In an update to mark the six-month passage of Hurricane
Maria, Colin Piper, CEO of the Discover Dominica Authority, assured visitors
and tourism partners that significant progress has been made in getting the
island ready for guests.
"Visitors will see the same vibrant spirit of our
people, beautiful scenery and features that make Dominica the Nature Island of
the Caribbean," Piper said.
Dominica has full connectivity to international and regional
markets with regular flights on LIAT, Seaborne, Winair, Air Sunshine, Coastal
Express Carrier and InterCaribbean Airways, which launched nonstop scheduled
services between Dominica, St. Lucia and Tortola on March 22.
The Douglas Charles Airport has expanded air access with
night landings until 8 p.m.
A total of 393 guestrooms are available, or 41% of the total
stock of 962 rooms available before the hurricane.
Fort Young Hotel, which has 41 rooms open, will open its
remaining 31 rooms by October; Secret Bay, Calibishie Cove and Citrus Creek
Plantation plan to open in Q4 2018. Jungle Bay Resort and Cabarets Resort
Kempinski plan to reopen during the first half of 2019 and the new Anichi
Resort late next year. The openings will increase Dominica's room stock by 340
Piper said that prior to Hurricane Maria, the island was on
course to receive 219 cruise calls during the 2017-2018 cruise season. That
number was reduced to 34 calls following the storm.
As part of the recovery effort, two properties are offering
packages focused on Dominica's natural attractions.
The Fort Young Hotel's dive package includes accommodations
for five or seven nights, daily breakfast, transfers and three or five days of
two-tank dives. Rates start at $1,256 per person.
"Diving is one of Dominica's most championed
attractions and we want to help visitors have the best experience exploring our
waters," said Marvlyn James, Fort Young's general manager.
"We want to continue to serve the diving community as
an expert resource."
Secret Bay has several eco-travel voluntourism programs to
help restore the island's eco-systems and vegetation, including coastal surveys
and clearing boat passageways along the Indian River. Accommodations are at
Tibay Villas on the northwest coast until Secret Bay reopens. The five-night
programs start at $98 per room, per night.