Stakeholders Hail Access Dominica Conference a Success
With the Access Dominica 2 day Conference coming to a close on Thursday September 27th, stakeholders from various sectors of business are labeling the conference as successful and necessary.
Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Mr. Hugh Riley says, he was very pleased with the quantity and content of the discussions, while thanking Dominica for taking a very focused approach for a problem which troubles the entire Caribbean.
Mr. Riley said that the fact Dominica has taken a frontal approach into solving this issue speaks volumes.
Mr. Riley pointed out that during the conference they focused on areas such as; movement of Caribbean people around the Caribbean, connectivity between International and Regional carriers, and the advantages of Canefield versus Melville Hall Airport.
The issue of dealing with other restrictions that might hinder tourism growth beyond physical access was also discussed such as aviation taxation, which they continue to monitor closely.
Mr. Riley said we all have to be concerned because anytime the cost of the product increases, it also affects the demand.
Minister of Tourism and Legal Affairs Honourable Ian Douglas pointed out that since tourism is the main income and foreign exchange earner in the country, we must all try to do all what is necessary to bring more visitors to the country to spend money.
The Tourism Minister says what they are looking forward to is a collaborative endeavor where all of the airlines can come together to finds ways they can assist in bringing more tourists to Dominica.
He added that they should also work on creating stronger inter-regional connections to lessen the time and hassle visitors experience before arriving to a destination.
Tourism Officer at the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Secretariat Ms. Lorraine Nicholas says that, the issue of air transportation and its challenges has been a main topic of discussion for some time at their meetings of OECS Council of Tourism Ministers.
Ms. Nicholas pointed out the air transportation has been identified as a priority area in their recently developed common policy for the OECS.
Ms. Nicholas added what they plan to do now is empirically assess what these factors are with a view to providing justification to the political directorates, and others.
She says this is to know what should be done in various areas such as taxation, and other similar areas that pose threats and challenges to the air transportation sector in the region.