Listen to audio presentation
The Magnitude of the effect that the COVID 19 Pandemic would have on our Tourism Industry was something we could not have foreseen and many of us like myself were totally unprepared for the consequences we are now facing.
For many years we have been almost totally dependent on the Tourism Industry.
COVID 19 has rendered many of us unemployed since March of 2020 and the future looks very bleak and challenging at best.
I welcome any plans or initiatives that the Ministry of Tourism has to revive the Tourism industry and I would personally like to support those plans or initiatives in any way that I can.
We must be very cautious and careful in how we handle any resurgence of the industry.
We have been extremely fortunate in Dominica not to have experienced a large and sustained outbreak of COVID19 and most importantly, we have had no deaths but let us not become complacent with this.
Many of our target markets are in countries considered to be High Risk Areas, our challenge is how do we safely handle the arrival and hosting of clients from those areas.
Make no mistake about it, even though we may have some trepidation about the future of Tourism, we need to do whatever it takes to get things back on track.
Our economy has taken a severe beating, hundreds of people are out of jobs, many of us have invested large sums of money mainly through loans which are now extremely onerous to repay when there is no business from which income can be generated.
I have no doubt that Dominica has the uniqueness and attractions to make visitors want to return to our shores.
Dominica has in abundance naturally what we have seen others create artificially and successfully use to enhance their Tourism Industry.
It is imperative that educate and prepare ourselves to handle their arrival, hosting and entertainment safely.
This is s crucial time when we need to reach out to our patrons who have supported us over the years, offer them special incentives to come back and help us in our time of need.
It is now about meaningful dialogue between the public and the private sector to arrive at a census of creative ideas which can be translated into a dynamic strategy to bring Dominica back to the forefront as a destination safe to visit.
Within the boundaries and margins of safety we may need to re-examine the protocol and procedures we are currently using to determine how visitors can come to Dominica, what restrictions they are faced with when they arrive here, what they are able to do during their stay on the island.
We may also need to become more proactive in assisting those who wish to come to our shores.
I am in no way suggesting that we should compromise our safety or to lower the bars of our standards, but procedures and standards should always be dynamic and never static, especially when we are in a situation such as the vulnerability in which COVID 19 has put our Tourism Industry, making hundreds of people unemployed and too many unable to redeem their debts.
We have to seriously and constantly look at what new procedures we can establish to make things easier to visit Dominica without compromising our safety
The term “Tourism Is Our Business” should now have a deeper meaning and a more fervent and renewed commitment because weather we be truly believe it or not, now more that ever we are all in it together and only together can we save Dominica’s Tourism Industry.
Thanks for allowing me to share these thoughts with you, let me end by making it clear that nothing that I have said was intended to be didactic or critical of anyone but solely to stimulate dialogue.
Presented by Kenneth George-Dill