Overall objective of EU-funded programme is to improve the competitiveness of the Tourism Sector
Roseau, Dominica – November 19, 2008…….. The Government of Dominica has embarked on a programme that is designed to improve the competitiveness of the tourism sector, a sector that contributed over EC$160 million into the Dominican economy last year and created more than 2,500 direct jobs.
The Tourism Sector Development Programme (TSDP) is a two year programme which is being financed under the European Union’s Special Framework of Assistance (SFA) 2006 to the tune of 2.7 million Euros($10.2 million ECD).
The overall objective of the programme is to improve the competitiveness of the tourism sector through the development of rural tourism and linkages with agriculture; increased destination marketing and building the capacity of major tourism institutions like the Ministry of Tourism and the Discover Dominica Authority.
The expected results of the two (2) year programme are:
Ø Strengthened technical and administrative capacity of the key public sector tourism institutions, namely, the Ministry of Tourism and Discover Dominica Authority
Ø Increased brand awareness and increased foreign exchange earnings
Ø Strengthening of the capacity of community groups to manage tourism projects and to develop new and quality products and services
In the first year of the programme, through the Rural Tourism Development component, emphasis will be placed on the construction of the Indian River Tourism Centre, the Bellevue Chopin Agro-Tourism Reception Centre, the Wotton Waven Tourism Facility and the enhancement of the trail and pool of the Layou Gleau Chaud
A number of groups in rural communities will also be assisted with training in the areas of business development and e-marketing. The groups include community tourism committees from Bellevue Chopin, Portsmouth, Laudat, Wotton Waven, Layou, Mero as well as groups working at the Trafalgar Falls and Emerald Pool.
For the second work programme, commencing July, 2009, a number of projects and initiatives are being considered for implementation. These include the Roseau River Promenade; the Refinancing/Rehabilitation of existing hotel properties; Community Based Tourism Development; Parkway System at Melville Hall Airport; Work towards the establishment of a Hospitality Institute at the Dominica State College; Skills Training in the Portsmouth area; Bio-Park in the Layou Valley; Promoting a Champion of the Tourism Master Plan; Technical Assistance to the staff of the Ministry of Tourism and Legal Affairs and the Declaration of Development Areas.
The Tourism Sector Development Programme is being implemented by the Ministry of Tourism and Legal Affairs Programme Management Unit. Staff of the PMU include the Programme Coordinator, Mrs. Marvlyn James, Technical Specialist, Mr. Sobers Espirit and support staff of the Administrative/Accounting Office. Technical Advisory Services for Product Development and Quality Assurance is being provided by European Consultants Organisation (ECO) of Belgium.
The Tourism Sector Development Programme is intended to build on the results achieved in the just completed Eco-Tourism Development Programme (ETDP). The EC$18 million programme came to an end in June, 2007.