Strong 4th quarter performance signals for tourism recovery in Dominica

by: - February 5, 2019
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Records from the Discover Dominica Authority show that there has been an increase Tourism Performance Signals.

The months of October to December 2018 produced arrivals of 22,178 from all source markets, representing 35.3 % of total stay-over arrivals for the year which stood at 62, 828. This is an increase of 95% over the same period in 2017.

Increases were registered at 91%, 113% and 78% respectively during the last three months of the year compared to 2017.

The quarter also represents a marginal increase of 0.9% over the same period in 2016. November 2018 was the first month to show an increase over the same month in 2016, with an increase of 15.6 % over November 2016.

Arrivals amounted to 5,271 which is the highest arrivals for that month over the past 12 years of reported data, representing a record for the destination in that regard. December figures showed that the upswing continued, registering a 6.7 % increase over December 2016 arrivals.

The year-end figure of 62, 828 visitor arrivals, represents a 13% decline over 2017 figures of 72, 228.

According to a press release from the Discover Dominica Authority, this performance surpassed the projections given for countries which had suffered a natural disaster of the magnitude of Hurricane Maria during the previous year, as expected declines are normally in the vicinity of 30%. In addition, the 2018 numbers represent only a 20% decline over 2016 arrivals which are also of significance.

Vicky Chandler, DDA’s Destination Marketing Manager indicates “We embarked on an aggressive communications strategy which saw the development of a separate website specific to destination updates; awareness and discount campaigns and a concerted effort in our Press outreach globally, hosting media from all of our main source markets and communicating outward via social, digital and print media to potential consumers as well as to our travel trade network.”
The cruise season was modified as a result of the passage of Hurricane Maria resulting in an 88% decline
in arrivals in the first 6 months of 2018 vs same period in 2017. However, there was a major
improvement in cruise arrivals during the last two (2) months of the year. The destination also recorded
Cruise visitor arrivals in July, August, & September for the first time in 5 years which contributed to a
total of 134,469 arrivals in 2018, a 14.4% decline over 2017 (154,040).
Minister for Tourism and Culture, Hon. Robert Tonge opines, “These figures are the direct result of the
cumulative efforts of Team Dominica in many different aspects of the destination’s recovery. The
government’s investment in site rehabilitation and enhancements along with the celebratory season which
started with the exciting WCMF in October, through to Reunion and the 40th  Anniversary of Independence
​in November were key drivers of interest among our loyal Diaspora market and friends of Dominica. The
recorded figures augur well for the future of the industry and the people of Dominica on the whole.”