Roseau, Dominica– March 5, 2010……….A number of projects and initiatives designed to provide a boost to the economy and the tourism sector in particular were outlined in detail at a meeting with Tourism Stakeholders in Dominica recently.
In his presentation to the Tourism Stakeholders, Tourism Technical Specialist attached to the EU -funded Tourism Sector Development Programme, Mr. Sobers Esprit outlined some of the projects identified in the Tourism Master Plan(2005-2015) that Government is hoping to implement in the short to medium-term.
Mr. Esprit outlined in some detail projects and initiatives that are ongoing and those projects the Government is collaborating with various partners to bring to fruition:
- The redevelopment and renewal of the city of Roseau which involves waste management, enhancing the historic district; making the city safer and the installation of facilities in the city
- Part of this redevelopment includes the Roseau River Promenade project. Funded under the SFA 2006 Tourism Sector Development Programme, the project is intended to focus on the development of facilities to be constructed along the banks of the Roseau River. The facilities will include vending booths for food and beverages; landscaping/tree planting and a retaining wall
- To minimise the problem of vending all over the city of Roseau, plans are afoot to convert the DEXIA building into an artisan mall, selling local arts and craft, herbs spices and other products. Plans are also in the making for the construction of an upscale vendors’ mall on the site of the ‘ruins building’ to establish cafes, bars, shops and boutiques
- Development of the Newtown area to cater for the large number of cruise ship passengers and other visitors. Development will include the construction of a promenade, walkway and boutiques and cafes and the development of the whole Newtown bay. This development will involve Government agencies working with private developers, hotel owners and dive sector operators in the area
- The Portsmouth area has long been identified as the part of the country with the greatest potential for tourism development activities. Plans are afoot for the development of the Cabrits, the continuation of works at Fort Shirley and the continuation of Indian River development programme
- Examination of some of the projects identified in the Development Plan for Portsmouth prepared by the Portsmouth Citizens Planning Commission
- Efforts will continue in developing the Northern Heritage Trail which boasts the Link Road, the Cold Soufriere sulphur springs and other attractions in that area
- A major investment is due to be undertaken soon at Castaways with the support of a private investor
- Plans are underway for the expansion and re-development of the Woodbridge Bay port as a major tourism facility. The plan will involve port expansion, the development of a Cruise Village to include shops, boutiques and bars and the construction of a top flight hotel in the area
- The Waitukubili National Trail Project (WNTP) is a major flagship project for Dominica, intended to attract hikers and other visitors to Dominica. The EU funded project is expected to come to an end this year
- The improvement of existing sites and attractions and the development of new sites and attractions to cope with the expansion of cruise visitors to the island
- The establishment of a Bio-Park possibly in the Layou Valley, featuring the rich biodiversity of Dominica is now in the early planning stages. A feasibility study is being undertaken with funds from the European Union under SFA 2006
- Collaborating with the Ministry of Public Works in identifying areas for creating a Parkway System from Melville Hall to Roseau Corridor and for scenic parkway designations for coastal roads across Dominica. The programme is designed to make the visitor experience more pleasant through the provision for rest stops photographic pull-outs and places to purchase local souvenirs and food and beverages
- The building of capacity for developing skills training for young artisans and persons working in the tourism sector
- A renewed focus on a residential tourism programme will be articulated shortly
- Community-based tourism continues to receive attention from government through greater resources being spent on training and marketing support for community groups across the island
- The development of the unique heritage aspects of the different parts of the island, most notably Grand Bay, Carib Territory and the north with collaboration between state agencies and local communities
- The broadening of the scope of village feasts to make them more “international” is being considered
The Meeting with Tourism Stakeholders was also attended by the Minister of Tourism and other officials from the Ministry of Tourism, staff from Discover Dominica Authority and Invest Dominica Authority and officials from the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA), the Dominica Air and Sea Port Authority (DASPA) among other private sector and community tourism groups.