Sustainable Tourism Development Programme – Dominica​

Delivered innovative solutions to achieve sustainable tourism development for the people of Dominica

Project: Sustainable Tourism Development Programme – Dominica

Client: European Union

Beneficiary: The Commonwealth of Dominica

Budget: Euro 6 million

Duration: 3 years

The challenge

Dominica is dependent on tourism. One third (33.4%) of the country’s gross domestic product comes from tourism and related activities. How can the island of Dominica develop tourism in a sustainable manner – a form of tourism that conserves the environment for generations to come, as well as engage and benefit local communities today?

Activities:

Five areas were targeted for development under the Sustainable Tourism project:

  • Eco-Tourism Product Development – Built and upgraded visitor facilities at fourteen (14) eco-tourism sites and attractions across the island
  • Human Resource Development and Capacity building – developed training plans and programmes for all levels of the tourism sector
  • Community Tourism Development – Engage and capacitate communities to build, develop, own, manager and operate community-based sites and attractions.
  • Private Sector Development – build capacity of the private sector institution to grow membership and represent the interest of members
  • Marketing and Promotion – develop a marketing plan to promote the community-and nature-based attractions developed.

results

14 Eco-Tourism Sites Upgraded

Built and upgraded visitor facilities at fourteen (14) eco-tourism sites and attractions across the island that are still operational today, almost fourteen years after the projects’ completion. This is true sustainable tourism at work.

Multi-Million Dollar Hyperbaric Chamber

Tendered, purchased and installed a Hyperbaric Chamber which provides the key infrastructure in growing the dive market, as well as trained a local team to operate it and integration into the local health sector. This, together with the protection of the reefs, have established the island as one of the premier dive locations in the Caribbean

Acquired Reef Patrol Boats

Purchase, installation and community management of reef patrol boats to monitor and protect the reefs on the island.

6 Communities Developed

Community-based sustainable development projects/ products were developed in six ( 6 ) communities, allowing communities to benefit from tourism. Some, such as Mero, as still in operation today, managed by the local community.

Innovative Community Tourism Ideas

Novel ideas and innovative solutions were also delivered to communities, including the establishment of the Rabbit Festival in the community of Cochrane to mitigate against the decline in demand for rabbit meat and brand the community as a viable tourism entity.

Established National Community Tourism Organisation

Established of a National Community Tourism Organisation – the Dominica Community Tourism Association, Inc., to coordinate and support the activities of communities. The organisation is still active today and is the main arm that links the Government to local Communities.

Tourism Awareness Initiative

Another innovative solution was the Tourism Begins at Home initiative where kids got the opportunity to experience tourism in their own country, e.g. snorkelling for free once a month.

Rehabilitation of the Capital City

Using placemaking techniques and urban planning and architectural expertise, the Sustainable Tourism Project also rehabilitated the old Roseau city, targeting many historical buildings and sites in the capital and surrounding areas.

Effective Marketing

Through effective marketing and promotion, as well as the sustainable development of its sites, attractions and its communities, Dominica has retained its image as ‘The Nature Island of the Caribbean.

Leve Global - Sustainable Tourism Development

I worked with Dr. Auliana Poon and Tourism Intelligence International on the Sustainable Eco Tourism Development Programme in Dominica.

The project was very well implemented and was considered very successful… 

 

Bo Hjälmefjord

European Union – Tourism Project Officer