Tourism to get $8.5-million in National Budget

Visitors arriving in Dominica
Visitors arriving in Dominica

Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge, has announced that $8.5-million has been allocated for marketing Dominica in the 2016/2017 national budget, which is to be presented by the Prime Minister, on Tuesday.

He said that the additional funds are needed to implement the much-touted Tourism Master Plan.

“We all know that we’re supposed to be governed by the Tourism Master Plan, which is kind of driving us the way forward. The minimum amount that the Tourism Master Plan requires is at least $8.5-million…” he explained. “This year, the Cabinet has approved and supports increasing the budget to $8.5-million so that we can truly begin to put us in a better position to get the results.”

Tongue insisted that the money be spent wisely, to target a niche market.

“Coming out of that too, we also have to ensure that we spend our money wisely, because every dollar counts, and we no longer can just cast a wide net,” he elaborated. “We have to be very pointed and targeted as to who we are attracting, to get them to want to come to Dominica.”

He revealed that there has been re-appointment of market representatives in the United States, Canada, France, and Germany, to ensure tangible results.

“We want to ensure that the persons who are representing us out there are going to give us the results that we require. And, if they are not giving us the results that we require, we will change them,” Tongue noted.

The budget this year stands at over $680-million.

In May 2016, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Roosevelt Skerrit announced an increase in Dominica’s marketing budget, to allow for several new initiatives, including an increased budget for the World Creole Music Festival.

In 2014, the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA), said it would like to see Dominica double its budget in marketing the destination, from the then $4-million to $8-million.

In 2015, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit revealed an increase of $2-million to $6-million.

Last year, CEO of the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA), Colin Piper said a study was conducted for the DDA’s Corporate Strategy and Action Plan, to determine what the figures of an increased marketing budget would be in order to compete against some of the destinations in the Caribbean.

He noted that the overall figure stood between $8-million and $12-million.

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  1. STAR
    July 28, 2016

    hmmm.. lord have mercy.. tourism is the main source of income or what ever. yet still we cannot improve on it to earn the much needed cash from this industry.. mr prime minister we cannot be dependin on tourism and our port and airport is a disaster.. fix that first please.. how are boats going to come in port see the state of the two ports maysiay.. big ships cannot even dock here.. they passing us straight and go st lucia and barbados… fix the airport so we can hav international flights.. wehhhhhh…. and we here depending on tourism

  2. Brigg
    July 25, 2016

    Until we have an international airport, Dominica’s tourism sector will simply flounder from year to year. It’s time we got serious about air access; Douglas-Charles Airport and Liat are a joke.

  3. Imelda
    July 22, 2016

    A bridge…ONE bridge…gets 18 million…an entire industry, one that is supposed to be the second strongest sector of our economy…gets a measly 8 million…and NO ONE sees a problem with this setup.
    Allu bright.

    • Brigg
      July 25, 2016

      Well personally I think it’s important to put a cap on how much money we waste. And the money spent so far on tourism has most certainly been wasted because there is no strategy.

  4. john paul
    July 22, 2016

    most other islands feel threaten by Dominica potential,so they are trying their best to stop us from having an international airport.

  5. john paul
    July 22, 2016

    most islands feel threaten by Dominica’s potential,so they don’t want us to build an international airport.

  6. john paul
    July 22, 2016

    so when are we gonna talk the international airport?.you let Ralph Gonsalves tricked you into not building it,right now he is laughing at you now.we going to be the only independent island in the caribbean with an international airport.what a shame’.

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