Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge, believes Dominicans need to have more pride in the island adding that what is being done for tourists must first be done “for ourselves.”
He made those remarks as a special guest during the Talking Point Program aired on state-owned DBS Radio on Monday.
“From what you’ve seen around, we need to have more pride,” he stated. “Very importantly a lot of the things we say we should be doing for the tourists, we really shouldn’t be doing it for the tourists, we should be doing it for us, we should be doing it for ourselves and we should be doing it for our families.”
According to Tonge, Roseau should not cleaned because tourists are coming or vagrants be dealt with because there are visitors coming to the island’s shores.
“Most importantly we need to have pride,” he insisted. “And we also need to begin to do all of these things for us because tourism is everybody’s business and tourism filters down to all different sectors of the country.”
According to him it cannot be done singlehandedly.
“W must all come together to make it happen and once we can believe that we can make it happen so many things can definitely happen,” he said.
Tonge stated that engagement and partnership with the various stakeholders in the tourism industry are very important.
“The taxi operators, the tour operators, the tour guides, the hotel operators, the restaurant operators, the vendors, the hair braiders…all of these stakeholders must come together,” he stated. “It is a lot bigger than a simple fix, but I think we need to start with having respect for ourselves, by having pride in ourselves, wanting to do things for ourselves and to better and raise the standards of what we are accustom of doing.”
“For example, seeing garbage in an exposed gutter isn’t really acceptable at this stage in our development, so the idea is to improve on these things,” Tonge said.