Marriott International will be spearheading a new luxury hotel development project in Dominica. The project, which will be part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, will play an instrumental role in attracting visitors to the island and redefining Dominica’s tourism industry.

The project was announced during a conference meeting on the 9th January 2017 in which Marriott representatives, hotel developers, members of Cabinet, and senior public officials met with Dominica’s Prime Minister, Dr the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, to formally introduce the project.

Opening the discussion, Dr Michael Lawrence, Director of Silver Beach Resort – the official developers for the project – revealed the project’s core objectives: creating jobs, providing hospitality training for Dominicans locally and regionally, and establishing a relationship with farmers to provide another market for their produce.

As one of the largest international hotels in the world, Marriott represents a monumental milestone in Dominica’s travel and tourism industry and will bring further legitimacy and prestige to its high-end tourism brand. “[C]ompanies like Marriott would conduct strict due diligence to ensure that the economy of the country is suitable, that they fully understand the implications of this country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme, and that the integrity and stature of the directors of Silver Beach is such that the company is willing to align itself [with them],” said Dr Michael Lawrence.

Currently operating in 120 countries, Marriott International has 6,000 hotels, each aligned to one of 30 luxury brands. Speaking on the evening, Dr Bojan Kumar, Marriott International Director of Development for Latin America and the Caribbean, noted that the Marriott Autograph Collection is one of the fastest growing brands in the world and the one in highest demand in the Caribbean.

The Honourable Robert Tonge, Minister for Tourism and Renewal, detailed the steps taken by the Government to enhance the island’s already successful hospitality and tourism industry. As well as resuming dialogue with the public and private sectors, the Government increased its marketing efforts to travel agents, tour operators, and potential investors, and made available $15 million to existing hotels and restaurants to provide a high-quality service. Dominica’s Prime Minister reiterated the Government’s continuing dedication to rebuilding a better Dominica, emphasising the importance of completing the project on time.

The Marriott project will be sponsored by Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme, one of the most popular economic citizenship options in the world. Mr Alick Lawrence, CEO of Silver Beach, explained that the success of such projects “directly depends on the success of the [Citizenship by Investment] Programme,” and commended the Government’s leadership in taking a progressive approach to the development of tourism on the island. Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme continues to attract the interest of luxury hotel brands and foreign direct investment to the island.