The amount lost by the Tourism Sector as a result of Hurricane Maria has surpassed the EC$100 million mark.
According to Director of Tourism and Chief Executive Officer of the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA), Colin Piper who spoke at the daily press briefing on Monday 13 November 2017, an assessment of damage to the Tourism Sector done in working with the World Bank (WB) revealed total damages in the amount of EC$54 million and losses in the amount of EC$191 million.
Piper revealed that the most damage was linked directly to the hotel room stock. He explained that right now there is about two hundred and forty-three rooms currently serving the market, about twenty-seven percent of the pre-Maria room stock.
“We had about nine hundred and nine rooms before. We have about thirty-nine percent or three hundred and fifty-eight of those rooms that we’re considering severely damaged and as such we do not feel that they will be back servicing clients before twelve months and we also have thirty-four percent or three hundred and eight of the rooms that we think will come back little by little and our estimation is that about ten percent of that room stock will come back on a monthly basis starting in December,” he said.
Meanwhile the Cruise Sector suffered approximately EC$25 million in losses as this is the amount calculated in spend.
Piper credits the pace of the work being done on the sites to the feasibility of a January 1, 2018 start to the cruise season saying, “Initially we thought the season was lost but based on the pace of some of the site rehabilitation and some of the work that the Ministry is doing and other stakeholders are doing, we have identified January 1 as a key milestone, a date to which we are planning to be in a state of readiness and we are communicating that to all the stakeholders.”
He indicated that the tourism sector services which comprises of tour operators, vendors, other support services like taxis have suffered about EC$4.3 million in damages.
Piper said the total recovery cost to include building back better, rebuilding according to climate change resiliency codes is anticipated in excess of EC$70 million.