Kuoni has introduced holidays to Dominica in a bid to reposition the Caribbean as more than a ‘fly and flop’ destination.
The volcanic island, known as ‘nature’s playground’ because of its waterfalls, rainforests, rivers, canyons, coral reefs and thermal springs, is featured by the operator for the first time.
It forms part of Kuoni’s new online collection of 2021-2022 Caribbean holidays, its first programme launch of the year.
The addition of the Caribbean island – which featured in the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean films – follows a year in which Kuoni has consolidated its Caribbean programme.
The operator made the decision last year to focus on the larger islands of Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua and the Grenadines, while dropping Grenada, St Kitts, Jamaica and Bermuda, as a result of the Covid pandemic.
Senior programme manager Sheena Paton said the addition of Dominica meant the operator could offer more nature-based and outdoor activities, including hiking, kayaking, snorkelling and diving, and meet increased demand for experiential travel as well as interest in sustainability and wellness holidays.
She said: “What we are seeing is customers wanting more of that destination experience and a lot are asking about sustainability in resort; this island is very conscious of that and so are the properties we have picked.
“This is about bringing something new and exciting to the programme, that can be twinned with a trip to the bigger islands of St Lucia and Barbados.
“Dominica brings another element to our programme; it’s a real nature adventure island, and quite dramatic with lots of outdoor activities. It diversifies away from better known beach areas.”
Paton said the island was less touristy and less well known in the UK market and would appeal to couples, including honeymooners, and families with older children.
“People have missed out on so many occasions throughout this time and are looking for something different so Dominica will give this,” she said.
Kuoni is offering two upmarket hotels on the island: The Cabrits Resort & Spa Keminski in the Cabrits national park, which opened in 2019, and boutique clifftop resort Secret Bay, but hopes to expand to more properties in future.
Paton added that Kuoni had earmarked the Caribbean for growth in 2022 as travel restarts to some of the islands after being put on the government’s latest green list.
Other new additions to the Caribbean programme include adults-only The House, by Elegant Resorts, in Barbados, and Ladera Resort, which boosts ‘open air’ suites with just three walls, and the new lifestyle, adults-only property Soco Hotel, in St Lucia.