ROSEAU, Dominica - THE Government of Dominica is seeking to diverse from its dependency on tourism as the country seeks to move forward, and hosting of the World Creole Festival is of paramount importance to stimulating the local economy.
Like many other territories within the region, officials in Roseau have been depending on tourism numbers as a critical economic staple, but the challenges surrounding the movement of people across the region and the recent pandemic brought economies to a halt.
That has highlighted the need for the territory to move away from that dependency.
Last week the Government and people celebrated the 23rd edition of the World Creole Music Festival, which was a lead-up to activities of the island’s Independence Anniversary Celebration.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit emphasized that the Festival generates significant economic activities for those within the country, which spills over into long-term gains.
He told SKNVibes that the Festival is a huge income earner for those small businesses across the country, including those in the hospitality sector, car rentals, hotels and AirBnB, guest houses and private properties.
“It is a huge foreign exchange earner for Dominica. That is why the Government continues to invest so heavily into the Festival,” the Prime Minister noted.
Dominica, like St. Kitts and Nevis, has been dependent on the Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programme for a large chunk of its revenue, but the programme is currently under threat by the European Union and the United States.
In his short conversation, PM Skerrit noted that with the challenges facing Small Island Developing States (SIDS) from the larger nations, it is paramount for territories like Dominica to find new avenues to generate revenues in order to be sustainable.
“Well, in a global environment that is so hostile to small island states, from Climate Change to the geopolitics taking place, and the crises that we see further afield, we have to create opportunities for us to sustain our economies and sustain jobs, and bring foreign exchange into our country,” the PM lamented.
“Activities such as our World Creole Music Festival is one way of creating those opportunities and sustaining those opportunities for our citizens and investors in Dominica,” he added.
The Festival wrapped up in the wee hours of Monday (Oct. 3o) to the delight of the capacity crowd at Windsor Park.