UK visitors to Dominica on the rise
Year-end arrival figures for Dominica indicate that the UK is embracing the green Caribbean island. UK visitor arrivals to Dominica rose by almost six per cent in 2006 compared with 2005.
The second half of the year saw the steepest increase of UK visitors, with 12.1% more UK visitors from July-December 2006 than in the same period the previous year. This rise might be due in part to the cinematic release in July 2006 of Pirates of the Caribbean II: Dead Man’s Chest. The Dominica Tourist office undertook promotional activity surrounding the release of the movie as many of the iconic scenes were shot on the island. UK visitors were also attracted by the island’s annual Dive Fest activities in July and the World Creole Music festival in October, where the main headline acts included Wyclef Jean and Shaggy.
In total, Dominica welcomed 83,916 international visitors to the island in 2006, an increase of 5.88% over the 79,257 visitors who arrived in 2005. Tourism arrivals were up across the board, with increases of 15.2% from the US, 29% from Canada and 9.5% from Europe as compared to the previous year.
“We’re very pleased that more and more people continue to discover Dominica and all the attractions and scenic wonders our island has to offer,” said Yvor Nassief, Minister of Tourism for Dominica.
“In 2006, we stepped up our e-marketing campaign and introduced a new logo and tagline to better represent our tourism product and target our core visitor, who research has shown seeks culture, eco-adventure opportunities and new experiences from their vacation destination. The fact that Dominica’s tourism arrivals were up by a greater percentage than world tourism arrivals, which were up 4.5% in 2006 according to the UN World Tourism Organization, clearly demonstrates that our efforts are succeeding.”
Known as “The Nature Island” and located between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean, the independent nation of Dominica is the largest and most mountainous of the Windward Islands, encompassing an area of nearly 290 square miles. Of volcanic origins with mountains reaching heights of nearly 5,000 feet, rainforests that are considered among the last true oceanic rainforests in the world, more than 365 rivers, waterfalls, a boiling lake and pristine coral reefs, Dominica’s natural diversity is truly unique. Dominica is also home to the last remaining settlement of the Indigenous Peoples of the Caribbean – The Carib Indians. A place where man and nature live in harmony, adventurers and nature lovers alike will revel in the Island’s eco-tourism options which include scuba diving, snorkeling, mountain biking, kayaking, horseback riding, nature tours, hiking/trekking, whale, dolphin and bird watching, sailing and fishing.
Dominica continues to be recognized for its attributes and sustainable tourism efforts, including being the first country in the world to receive Benchmarking designation from the prestigious eco-tourism organization Green Globe 21 and ranking as the only Caribbean destination in the top five happiest countries on earth in the Happy Planet Index (compiled by Britain’s New Economics Foundation).