The Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) is moving beyond the traditional in its mission to increase visitor arrivals to the island, by embracing what the island has in abundance – Wellness.
To accomplish this, the DDA hosted a meeting with stakeholders involved in the wellness sector at the Public Service Union building in Roseau on Friday 19 May 2017.
Fifteen (15) stakeholders participated from a diverse set of offerings ranging from cuisine, Research & Development of natural foods, therapy services, accommodations providing spaces for therapeutic retreats and wellness living encompassing the whole lifestyle.
As indicated by DDA’s Quality Assurance Officer, Kathlyn Robinson, the Wellness Sector is of great value in its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product and so the DDA is focused on structuring and streamlining this sector and collaborating in the development of packages in order to capture a bigger percentage of the USD $3.7 trillion value it offers, from statistics provided by the Global Wellness Institute.
The purpose of Friday’s meeting, as explained by Robinson, was to familiarize themselves with the stakeholders, their services and products that they offer, as well as familiarize themselves with the troubles and obstacles that they faced during their time as stakeholders in that sector.
She noted that aim was to learn, collect data for the database and in turn put together a plan that would assist and benefit every stakeholder as well as the country.
Robinson also apologized, on behalf of the Authority, for not supporting the businesses and their owners over the years and noted that while not making any excuses, lack of human resources, awareness and sensitization to what they are working with can cause issues.
She added that now, DDA believes that with so much experience in the country, and so much resources which they can rely on, that they are in a good place in going forward with the wellness center.
“Everybody has been extremely positive, and that is a plus for us in terms of going forward, and we will be calling on you for your experience, and your commitment to the sector, because it is your thing, it is your business, it is your lifestyle, it is your way of life, it is your survival. And it is in all of us interest, individually and as a group, and a nation, in developing this wellness sector, and we will use the past as lessons learnt and as a springboard for us to go forward,” Robinson further stated.
She believes that the objective of the meeting was met in that there was valuable exchange between her and those present.
“Successes, challenges and expectations were identified and personal engagements made as their contributions to the development of the Wellness Niche as a Tourism Destination,” Robinson indicated.
“With each person committed to doing their part, and with DDA’s full support and involvement, I am confident in the success of the Sector capturing part of the USD $3.4 trillion global wellness market,” she added.