As the Nature Isle of the Caribbean, it follows that tourism is a large part of Dominica’s way of life. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to the island-nation each year to sample its incredible natural delights, as well as its world-renowned music festivals, delicious cuisine, and Caribbean Creole culture.

Because of this, thousands of Dominican citizens work in the tourism sector, which naturally accounts for a huge percentage of the country’s GDP. It’s crucial that the tourism industry’s future is safeguarded in order to protect these jobs and the economy as a whole.

The Government of Dominica has made a concerted effort to do just this in recent years, investing heavily in the tourism sector. Much of the funds for this have come from the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme, which enables non-nationals to gain Dominican citizenship in return for investing in the country.

In what ways has the programme helped fuel the future of Dominican tourism?

Building a new airport

Although Dominica is home to two airports — Douglas-Charles in the north and Roseau-Canefield in the south — neither can accommodate large jet aeroplanes. As a result, visitors can only reach the island via small private jets and propeller aircraft from neighbouring Caribbean countries. This increases the time it takes to get here and often puts people off visiting.

To rectify this and make visiting Dominica easier, funds from the Citizenship by Investment Programme are being used to build a new state-of-the-art airport. Set to be located at the village of Wesley on the northeast coast of the island, more than 20 airlines from the Caribbean, Europe and North America will use the facility. Due to be completed in 2026, the airport will set Dominica back around US$1 billion, and will be the island’s largest ever construction project.

China Railway No 5 Engineering Group has been chosen as the main contractor, and preconstruction work has already started in the Wesley and Woodford Hill area. Around US$24m has been paid to 130 residents who had to move home to make room for the development.

Constructing new hotels and resorts

Traditionally, Dominica has foregone international hotels and resorts in favour of more local developments. However, in order to meet the increasing demand involved with the country’s growing tourism industry, the Government of Dominica has encouraged overseas investment in holiday accommodation through the Citizenship by Investment Programme’s real estate investment route.

This has helped attract several renowned international hotel brands to the island-nation. For example, the Marriott-operated Anichi Resort and Spa began construction in 2021, while Hilton is set to open Tranquility Beach Resort here in 2024, its first hotel on the island.

Speaking about the projects, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said: “Thanks to the real estate arm of the Citizenship by Investment Programme, Dominica is becoming increasingly known for its luxury tourism offering. Under the Citizenship by Investment Programme, investors looking to expand their real estate portfolio have the opportunity to invest in established luxury hotel brands and villas.”

It was also announced in 2021 that the government would invest around EC$950 million in the construction of seven new hotels and resorts. This will create 470 construction jobs and 790 permanent jobs operating the accommodations in the process.

Developing ecotourism

Dominica is more vulnerable than most to the effects of climate change, so climate resilience has become a key route of investment for the Government of Dominica over the last few years. A big part of this involves facilitating ecotourism, which is defined by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education.”

In addition to promoting projects like beach cleans and animal conservation, the government has used funds from the Dominica Citizenship by Investment Programme to invest heavily in eco accommodation. For example, resorts like the Secret Bay, InterContinental Dominica Cabrits Resort & Spa,and Jungle Bay have been opened or reopened in the past few years. All of these have been built using climate resilient and sustainably sourced construction materials, are nestled within nature, and offer locally produced food.

What’s more, money from the programme has also been used to promote climate resilience generally, from investing in hurricane-resilient homes to dredging rivers to mitigate the risk of future flooding. This indirectly fuels the future of tourism by protecting the country as a whole from climate change, ensuring people can continue visiting.

These are just some of the main ways the Dominica Citizenship by Investment Programme is advancing the tourism industry, a critical sector for the country’s future in general. Don’t hesitate to read our FAQs or contact us at your nearest convenience to learn more about the programme, and start the path towards contributing towards this progress yourself.