Tonge says 160 new hotel rooms at end of 2018

Tonge said new hotel rooms are coming. File photo
Tonge said new hotel rooms are coming. File photo

By the end of 2018, there should be 160 new hotel rooms in Dominica as a result of the Citizenship by Investment Program.

This was disclosed by Minister of Tourism Robert Tonge during a presentation to journalists on Monday at the State Of The Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) held by the Caribbean Tourism Organization in Barbados.

“In terms of hotel stock, we have not had as much development as we would like. We have this program called the Citizenship by Investment Program, as you are aware several people around the world are looking for an additional citizenship that allows them to travel around the world. In Dominica there are two options, a person can achieve citizenship or purchase a citizenship with a real estate option,” Tonge told several international and regional journalists at the Hilton Hotel.

The Minister stated the real estate option will do a lot for Dominica because it allows a person to purchase a Dominican citizenship and invest in the island’s hotel plant.

He stated that two hotels are already being constructed as a result of the Citizenship by Investment Program.

According to Tonge, by the end of 2018, there should 160 new hotel rooms in Dominica as a result of the program.

“In addition to the Silver Beach Resort will be providing an additional 200 rooms, we are hoping to break ground on that project in 2017,” Tonge said.

He disclosed that Sam Raphael, the owner of Jungle Bay Resort & Spa which had 95 percent of it rooms destroyed by landslides caused by Tropical Storm Erika in 2015, is building a new, upgraded hotel in the south of the island under the auspices of the Citizen by Investment Program.

Tonge, who provided a comprehensive update on the development of the hotel plant in Dominica,revealed plans about several hotels that are expected to be built or refurbished on the island within the next two years.

Among them are the old Bharat Estates and the new Tranquility Hotel which will be branded by the Hilton Hotels under the Curio brand.

“The Tranquility hotel will be a major asset for Dominica in our attempt to market the island as a tourist destination. The government is planning to attract other major brand name hotels to the island”, Tonge said.

He explained that previously all of the hotels in Dominica were three-star, but those that are build under the Citizen by Investment Program will be four-star.

The minister also stated that the government is not depending on the Citizen by Investment Program alone to assist with the development of the tourism industry on the island.

“The government has established a loan facility with $15-million at an interest rate of 7 percent to help assist with the development of hotels in Dominica”, Tonge said.

A nexus between the agriculture sector and the tourism industry is an area the government will be pursuing with vigor.

Tonge said farmers on the island would benefit significantly by selling more of their produce to hotels on the island.

The minister was lavish in his praise for Dominica, which he described as “a nature island in terms of soft adventure”.

Tonge told journalists the island has several unique attractions including the Boiling Lake located at the Morne Trois Pitons National Park which is the second largest of its kind in the world.

The SOTIC officially began on Wednesday evening.

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  1. Ideal
    September 18, 2016

    You guys need to build hospitals, roads and a proper airport instead of hotels. Those already on the island are almost always empty. Yes build more hotels with less people visiting Dominica, what a smart move. I guess the snakes will be occupying the beds.

  2. Sams Gutter
    September 17, 2016

    There was a time when only a selected few of us were able to travel overseas, but that has changed. A significant number of Dominicans have travel abroad and can compare services, such as hotel stay, restaurant service and transportation, against that which Dominica has to offer. Those that live out of Dominica find it more convenient to go to Europe, Middle East or Africa rather than travel to Dominica. It is more affordable and you will get to Portugal before faster than Dominica.
    This not a political statement. just want to make the point of the potential that Dominica has to afford its citizens a very rewarding lifestyle, but it takes vision. Air travel, better roads, affordable and quality accommodation, entertainment, but to name a few. Many of these improvements will not be realized in our lifetime. Do it for kids, do it for the future Dominica. I know I am right in this because the Chinese keep pumping money into Dominica, they see some we do not. Let us be proud…

  3. Tollet Bellam
    September 17, 2016

    Don’t forget to make sure that like the Silver Bitch Hotel, all the visitors will have carports for their Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s.

    Mr. Minister, you lie and lie and lie again. I’m from La Plaine and was declared a fool at birth. But this is taking things too far and even I cannot believe you.

  4. Tj
    September 16, 2016

    Why Mr. Tinge you refused to deman an airport to accommodate an airport that can handle long haul flight.

  5. LifeandDeath
    September 16, 2016

    Robbie, u getting a bad run as Tourism Minister bro..don’t get tricked into another term, let alone run for Roseau..Your front Line run with the current administration has permanently damaged your political outlook bro..

  6. skepticalone
    September 15, 2016

    Will our 4 star visitors stand in line in the hot sun behind vendors and their dasheen and fig? That is what happens now and has been happening for years. They keep saying its got better but everyone who uses the ferry talks about how miserable it is. So LIAT or ferry? Choose your experience.

  7. Barrington
    September 15, 2016

    Mr. Tounge will all due respect backpackers do not tend to stay at 5 star hotels!!!

  8. Draft
    September 15, 2016

    hahah boss mr them self mad man…chaha .. Tongue .. Who goin in them room there??? Lol who?? U have no airport.. No marina for boats.. Nothing to attract tourist.. Who goin in that?

  9. Bumbble Lee
    September 15, 2016

    No housing for de paros?

  10. Concern citizen
    September 15, 2016

    I want Mr. Robert Tonge to show me the ACCESS to those HOTEL, but if he can’t show the access, I think mr. Fedelle would be happy to help him

  11. September 15, 2016

    Completion of my previous post

    “He said definitely not”

  12. September 15, 2016

    What entertainment do we provide for these tourists. Have we not traveled to:
    – Barbados, St Lucia, Grenada, Antigua, St Kitts, St Maarten, BVI to name a few

    These destinations have lots of varied nightly entertainment. What is a tourist to do when they get back to their hotel after a hiking trip or lying on the beach. in DA
    Some years ago whilst I was residing in Canada, a work colleague asked me about Dominica. I pointed the various sites on the internet plus I gave him a personal testimonial about my country to entice him to visit DA. I did hint about the restricted night life and air access woes. He and his wife paid DA a 10 day visit. on his return we talked about his experience.
    Firstly, took them 2 days to get to DA.
    The place was not very clean
    Constant assault from beggars on the street
    Customer Service was non existent
    No decent restaurants
    NO evening Entertainment.
    Yes they did enjoy the forests/rivers.
    I asked him if he would return or recommend DA he…

    • Jon Jones
      September 18, 2016

      Please heed this mans words.

      Unfortunately, I have colleagues who have travelled to Dominica from Europe and the US (some on a cruise and others for a few days) and said exactly the same things. I wasnt too happy to hear them say so but it was the truth of their experience. They described it as the least excitement and entertainment in comparison to the other islands on the trip and the approach by beggars immediately upon coming ashore. They also loved the rainforests and scenery but that was it.
      A lot more development is required to bring it on a par with neighbouring islands before we can think about competing. Hence, more will head to other islands who already have these amenities such as nightlife, restaurants, shops (not shacks), etc.
      Getting them here is one thing but keeping them and getting them to come back will be a challenge under the present circumstances.

  13. Real!!!!!
    September 15, 2016

    Mr. Tonge a friendly advice.

    Please do not talk about HOTELS or TOURISM AGAIN until you and your GOVT are able to provide adequate air access and a proper functional airport in Dominica.

    It is like doing a mathematical problem to get to Dominica and still getting the problem wrong.


    • True say
      September 15, 2016

      Truer words have never been spoken. Its much cheaper and easier tho fly to many of our neighboring islands that offer so much more to tourists. We are trying but have a long, long, long way to go.

  14. Jon Jones
    September 15, 2016

    I saw a recent article on Yahoo highlighting the top 10 nations selling passports. At $75,000 apiece, Dominica’s passports were the cheapest (I’m assuming worldwide but correct me if I’m wrong).
    How many passports have been sold under this program?
    Is there an offical record of sales?

  15. Man what is so magnificent about that you people claim that three Dominicans are building hotels, so if you divide 160/3 =53.333 rooms in each of your so called proposed hotels. Tonge there are hotels in world comprising of thousands of room, and they are all filed.

    Those 160 rooms will remain empty just as the existing ones, you cannot talk nonsense about the number of rooms, without talking about an International Airport, you are talking rubbish, if you cannot fill the existing rooms how on earth are you going to fill you new rooms.

    Sorry, my mistake, I forgot Wade been operating a Dominica Airline across the United States which was suppose to commence flying to Dominica, wrapped in a Dominica flag, it first touch down was suppose to be on last Election day!

    You know that airline you all said you will only feed, and give rum to people who fly first class. It took off and is still trying to find Dominica!

  16. Shaka Zulu
    September 15, 2016

    I will only say this. Markets supply and demand is the only thing that determines profitability and growth in a country. In the case of the hotel. If the demand was high then the existing hotels would be filled to capacity, they would be profitable, and banks would grant loans for them to expand helping the banks and savings be profitable through returns (payments if interest). Adding more rooms without the boosting of factors that increase capacity is a waste of time. How was this guy a business man?. I will say again government should not be in business. It has never worked out well. When will these idiots learn. The talk of hotels is only political and has nothing to do with commonsense market driven development. What a society!!!

  17. FED UP
    September 15, 2016

    I just want to know one thing – has the scanner at the airport been fixed yet? Why doesn’t this guy get his head out of the clouds and focus on the things in front of him? Fix the airport, rehabilitate the existing hotels, improve accessibility to the island, clean up the town and local communities, better market the steam baths and hot springs that will keep people coming back, create a tour that will allow tourists to see where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed – have activities, props, and souvenirs in that location.


  18. DomiChina
    September 15, 2016

    Take a look at Anchorage Hotel… a lovely scene at the skirts of the sea. Tourists love those area you know Mr. Tonge.
    Yet it has not hit the minds of any of you that this place needs a injection of money to redevelop it and get it back on its feet. Yet you talk about 160 rooms to build in God knows where land.
    Look at Sisserou an adjoining property
    yet none of you have given thought that the place needs to have at least an ideal parking lot

    I see no reason why you people come on public radio, television and news media uttering foolishness to people who you think are not sensible enough to see that you all are talking bull crap

    God gave you all the opportunity to develop yet you all are behaving like busy gluttons, devouring what comes your way instead of looking at the business of the people of dominica.

  19. Diane Etienne
    September 15, 2016

    So what about the Moroccan hotel and the underwater basket weaving program that was promised to the people of Portsmouth?

    • Me
      September 15, 2016

      …they still looking for a loom that can weave underwater!

  20. Noregards
    September 15, 2016

    Is that a lot?

  21. Marcus Hill
    September 15, 2016

    He didn’t count the 200 room hotel for Alick ? So you mean that Silver Beach Resort and Spa will not be completed by 2018? I look on the website and could not find a completion date.

  22. Shameless
    September 15, 2016

    More hot air from the vocal cavity of one of the lying acolytes. And even if all the hotel hoopla was true, how do you intend filling the rooms with visitors when air access is at its lowest point? Garson allu keep…. just belching bubbles every now and then to fool the masses. Time will tell….

    Always Assertive! :twisted:

  23. September 15, 2016

    To stand empty or run under 40 percent capacity

  24. Tjebe fort
    September 15, 2016

    How you going to fill them Robbie. All,these new hotels get tax free concessions, incl. vehicles and have to pay no tax on profits for how many years, so they do not have to submit returns to inland revenue? Boy, that is a recipe for money laundering.

    • Jon Jones
      September 15, 2016

      If the above is true then D’cans will be the lowly paid workers only while there are customers in situ to support their salaries. How sustainable will this project be during hurricane season without an international airport? I dont imagine wealthy tourists beating a path to land here in a 12 seater under those conditions so it would be hard to anticipate year round employment for most of its workforce.

      How many flights would it take for these new ventures to be at full capacity?

  25. Dominique
    September 15, 2016

    Does Tonge really believe the things he says? Like, honestly? :-|

  26. Kelly
    September 15, 2016

    Keep on dreaming dreamer…..up till now the dark regime has yet to inform the public if the all the funds for the projects are in the bag….

    why is the Prime Minister on the hustle vibe trying to get monies, seems to me it’s a massive scam, they don’t have all the monies…..

    the prime minister indicated either late last year or earlier this year subj to correction that folks who bought into the CBI…a grouping of investors would be on island he made that announcement up till now nothing!!…

    this passport selling scam will blow up in dominicans face…will be a massive nightmare.

    but dominicans don’t read and follow issues..i see poor Lennox trying but the citizens of dominica aren’t backing him up in the struggle that’s the key…

    dominicans don’t care so it’s better nature takes it course, either one of those sleeping giants start rumbling… a wicked and evil nation must be DOOMED!!

    • Jon Jones
      September 18, 2016

      There is a saying that you can only lead the horse to the water but you cant make it drink.

  27. weh
    September 15, 2016

    Thats great news that we will have 160 additional hotel rooms. I hope the govt has a plan on how they will fill the rooms?

  28. derp
    September 15, 2016

    160 new rooms hmm, and all of them customers going to fit on one Liat plane right…

    • lightbulb
      September 15, 2016

      listen they have cheap flights from new york to gwada,
      and then de boat from gwada to possie.

      • Thrilller
        September 15, 2016

        The days of traveling ob Cargo boat from Gwada to Possie are over

      • derp
        September 15, 2016

        I just see one for $99.00 oui!

      • Dominican
        September 15, 2016

        Have you seen the ferry terminal in Point a Pitre lately? No facilities for weary travelers, no waiting room, no aircon, no attractive environment. Ferry travel in Guadeloupe apparently is for poor people and hucksters.

      • Malatete
        September 15, 2016

        That is true, and the frequency will increase coming season. However, the prime target for the French is for these visitors to spend their money in Guadeloupe and/or Martinique (Norwegian flies to either destination direct from New York, Boston and Washington and not merely serve as a transit point for Dominica.

  29. cameron
    September 15, 2016

    Tonge you and the rest of the fools are a broken record.

  30. Anthony P. Isamel
    September 15, 2016

    A 160 rooms by 2018 plus an additional 200 rooms equals: 360 rooms in total. First, I would love to the completion of at least one hotel that’s fully operational. Second, I am curious how tourist will fly in and out of the island from their destination. And finally, what else is being added to the tourism product to enhance the experience of these new visitors?

  31. Independent Observer
    September 15, 2016

    Rooms without air access…..What is the point?

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