The Discover Dominica Authority officially launched Tourism Awareness Month 2015 on May 1st at the Fort Young Hotel under the theme ‘Tourism is Everybody’s Business, Let’s Play Our Part’, with the tagline ‘What Does Tourism Mean to Me?’
Chief Executive Officer of the DDA and Director of Tourism, Colin Piper says the theme this year is significant as it captures the essence of the message which the DDA wishes to communicate to Dominicans.
“This month is geared to informing the various stakeholders and the public at large about various aspects of the tourism industry. More specifically, really trying to get personal with individuals and communities, to drive home the message that the benefits of tourism permeate the fabric of this nation,” says Chief Executive Officer of the DDA and Director of Tourism, Colin Piper
He further stated that the month of activities is important because it creates an opportunity for Dominicans to become more involved in the growth of tourism in Dominica as citizens are encouraged to give their input for a more sustainable industry.
Tourism Awareness Month is also geared to increase the public’s awareness of the tourism and hospitality industry’s economic, cultural and social contributions to Dominica.
In this regard, the Honourable Minister for Tourism and Urban Renewal, Senator Robert Tonge says the aim of every national should be that visitors leave Dominica’s shores with a memorable experience.
He explained, “Tourism creates over 3000 jobs both directly and indirectly; direct jobs amount to about 1800 people. Tourism provides tax revenue for the Government in excess of 20 million dollars [from] VAT, site passes and income tax.
The Minister further stated that tourism amounts over 190 million dollars in foreign exchange contributions to the economy, which in turn helps to balance the country’s trade deficit.
The theme of the importance of tourism and the benefits of creating a worthwhile experience for visitors continued throughout the ceremony as President of the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association, Gregor Nassief urged all to think of tourism as a way of life and not merely as an industry.
“I think that the message that we want to get across is that if we build the industry in a sustainable way and if we develop tourism as our way of life we are in effect building the country. So it is important that we all are very mindful of the contribution of every visitor that we have,” he said.
He added that Tourism Awareness Month gives an opportunity to celebrate the impact of tourism on Dominica and to reflect on how the product can be improved.
Activities for the month-long event include Hike fest, Tourism Open Day and Mini Expo, Tourism Jeopardy game show and Tourism Youth Congress.