Taking action for post-disaster recovery of the tourism market in the Kalinago Territory

The project consisted in the rehabilitation of L’Escalier Tête de Chien, a heritage site of outstanding natural beauty and cultural value, and the enhancement of the Kalinago Barana Aute (KBA), in the Caribbean island of Dominica, severely damaged by hurricane Maria in September 2017.
The reconstruction of these two heritage assets was identified by the local community as crucial for the reestablishment of the Kalinago Territory as a top tourism destination in the island of Dominica. In fact, the Kalinago Territory, thanks to its unique history and natural and cultural heritage, has traditionally been a source of attraction for ethnologists, missionaries, archaeologists and, more recently, tourists. Since the early 1990s, Kalinago Territory residents started investing in the development of locally managed tourism-related activities, focusing especially on eco, cultural and community tourism. In the ensuing years, heritage and cultural sites were established, and the development of tourism started generating several employment and income opportunities. Nonetheless, in recent years the increasing frequency and intensity of destructive climatic events has adversely affected the growth of tourism in that area.
After the island was hit in 2015 by an unprecedented tropical storm that caused loss of life and major infrastructural damage, shortly thereafter, in September 2017, the country was again struck by an exceptional weather phenomenon, a category 5 hurricane called Maria that caused untold destruction, especially affecting the Kalinago Territory. These calamitous events dealt a severe blow to tourism and adversely affected the various tourist sites and supporting structures, as well as employment and housing.
As a result, the Territory experienced hemorrhaging of its human resources, and particularly of skilled individuals. In an effort to provide support to the recovery and enhancement of tourism, the Kalinago Community Tourism Organization Inc. has been established in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. To sustain the continued existence of the Kalinago Territory and the ability for its residents to support their livelihood with tourism-related activities, interventions on a number of fronts are therefore necessary to be able to provide updated solutions addressing resilience and locally-driven mechanisms. The rehabilitation and enhancement of L’Escalier Tête de Chien and of the Kalinago Barana Aute (KBA), represent a first step toward the recovery of community tourism in the Kalinago territory, for the benefit of the local community.

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