The Caribbean island of Dominica has become a shareholder in local airline LIAT. The airline, which has served the Caribbean for over 50 years, connects UK visitors with lesser known destinations in the region, by taking passengers onward from the larger islands British Airways and Virgin Atlantic fly to.
Dominica, the self-dubbed 'nature island', has bought into the company with a reported $3,000,000 cash injection, in a hopes to secure its future tourism industry. “We see our investment in LIAT as a means of safeguarding and protecting the investments government has made in tourism,” Roosevelt Skerrit, the prime minister of Dominica said. “We will be able to sit on the board and to assist the continued presence of LIAT flying into Dominica and indeed throughout the region,” he added.
Dominica has experienced relatively limited exposure to tourists, which is thought to be due largely to the lack of direct international flights, but has been championed by eco-tourists and those in search of an authentic Caribbean experience. The island boasts natural phenomena such as hot spring spas, a boiling lake, and claims to have a different river for each day of the year. It is also home to tourist attractions such as an annual dive festival, the world Creole music festival and a rainforest canopy cable ride.
In 2011 and 2012 improvements were made to the roads and infrastructure through investment from the Chinese government and new hotels sprung up close to the popular Picard beach area. The island was further put on the map with the opening of the Waitukubuli National Trail; 114 miles of hiking paths which take in waterfalls and volcanoes.
Dominica joins LIAT’s existing main shareholders, Antigua, Barbados, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The airline flies to Dominica from Antigua and from Barbados, and recently upped its daily trips between these islands by including night flights.