Nearshore Americas

Supported by Tourism and Citizenship Program, Dominica’s GDP Rises Sharply

Dominica appears to have recovered from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, with the United Nations expecting the Caribbean country to report a 9% increase in GDP growth for 2019.

Thanks to its booming tourism industry and the citizenship by investment (CBI) program, Dominica’s foreign currency reserve is ballooning, and the country has launched numerous infrastructure development initiatives to stimulate the economy, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), a UN agency.

“Construction activity increased across all ECCU economies” but it was especially notable in Dominica, the report noted.

The path of recovery within the tourist industry was evident since 2018. Visitor arrivals peeked again in the fourth quarter of 2018 and maintained the momentum throughout 2019, according to a report by Discover Dominica Authority, the country’s destination marketing organization.

Stopovers in Dominica increased threefold, with cruise ship arrivals increasing sevenfold. This is a significant turnaround because the GDP of Dominica had suffered a loss worth 226% after Hurricane Maria hit its shores in 2017. Hurricane Maria is considered the worst natural disaster on record to affect Dominica, causing $1.37 billion in losses across the island.

It is not clear how many foreigners invested in the country in exchange for citizenship in 2019, but Dominica is still topping the list of nations where the CBI program has been successful in bringing investments.

Foreigners seeking Dominica’s citizenship need to pay US$100,000 into a government fund or invest in pre-approved real estate, such as luxury resorts and boutique hotels.

The application process in Dominica is straightforward, as there are no interview, travel, or residence requirements, either before or after attaining citizenship. Applicants also need not learn English (which the official language of the country), nor show a minimum level of education or business experience.

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Dominican passport holders can travel to over 130 foreign destinations without a visa requirement. It is ranked 32 in the Passport Index. The country also registers good life expectancy and health standards.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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