The long-standing issue of vagrancy in Roseau is well established as being a “negative impediment” to the tourism industry and Dominicans alike, according to Director of Tourism, Colin Piper.
In fact, Piper said, his department is already having meetings with relevant authorities to further address that issue.
“I think the issue of vagrancy is well established as being a negative impediment to the tourism industry not only for our visitors but it’s also an issue for us locals,” Piper said. “We are in fact having meetings, certain people have signed up for responsibilities and we are now hoping that they come through.”
Piper stated further that the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA), along with other public sector service providers, have tried to put in place “a collective approach” to the matter “but is reliant on the Ministry of Health to help lead us in that regard.”
He said the approach “involves a short-term solution to give vagrants an option to go to a day facility by choice.”
“We all know it is a social issue as well and so these are some of the things we have to consider as part of the whole process,” Piper stated.
Meanwhile, president of the DHTA, Gregor Nassief, said cleanliness, crime, security and vagrancy, among other issues, need to be dealt with in order for the island’s tourism brand to be sustainable.
“For a destination like Dominica things like the cleanliness of the island, issues of crime and security, issues of vagrancy the way that affects the tourists, all of that needs to be dealt with in order for your brand to be sustainable,” Nassief said. “So for example on the vagrancy issue, I personally find that it is heartbreaking that we are going to go into yet another high season with the issue still outstanding. I think we are close to finding a way of managing it and I think we just need to get the right heads around the table to do what we need to do.”