The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has been working closely with Dominica to be better able to plan for, withstand and recover from the negative impacts of climate change and natural disasters, such as hurricanes.
The CTO has completed a two-day climate sensitization and disaster risk management workshop in Roseau (the island’s capital), aimed at facilitating the sharing of knowledge and best practices on strategies related to climate mitigation and adaptation, as well as identifying sound disaster risk management approaches.
Dominica suffered a direct hit by category-five Hurricane Maria last September, which wiped out 226 percent of its gross domestic product, the CTO reports. This came two years after Tropical Storm Erika passed over the island, destroying an entire village, killing 20 people and leaving behind damage to 90 percent of the country’s GDP.
Colin Piper, the chief executive officer of Discover Dominica Authority (DDA), noted that tourism arrivals after natural disasters reduce by up to 30 percent for up to three years.
Thirty tourism practitioners and decision makers from the public and private sectors participated in the event, which formed part of the "Supporting a Climate Smart and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Industry” project. The workshop was led by strategic planning expert Dr. Jennifer Edwards.
In addition, earlier In July, a “Delivering Quality Service” workshop was held for 55 craft and souvenir vendors, hair braiders, tourism taxi service providers and more, in order to help them better appreciate the importance of their roles in visitor satisfaction, improve people relations through effective communication and understand how positive visitor interactions result in satisfied visitors. This workshop was led by the CTO’s regional human resources development consultant Sharon Banfield-Bovell.
Two additional workshops include participants being trained in the management of sites and attractions, as well as a management of service quality workshop for senior executives and general managers in private and public sector tourism enterprises.