For the unfamiliar, it’s easy to mistake the Commonwealth of Dominica with the Dominican Republic and vice versa.
So earlier this year, the tiny island of Dominica that lies at the northernmost part of Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea decided to launch a new brand and a fresh tourism outlook to reinforce the island’s identity as the Caribbean’s Nature Island.
The tourism department of Dominica is categorizing its marketing strategies into five pillars: Adventure, Agrotourism/Cuisine, Health and Wellness, Aqua/Water Adventure, and Events and Entertainment.
This way, the department believes, Dominica will be able to “establish a bolder identity for the island, minimize confusion in the marketplace between the two destinations, and illustrate the island’s rich attributes,” according to a report published by the Dominica News Online.
“The elephant in the room is the Dominican Republic, the same name with much more resources to spend. And so every time Dominica goes out to advertise, people think it’s the republic. And so we have to be novel, we have to be creative in the way that we go out and market and make sure we tell a story that resonates with people,” the report quoted Colin Piper, CEO of Discover Dominica Authority, at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s Destination Media Briefings in the Cayman Islands last week.
One important part of this initiative is the signing of an agreement with the MMC Development Ltd. for the construction of a new international airport. Expected to be completed in 2025, the massive facility will be built on 411 acres of land near the existing Douglas-Charles airport.
In a previous statement MMC Development Ltd. CEO Anthony Haiden called the Dominica International Airport Project as “the biggest contracted project not only in the history of Dominica but also in the history of the Eastern Caribbean region.”
The private developing company has been instrumental to the local government of Dominica in its plans to rebuild better and stronger infrastructure that could withstand the perpetual visits of hurricanes and tropical storms in the region. To name a few, MMC Development Ltd. has led a number of housing developments that have been funded by the nation’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme.
The new airport will also be primarily financed by the same investment programme.
Just recently, a contractor has been awarded the EC $1 billion-plus contract for the Dominica International Airport project. MMC Development Ltd. was in charge of picking the best contractor for the job, and named China Railway No.5 Engineering Group Co., Ltd. (or “CR5”) for the massive project.
Aside from the airport, Piper expressed his intention to position Dominica as akin to visiting an “outdoor gym and spa” and this is where the property updates for the island come in. This include the soft opening of Coulibri Ridge Eco-Resort in December 2021 and Secret Bay’s plans to expand from 12 villas to 42 by 2025 to name a few.
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