Budget excerpt: Increased airlift, new airport remain priorities

Madam Speaker, improved air access remains a priority for this Government. We must be in a position to bring in the visitors, who will fill the new rooms that are being constructed, and so we continue to work with major airlines to get the best schedule for Dominica.

Simultaneously, we continue discussions with an interested firm from China, for the construction of an international airport. I can confirm that the team has visited the proposed site and is now preparing concept drawings and undertaking the economic and financial analyses.

There have been numerous requests for greater visibility of Dominica in the market place. While this is necessary, we must also optimise the return from every dollar spent on marketing. The Ministry of Tourism has been mandated to do a complete examination of the marketing strategy, with a view to ensuring that we get the best value for money.
The Ministry has already engaged the private sector stakeholders, on the matter of the preparation of the marketing strategy. With that in mind, the tourism marketing budget will be increased by $2.0 million to $6.0 million.

Madam Speaker, the programme outlined for the tourism sector, seeks to address the important components of a comprehensive strategy, to grow the sector. We expect to see the measures taken, redound to the benefit of the people of Dominica. We expect each stakeholder, to contribute to the growth of the sector.

Stakeholders are reminded, that the sustainability of tourism depends on visitors having a good experience, and as such, we must deliver the best service possible. Our service delivery should be no less than first class; we must be organised, diligent and punctual and must adhere to the rules and procedures set out to properly regulate the sector.