Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel advisories, ever-changeable health protocols and limited vaccine access remain formidable barriers to international travel, but Caribbean visitors are substantially out-pacing any other region in the world. According to research from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the Caribbean’s contribution to GDP is expected to rise more than 47 percent this year – an increase of an estimated $12 billion – compared to just 30.7 percent globally.
The region’s strong performance was driven by US travellers, as vacationers from the Caribbean’s primary market totalled 4.3 million in the first half of this year, a 21.7 percent increase over 2020. “Americans are not only attracted to the various relaxation, diving and adventure incentives offered by Dominica but also its stability and investment potential,” said Denise Charles, Dominica’s Minister of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiative. She also said that she expects tourism on the island and region to grow intensively in the coming years as the country’s CBI funded international airport project wraps up.
Aside from relaxed travel restrictions and low infection rates compared to other regions, the Caribbean is home to the world’s best Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme that harnesses a creative and powerful financial strategy for investors and the country that has transformed the tourism landscape. In 2021, the Financial Times’ PWM magazine published the CBI Index that ranked Dominica first out of 14 jurisdictions that offer similar programmes.
Foreign investments collected from the real estate arm of the Programme enables the island to expand its tourism product to include luxury accommodations. These include brands like the Kempinski, Hilton, Marriot and boutique hotels like the Jungle Bay and Secret Bay. The government fund option of CBI meanwhile strengthens healthcare systems and creates jobs that bolster the economy. Those who pass Dominica’s strict due diligence procedures and make a successful investment to either one of the options receive lifelong citizenship they can use to manage and grow their wealth, all while being able to live and work in the ‘Nature Isle’ freely.
While CBI programmes have been prevalent in the Middle East and Asia, the last year witnessed a growing number of Americans enquire about CBI. This was primarily due to the US weakening passport, rumours of a potential wealth tax, economic and political uncertainty, and at one point, having the worlds highest cases of COVID-19. According to data provided by legal advisory CS Global Partners, 2020 saw a 42 percent increase in interest in CBI from Americans, with a spike between March and August most likely linked to COVID-19 and the first waves of lockdowns in the US.
“Considering needs of our American clients like a nation’s proximity to the US, a strong currency and an island climate to die for, no wonder so many Dominica is so popular,” said the firm’s CEO Micha Emmett.