01/22/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/22/2021 14:11
The V.I.P facility at the Douglas Charles airport is being rehabilitated at an estimated cost of 1.6 million E.C dollars.
The lounge, when completed is expected to create a luxurious atmosphere for visitors and citizens.
The new lounge is also a way to cater to the visitors attracted to the new five star resorts on island.
'We have made tremendous investments in the hotel sector in Dominica, and you would have seen that we now have 5-star resorts on island like the Kempinski, Jungle Bay and Secret Bay. Consequently, we are attracting a new niche of visitors to Dominica who would require luxurious service, and that has been a focus of the ministry to provide service to that niche market,' stated Minister for Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives, Honourable Denise Charles.
Minister Charles says an agent will be made available to the visitors utilizing the vip lounge upon entry.
'The whole idea is that you will have an agent to facilitate your process through immigration. So when the visitor lands, you go straight from the aircraft, you enter the lounge, the agent will take your document bring it through the immigration process, while the visitors just sit and relax after their long flight, have a drink and just experience the Nature Isle. One of the features in this building I'm really excited about is the planter area where we are going to have a lot of plants representing the beauty of Dominica,' the Minister noted.
Minister Charles believes that if Dominica's tourism product is improved, the Ministry will accomplish its goal to welcome two hundred thousand visitors annually.
'One of our main goals in the Ministry of Tourism and the Discover Dominica Authority is to have 200,000 people visit Dominica annually. And this is a very aggressive goal and currently we have about 80,000 people who visit our country on an annual basis. But we believe that Dominica has the best to offer any visitor in terms of our natural beauty, activities, our cuisine and our Kalinago heritage. And there is so much more diverse products on the island and we feel that if we continue to improve and upgrade our tourism product we can achieve that goal,' the Tourism Minister added.
CEO of the Dominica Air and Sea Port Authority (DASPA), Mr. Benoit Bardouille says the lounge makes provision for the Ministry of Health to conduct the covid-19 safety protocols.
'We have had to make some changes to what was already there to ensure that the persons from health can be accommodated. So those persons would not be bypassing any of these protocols, they would have to meet these protocols but in a more private sense,' Mr. Bardouille stated.
Mr. Bardouille says although Government is in the process of constructing an international airport there is a need for the VIP lounge at the Douglas Charles airport to meet the expectations of incoming visitors.
'The need for a VIP lounge now means that the airport will be constructed, but it might take another three years before we can fully occupy the new facilities and in the interim we are now ensuring that our tourism product is now of a higher standard. People are coming to Dominica with expectations and we want to exceed those expectations. So we have the Kempinski and the Jungle Bays and the like with more under construction, we want to ensure that their five star guests are treated like five star throughout their journey into Dominica,' Bardouille added.
The project is expected to be completed by April 2021.