The Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) has hosted a number of activities as part of its strategy to re-introduce destination Dominica to members of the international media and travel trade.
In readiness for a more aggressive outreach in 2019, over 70 press and travel agent contacts from all of Dominica’s major source markets, were invited to come and experience the destination.
Travel agents, tour operators and journalists were given the opportunity to appreciate the strides the country has made since the passage of Hurricane Maria. They also visited the re-opened sites and observed first-hand the developments within the sector, primarily as relates to the large luxury hotel plant coming on stream.
The plethora of activities allowed the guests to immerse themselves in the island’s unique brand of wellness, adventure, and food excursions. The activities were aimed to enable the guests to become true Nature Island ‘experts’ and ambassadors in the process.
The DDA invited media houses from the Caribbean, Germany and France during the World Creole Music Festival. The media houses were able to experience the island’s authentic culture on an intimate level, especially through music, in the true celebratory season of Independence.
Travel agents and tour operators from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, USA, Canada and English speaking Caribbean countries were also invited. Customised itineraries were designed to focus on: new initiatives in the tourism industry; one-on-one meetings and interviews with stakeholders; and experiences of product offerings and tours to various sites and attractions around the island.
Top writers were invited during the months of November and December and were encouraged to produce features on various destinations from an experiential point of view. A journalist from USA’s renowned Travel and Leisure Magazine was present on island to document the recovery efforts and ‘voluntourism’ activities. UK chef, television presenter and entertainer, Ainsley Harriott, embarked on a culinary excursion of Dominica. The DDA reported that “these efforts alone will produce a 1-2 page feature on Dominica in February, and a television series of 2 one-hour episodes of local culinary fare and experiences on Ainsley’s Caribbean Adventure.” Other guests included vloggers, travel writers and reporters from various media outlets.
The aim of the above activities were to ensure that Dominica gained maximum exposure on a global level.
CEO and Director of Tourism, Collin Piper, stated “This augurs well for continuing the momentum which saw an increase in arrivals from the one year milestone after Hurricane Maria, with a 15% increase in arrivals in September and a 91 % increase in arrivals in October when compared to 2017. With increased improvements, heightened awareness and exciting initiatives in the coming months, the Nature Island is set to reclaim its rightful place as the quintessential nature holiday experience in the Caribbean.”