predicts increase in cruise ship passengers

A cruise ship in Roseau
A cruise ship in Roseau

Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge, has revealed that despite negative reports and rumours, there will be an increase of over 15 percent in cruise passengers to Dominica for the 2016/2017 cruise ship season.

“This year, in terms of cruise visitors, we had about 276,000 persons coming to our shore. Many people try to fool you, and they say ‘well, it’s not increasing’, but I can tell you, this season, for the cruise business, our numbers are going up to 319,000 people,” he said, on Tuesday, at a DLP rally in Soufriere. “That is an increase of over 15 percent.”

Tongue remarked that tourism benefits every citizen, whether directly or indirectly.

Statistics from the Caribbean Tourism Association showed disappointing figures for the just ended 2015/2016 cruise ship season, with the island receiving 165 calls and a total of 284,000 passengers.

This represented a 2.5 percent drop as compared to 2014 when Dominica received 286,575 cruise ship visitors.

In early May, Tonge blamed the low numbers on challenges such as high winds, which resulted in seven cancelled ship calls.

At that time he also announced that several regulations will be implemented for the 2016/2017 cruise ship season.

Among these initiatives was the inclusion of a properly trained, and preferably multilingual tour guide on each tour bus, exclusive access at tourist attractions, at certain times, and a new dispatch system, with minimum tour rates.

It was also said that the Ministry sought to establish a holding area for buses to encourage order, to facilitate inspection of vehicles, and to reduce traffic congestion in the city.

Tonge commented that Dominica has high ratings of 8.7 for organized tours.

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  1. indeed
    June 11, 2016

    Isn’t it sad when you think you know someone and respect them….and Boom! they turn around and become this….to the point when you see the person you pretend you don’t cause you shame of what this person has become.
    Robbie……..please go back to your business and be the person you used to be……please…..I would hate to think you were always this

  2. dbarrow
    June 11, 2016

    Predicts????? Predicts????? What is it nah the GD weather???? We need information on secured and guaranteed numbers. Predicts!!!!! Hmmmm

  3. pope
    June 10, 2016

    DNO im going to give a question for the minister 1 ask him if we have more cruise ship this season ?hes answer is no 2 hes respond bigger ships how a u sure they will be filled ? i im a taxi driver and every ship that dock in dominica someone always ask the shorex how many passengers and 8 out of ten are not filled to capacity so mr minister fooled those who dont know

  4. Tj
    June 10, 2016

    If every block in Roseau one have to avoid stepping in dog poo can you imagine what visitors would say. What become of the sidewalk project in Roseau?

  5. josh shaw
    June 9, 2016

    more lies from these dlp cronies. dlp killed agriculture and now they burying tourism

  6. Oh Lord Robbie, aren’t you tired of embarrassing yourself with these ridiculous utterances??? Seriously, you should learn to bridle your “tongue” sometimes, Mr. Tonge. Why continue to highlight your incompetence and failure when you really don’t have to? Sometimes I feel like crying for people like you, but more so for my beautiful and potentially rich homeland of Dominica!

    • Gary
      June 11, 2016

      I have always questioned Mr. Tonge appointment as Minister of Tourism. I think he was given a position and responsibilities he was not prepared for.

    • %
      June 11, 2016

      Ha! Ha! Ha!
      I like this comment!!
      DLP messengers are a shameless gang of people boy!!!

  7. Moi
    June 9, 2016

    Bon Diay put a hand please. Mr. Tongue you onderstand what you saying there nor?

  8. my own
    June 9, 2016

    I am not sure why Mr. Tonge is making such predictions, although he might know better than we the know nothing and easy to fool people but I am not sure he is right. I am not going to do as others did and ask the minister to resign but I strongly believe he should be replaced and not by any politician or putting another square peg in a round hole. I think Mr. Collin Piper should be the Tourism minister, after all he knows the industry better than all who they had as tourism minister in the last 15 years. We have been putting people there for years to learn on the job and here it is we have someone who already know the industry and in my opinion is the best man for the job right now. We all know his hands are tied as to what he can do but it’s about time we stop playing politics with everything and give people who are capable to do the jobs we know they can do and are trained to do.

    • AAGabriel
      June 9, 2016

      Piper, he’s just as useless as Robbie.

      • my own
        June 12, 2016

        AAGabriel……Piper might be useless like you say, it’s your opinion, just like I made mine but at least he knows the ropes and have been in the business much much much longer than these ministers, so having him as minister cannot and I will repeat cannot be worst than any of the last 4 ministers.

    • %
      June 11, 2016


  9. Independent Observer
    June 9, 2016

    Do we expect him to say anything different? I don’t know why the minister’s prediction is even news worthy. He needs to be fired because he has not produced results.

  10. JBaptiste
    June 9, 2016

    Bro let us predict, your job is to ensure.

  11. Real!!!!!
    June 9, 2016

    Can you give the Prime Minister your resignation letter signed now if you don’t receive 15% increase Robert Tonge?

  12. Real!!!!!
    June 9, 2016

    Robert…..This is not insurance selling you are just not capable.

    Tell us what major improvement was done in the tourism sector since the last poor report card in Dominica that would cause an increase in tourist to get off the cruise ship to visit our tourism product?

    Every time you open your month it is very clear nothing exist between your ears.


  13. jonathan st jean
    June 9, 2016

    I tell you,these guys are so arrogant.Negative reports and rumors my foot.Mr Tongue the figures were published and they showed a decline in tourism arrivals.Can you stick with the facts and outline what plans and programs are afoot to get the projected 15%.Stop this attack,attack mode business and show humility and realism.We live in a world where if anything can go wrong it will go wrong.Just deal with it and let’s go forward.

  14. Frank Talker
    June 9, 2016

    This guy does not get tired of saying the most stupid things. We all heard him recently trying to explain the reduced cruise figures for the 2015/2016 season but, put him on a political platform and give him a microphone, he goes into reverse gear to amend his past utterances. He now says, “many people try to fool you and say ‘well, it’s not increasing’ “. Wasn’t it the same Tonge who told the nation that the figures did not increase? Didn’t he promised new regulations to fix the problem? So how come he now blames “many people” for simply repeating what he told the nation last month? Is this some kind of BIG JOKE!
    For the coming season, Tonge is “predicting” a 15% increase in arrivals. Prediction? Is that what our tourism strategy has come to? Tonge is playing Nostradamus? Why didn’t he make a “forecast” based on empirical information rather than resort to séance and mysticism? Boss, if that’s how you run your insurance business, then we are most miserable…

  15. henry
    June 9, 2016

    Smh……..Minister Tonge the best thing to do is to send in your resignation SASPO..

    You’re playing deceptive games with a critical industry, are you thinking…

    The record shows pure failures with you at the helm…man come on..why are you crippling Dominica for…is it for personal gains…where you paid to be a Minister, did you get a Package? please let us you’re aren’t up for any good for the island…

  16. June 9, 2016

    Please God hear our cry oh Lord attend unto our pray. Make Dominica transparent again.

    • Tjebe Fort
      June 9, 2016

      the most sensible thing I’ve heard from you for along time Popam. Keep it up.

  17. The Real Thing
    June 9, 2016

    So,Mr.Tonge makes this announcement at a DLP rally in Soufriere?He can predict an increase of 15% this season.
    Pigs might fly and so will a 15% increase in cruise passengers.
    Mr. Tonge begging for his master and his money.

  18. joe hy
    June 9, 2016

    The tourism industry in the caribbean is based on sea, sun a d white sand beaches,Dominica does not have white sand beaches thus The Dominican people should be proud of themselves that they had to develop a new brand of tourism to get into the industry.the people need to continue improve the quality of the product and pay more attention as to how to be pleasant courteous to visitors.

  19. brandon joseph
    June 9, 2016

    tonge use ur tongue and say something useful

  20. zandoli
    June 9, 2016

    How about cleaning up Roseau? Where is that on your “To Do” list?

  21. DA Citizen
    June 9, 2016

    In his dreams only those numbers are increasing.

  22. Marcus Hill
    June 9, 2016

    Why Mister doh keep his mouth shut?

  23. Mein Kampf
    June 9, 2016

    Tonge, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” – Winston Churchill

  24. Malatete
    June 9, 2016

    I am very curious for mr. Tonge to tell us how he arrived at that figure seeing that scheduled ship arrivals for 2016-2017 are down. I wish he would publish a schedule giving the dates and names of the ships we expect to call during next season, not just to challenge him but more importantly for the tour operators, vendors, restaurants, police etc. so they can plan properly well in advance. Either his Ministry, or better still the DHTA could distribute such a list and I would be happy to make an appropriate payment for my copy to help cover the cost if that is a concern.

    • AAGabriel
      June 9, 2016

      He won’t do that because he knows some of us can add up 1+1 and actually arrive at 2. He is just trying to sell us some pie in the sky. Only recently he told us ship arrival would be down for next season. Now he tells us passenger numbers will be up. Tonge’s mathematical equation reads something like that 10-2=12. Well there we go. At least I’ve learned something new today.

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