With March 18 having marked the six-month anniversary of Hurricane Maria’s impact on Dominica, the Discover Dominica Authority’s CEO Colin Piper said that the island has made major progress in its recovery.
A total of 393 hotel/guest house rooms are available on the island, marking 41 per cent of the total stock of 962 rooms available before Hurricane Maria. Additional rooms are to be opened by Fort Young Hotel, with Calibishie Cove, Secret Bay and Citrus Creek Plantation anticipated to reopen around the last quarter of 2018.
Jungle Bay Resort and Cabrits Resort Kempinski are to open during the first half of 2019, and Anichi Resort late in 2019 – with these three openings set to increase Dominica’s room stock by 340.
Nonstop scheduled service between Dominica, St. Lucia and Tortola is to be offered as of March 22, 2018 by InterCaribbean Airways, with chartered flights also available via Sky High Aviation Services and Trans Island Air.
The Douglas Charles Airport and the Canefield Airport have welcomed passengers since Oct. 2017, with connections available to Barbados, Antigua, San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Tortola, St. Thomas, Anguilla, St. Lucia, St. Croix and St. Thomas.
The L’Express des Iles fast ferry service, meanwhile, recommenced operations within a few weeks of Hurricane Maria, providing service between Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Lucia.
Nineteen of the 23 main sites and attractions on the island have been declared open to visitors, including its signature sites: Trafalgar Falls, Middleham Falls, Emerald Pool, Fresh Water Lake and the Indian River. Diving tours are also available.
Dominica was on course to receive 219 cruise calls during the 2017-18 cruise season, a figure that has subsequently been reduced to 34 calls. The first cruise vessel following the hurricane arrived on Dec. 28, 2017, with the Sea Cloud II anchoring off Portsmouth before the docking of the MV Mein Schiff 3 of TUI Cruises at the Roseau cruise ship berth a month later.
The island has received an additional 16 cruise calls since then, with Carnival Cruise Line expected to make a total of five visits; three of these are to occur in July, 2018.
“Nothing is better for our recovery from Hurricane Maria than visitors to our island,” Piper commented. “We have made significant progress in getting the island ready for guests.
"Whether it’s for a relaxing getaway, special event or meaningful travel, visitors will see the same vibrant spirit of our people and beautiful scenery and features that make Dominica the Nature Island of the Caribbean.”