LONDON—The Commonwealth of Dominica is “carving a niche of its own” in the international tourism industry by establishing an inspiring ecotourism sector, a new Financial Times documentary reveals. Six brand new eco-conscious luxury hotels have already opened or are being developed on the ‘Nature Isle of the Caribbean’, all of which raise foreign capital via the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program.
Jungle Bay owner and native Dominican Sam Raphael successfully rebuilt the beloved resort after Storm Erika, by attracting select investors seeking second citizenship via the CBI Program.
Through CBI, Dominica allows certain investors and their families to obtain its coveted citizenship in exchange for a minimum investment of $100,000 into the Economic Diversification Fund or at least $200,000 into CBI-approved real estate. This creates a sustainable socio-economic ecosystem, not limited to financial reserves. Dominicans can benefit from higher-income jobs, more professional development opportunities, and good prospects for start-ups due to demand from high-spending visitors of the CBI hotels. Importantly, it is vital to reassure the diaspora that Dominica has a promising future beyond the weather challenges.
Brands Receive Warm Welcome
Professional Wealth Management Editor-in-Chief, Yuri Bender, explains why investing in Dominica is worthwhile: “Luxury hotel brands, such as Kempinski, Hilton and Marriott, have received a warm welcome in Dominica. Boutique eco-friendly resorts, including the recently relocated Jungle Bay and the sustainable Secret Bay, […] are also carving their own niche. But it’s not about the number of tourists here. It’s about the quality, and the spend per family.”
Recently opened Cabrits Resort and Spa Kempinski Dominica, also a CBI-funded project, came about from a “shared vision” between the developer and the government “to transform Dominica from a three-star destination to a five-star destination,” says Kamal Shehada, Managing Director of Range Developments, charged with the Kempinski portfolio on the island.
As a respected real estate developer born in Dominica, Ian Edwards, the CEO of Hilton’s Tranquility Beach Resort, believes that the CBI Program is “the best way of raising capital […] and the entire island will benefit from it.” All the CBI-funded resorts prioritize hiring local workforce, improving the infrastructure in the neighborhood, protecting the environment, sourcing fresh organic produce from local suppliers, and collaborating closely with Dominican tourism businesses. This provides guests with an original, 360 experience, explains Tourism Minister Robert Tongue.
Dominica’s rationale for choosing quality over quantity is also a guiding principle in selecting investors whom it accepts as economic citizens. Before making their investment, CBI applicants must first pass all due diligence checks, which FT’s CBI Index values with full marks. The quality-over-quantity principle is part of a cohesive development strategy led by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.