DOMINICA — One year later and Dominica is looking like its old self again.
A year after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria, the Discover Dominica Authority has reported that the nation is rebounding, with strong cruise arrivals and new hotels in the pipeline.
“The progress made this past year represents a milestone in the recovery process during which the people of Dominica – and the natural environment itself – have shown their resilience and indomitable spirits,” said Colin Piper, Director of Tourism.
Island updates include:
Airports & Ferries
Dominica’s airports – Douglas-Charles and Canefield – are fully open for commercial operations, with same-day connectivity with international carriers to and from Douglas-Charles.
The ferry service operated by L’Express des Iles is also running, while a new ferry service, Val Ferry, began operations between Dominica and Guadeloupe last month. Val Ferry runs a weekly schedule with seating capacity of 400.
Cruise tourism continues to generate significant economic activity. The island hosted 33 cruise ships for the 2017-2018 season (out of 219 expected cruise visits prior to Hurricane Maria).
Since July 2018, Carnival Fascination began making bi-weekly stops to Dominica and will continue until November 2018. A total of 181 cruise calls (or 304,031 passengers) are projected for the 2018-2019 cruise season.
Roadways are also open for all vehicles across the island, yet travellers are advised to be cautious as road repair work is still ongoing in some areas. Public transportation, taxi services and car rentals are all available.
Hotels & Resorts:
As for accommodations, a majority of Dominica’s hotels are open, with more than 540 rooms available. Since last fall, many properties have used their closures as an opportunity to do intense renovations.
Two hotels will be reopening soon – Secret Bay (November 2018) and Jungle Bay (February 2019). Fort Young Hotel, Dominica’s premier hotel, is currently operating with 40 rooms and is undergoing a massive renovation to include 60 additional rooms to be fully operational by October 2019, for a total of 100 new and refurbished rooms.
Two new luxury hotels are set to debut on the island – Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica (October 2019), and Anichi Resort, part of the Marriott Autograph Collection (late 2019). The five-star Cabrits will offer 160 rooms with panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea, a spa, gym, all-weather tennis court, and hot and cold-water pools.
Princess Margaret Hospital, the island’s main health system, has been fully functional and all of the 49 community health centres are operational (39 operate from their original locations and 10 have been relocated due to the devastation).
Tourist Attractions & Restaurants
Dominica’s top tourism sites and attractions are also open to the public. Restoration and maintenance work are still ongoing in some areas, including roads, facilities and signage. All major beaches have been cleaned and are open to visitors.
The restaurant and food industries have shown significant rebound, with many food establishments receiving renewed operation permits from the Environmental Health Department. The island’s food scene will take centre stage in the upcoming Taste of Dominica event, taking place from Oct. 15-Nov. 30.
Electricity has been restored to the national power grid in most areas across the island. Full connectivity to individual homes is ongoing in conjunction with certified home renovations. 97% of customers have access to reconnect to the national grid, while 98% connectivity has been restored to the national water supply network.
Internet service and Wi-Fi hot spots are widely available within town and urban settlements, including Roseau. Cellular phone service on the island is widely available.
For more information on travel to Dominica go to discoverdominica.com.