The Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) is giving a strong commitment to growing the numbers of people wanting to visit the nature island.
Head of the Discover Dominica Authority Colin Piper says this has been part of the authority’s marketing strategy.
He says a two- day conference on access in Dominica this week allows the DDA to speak about what opportunities exist for partnerships with airlines and explain what exactly it has been doing to push the nature island as a destination of choice.
Piper is hoping to send a strong message to the visiting airline representatives attending this week’s access conference in Dominica.
“One of the things that we are committed to doing from a marketing perspective is to continue to grow the number of visitors into Dominica and to continue to impress upon Dominicans in the Diaspora to come back home every now and then.”
The top tourism official is hoping that domestic travel will improve thus providing improved business for the airline companies.
“It’s not just incumbent upon us to market the people coming for a holiday, but if families start coming back every year as opposed to every other year and domestic travel improves then we will see the numbers that an airline needs to be profitable would have increased. As a consequence these airlines will now service Dominica to the benefit of visitors coming in and spending additional money on the island,” Piper noted.
Meanwhile Trinidadian access Consultant working with the Discover Dominica Authority, Ian Bertrand is suggesting that efforts be made by Dominica to improve the facilities at existing airline hubs to encourage passengers to fly to Dominica.
Bertrand said “Unless you can improve the facilitation of the passengers at those hubs then you are not creating an improved solution. The person coming from New York into Antigua or Barbados doesn’t necessarily want to go through the long hassle of immigration and customs to board another aircraft to come to Dominica. They want a very smooth access where they go straight into the in-transit lounge.”
Bertrand is suggesting that Dominica make financial resources available towards upgrading services at in transit facilities.
“That requires Dominica recognizing that it does have a responsibility for those passengers at those hubs and working with the management of those hubs, probably even contributing money. It’s a lot cheaper to contribute a couple dollars to an in transit facility than to build a new airport.”
A number of 3rd tier carrier airlines including Kiu and Raddix were represented at the access conference which came to a close at the Fort Young Hotel on Wednesday.