Entornointeligente.com / Tourism and trade are among the two sectors to be positively impacted upon the completion of the international airport here in Dominica, says Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
Speaking at the contract signing for the project, Skerrit highlighted that the international airport which is expected to welcome its first flight in 2025, will open up links for regional and international tourism and trade while positioning Dominica as part of a wider Caribbean Community (CARICOM) economy and contribute to the regionâs growth and development.
Stressing on tourism, he emphasized that for years Dominicaâs tourism sector has been handicapped by the absence of an international airport which could accommodate the aircraft of the worldâs major airlines.
In the period while the airport is under construction, the prime minister disclosed that officials will market Dominica globally to develop a stronger, more diverse tourism sector than the country has at the moment.
“In this regard, the international airport is intended to serve as the anchor and enabler for our national policy to build support, encourage a partnership with reputable local and international hotel brands, such as Jungle bay, Kempinski, Hilton, and Marriott,” he stated.
Local entrepreneurs, businesses and communities such as the Kalinago Territory are also in line to benefit from an increase in tourism arrivals, which the prime minister pointed out will stimulate the entire economy in becoming stronger and more diversified.
In addition to larger market access, it is expected that the airport will also allow Dominica and its business sector to be more competitive, and facilitate easier and more cost-effective travel for nationals at home and in the diaspora.
“Artists, designers and those in those cultural and creative industries will benefit substantially. And we can now target even larger numbers of international visitors for the world cruel Music Festival, carnival, independence and our other signature events,” Skerrit said.
He said government intends to position Dominica as one of the passenger and cargo transit centres and hubs within the trade sector in the Caribbean region.
According to Skerrit, “We will improve opportunities for trade, business and general commerce. International Trade of necessity requires international access, which is not truly and fully possible without an international airport.”
He vowed that the government will vigorously pursue these and other opportunities for trade and business so that the domestic enterprises can benefit in terms of the trade opportunities.
The finance minister also reported that the airport will be constructed to resilience standards to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes which will, in turn, ensure fewer disruptions to our economy, guarantee the movement of our people and products and foster an enhanced level of social, environmental and economic resilience.
“You see my friends, the airport resort is in both economic and social groups. This government is building a new society and economy. We are building dynamic Dominica,” he stated.
During the construction phase, an estimated 3000 people will be directly employed and many more will indirectly benefit from this project. On completion, the airport will provide permanent employment opportunities in a variety of areas for young people, in particular, the PM highlighted.
“It will open up opportunities for a range of providers of goods and services from caterers to fuel providers and from maintenance to spa services. This will add several 100 new jobs to the national economy,” he pointed out. “In addition to the direct jobs, the new airport will also create a significant number of indirect jobs in the transport and tourism services sector. This will include those for taxi drivers, farmers and fisherfolk and increased opportunities for many others. But this is only the beginning.”
According to him, the new international airport will not be standalone but must be contextualized in the governmentâs overall thrust for the strengthening and development of national infrastructure, improved telecommunications, the development of the waterfront, the reinforcement of bridges, sea defences, housing and roads, and a new cruise cargo port.
“International airports are catalysts for tourism growth and are pivotal to our countryâs regional and international trade relations. They inspire new activity and the enhancement of the communities which surround them,” Skerrit declared. “They often are the triggers for further development, hotels, malls, shops, restaurants, numerous service providers and residential communities along the routes to the airport.”
The one billion dollar project for the construction of the international airport was signed n June 09, 2021, between the government of Dominica and Montreal Management Est. (MMCE).
LINK ORIGINAL: Dominica News Online