Responsible Tourism Policy – Dominica

Responsible Travel and Tourism - Elevating the People, Planet, Plant and Profits of Dominica

Project: National Responsible Tourism Policy – Dominica

Client: Ministry of Tourism & Culture and the Discover Dominica Authority

Beneficiary: The Commonwealth of Dominica

Duration: 1 year

The challenge

The Commonwealth of Dominica is a tourism-dependent country; the total contribution of tourism to the Dominica’s GDP is approximately 33%. As the Nature Island of the Caribbean, Dominica’s tourism is primarily based on the natural environment – water, wood, whales, and wildlife. However, in 2015 and again in 2017, Dominica was hard hit by Tropical Storm Erika and category five Hurricane Maria, respectively. The island was devastated and lost billions of dollars in property, infrastructure and income.

On the heels of Hurricane Maria, the Prime Minister of Dominica declared that the country will become the first climate resilient nation in the world. The country could not continue to compete on its natural attributes alone. Tourism development needed a renewed approach. The National Tourism Policy needed to be redeveloped to consider the natural disasters and the new climate resilient thrust. Our firm was selected from among 22 competing firms to take up the challenge.

Activities:

A robust methodological approach was required for this assignment.  A number of methodologies and tools were employed to achieve the objectives of the tourism policy.  These included:

  • Carried out extensive stakeholder consultations including a number of one-on-one interviews, focus group meetings, site visits with tourism partners, stakeholders and community groups as well as strategic planning workshops.
  • A number of research sources and key documents were reviewed and analysed to ensure alignment, coherency and consistency
  • Carried out an assessment of Global Trends and Best Practice Analysis of tourism policies around the world particularly in top destinations.
  • Reviewed and evaluated the policy framework and legislative climate in Dominica with special emphasis on tourism, culture and environmental policies and practices
  • Identification and analysis of policy gaps and needs
  • Tourism Policy Visioning Exercise to determine what kind of tourism destination Dominica needs to e considering the needs of the markets as well as the needs of the communities
  • Policy framework conceptualization and brainstorming
  • Policy formulation

results

A Responsible Tourism Policy

The Tourism Policy delivered strategies to guide Dominica towards becoming the first Climate Resilient destination in the world. Many of the policies were geared towards building back better after the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

A Multi-Disciplinary Team of Experts

A Team of 5 Experts were deployed to carry out the policy development, in the fields of strategic planning, sustainable tourism development, land use planning, climate change, coastal and marine spatial planning, human resource development, and urban development.

Consulted Over 100 Stakeholders

Carried out a Tourism Policy Stakeholder workshop as well as dozens of one-on-one meetings, site visits and focus-group meetings. Over 100 stakeholders were involved in the process.

Engaging and Effective Workshop Facilitation

At the Tourism Policy Workshop, 96% of participants indicated that the workshop achieved its objectives and 100% said that the workshop addressed the key issues. The consultations provided us with the unique advantage of involving a large cross-section of stakeholders in the process and creating high levels of “buy-in” in the implementation of the tourism policy.