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Cruise Ship at the Roseau port seen from the Fort Young Hotel
Cruise Ship at the Roseau port seen from the Fort Young Hotel

I was a little surprised that, neither in the formal announcement by the Permanent Secretary of ministry of planning for another consultancy to facilitate developing further various aspects of Dominica's tourism, nor the more recent radio remarks of Tourism Minister Senator Robert Tonge, was there mention of any long term plans for a new Roseau berthing area for the cruise ships. I was surprised because ALL surveys, but especially of the cruise ship passengers themselves, give Dominica very low ratings in that area! Dominicans themselves have not been officially surveyed, but it is well known that most are unhappy on "tourist ship days" when traffic and parking (both already very bad…) are severely impacted on the Bayfront…

It had been hoped that a proposal in the last TOURISM MASTER PLAN to develop a Cruise ship & Tourism Village in an area near the Canefield airport might be usefully pursued as an alternative. The recommendation for a feasibility of same was contained in the 2013 Report by CHL Consulting entitled "Dominica Tourism 2022 – The Way Ahead". While accepted in principle by the state authorities as a good suggestion, it appears to have been put on the back burner because of the substantial investment likely involved, there being perhaps more urgent priorities for the government.

But the justification for looking at alternatives remains: The Roseau Cruise ship port creates a cramped, generally unruly and unpleasant situation not only for the cruise ship visitors but ALSO for local Dominicans who are greatly inconvenienced by the traffic re-routing causing much vehicular congestion particularly at peak traffic hours and the barred use of much of the Bay Front when cruise ships are docked in Roseau. Using the Woodridge Bay port for docking cruise ships is not much better; it is considered very unappealing and unsafe because of the mix with commercial cargo. Hence the real need to pursue a new and dedicated cruise ship port and perhaps even the more comprehensive cruise village concept

This opportunity to REBUILD DOMINICA BETTER is important because of TOURISM's significant benefits in foreign exchange, employment, development of natural sites, including for Dominicans' OWN enjoyment. How to finance? In the perceived reduction of available CBI funding, the following institutions could likely to be interested financially (and otherwise…) in contributing to this major upgrade of a new cruise ship port and Vender Village, built also to accommodate the new "mega- size" cruise ships: The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Assn, The World Travel Association, Caribbean Tourism Organization, UN Development Agencies, etc, etc.


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