DOMINICA AFTER MARIA: EUR 63 MILLION OF DAMAGE IN THE TOURISM SECTOR

Vanderlei J. Pollack - Nov 20, 2017
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Nearly EUR 63 million – that is the damage caused by hurricane Maria to Dominica's tourism sector, mainly the infrastructure, according to the estimates by the island's tourism agency which hopes to be able to revive the industry by next January.

Dominica is in the process of healing from the devastation caused by hurricane Maria in September.

The country's police have released the final figures for the human toll of the hurricane: 31 dead and 34 missing. The list of the victims' names has been made public. The hurricane, which swept across the island from south to north on the night of the 18th of September until the following day, destroyed homes as well as public buildings – putting an end to tourist activity. Dominica's Tourism Agency has been able to make a fairly accurate estimate of the damage caused by the hurricane.

The cost inflicted upon Dominica's tourism sector by Maria is tremendous. The "Discover Dominica Authority", the DDA, the public agency which manages the tourism sector on the island,  has estimated the losses at 191 million Caribbean dollars – some 63 million euros. This amount takes into account both the loss of potential revenue as well as the cost of repairs and reconstruction. This is a heavy burden for the island's tourism sector which had just started to take off in recent years.

This is a considerable sum for such a small country considering that it will need to rebuild its entire infrastructure and that it is currently cut off from a large part of its financial resources due to the lack of tourist activity.

The DDA has set itself the goal of reviving tourism by the 1st of January 2018. A very ambitious goal as 40% of the island's 909 hotel rooms have been destroyed.

A large part of the nation's road network remains difficult to transit across and the vast majority of the population is still without running water and electricity. To date, only 3% of households have been reconnected to these public utilities.

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