Thu | Jan 18, 2018

Amid controversial citizenship programme, Marriott branded hotel for Dominica

Published:Monday | January 9, 2017 | 3:30 PMCMC
Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

Dominica on Monday launched the 200-room Silver Beach Hotel and Spa to be funded under the controversial Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), one week after Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit accused Opposition Leader Lennox Linton of lying to an American broadcaster about the programme.

The hotel, located at Picard, will be part of the Marriott brand.

“When we spoke to you a few years back about taking Dominica to the next level, incorporation of major hotel brands, such as Marriott International, was part of the progress envisaged,” Skerrit said.

“This morning, I readily and wholeheartedly applaud and congratulate Mr. Alix Lawrence and his fellow directors for the care and attention they have given to conceptualising and developing this magnificent looking project,” he added.

Skerrit said that “very often we ask the private sector to step forward and step up to the plate.

“Today we are seeing a classic manifestation of this and I salute all concerned with bringing this project to the point of official launch,” he said, urging other nationals “to let this be a source of inspiration to you, to step forward and take the leap into entrepreneurship”.

In welcoming Marriott Resorts to Dominica, Skerrit said that his government would seek to “facilitate your needs and to embrace ideas for enhancing your overall Dominica experience.”

Skerrit said that the project could not have come at a better time for Dominica given that global events are creating an environment in which small island states have to look within to craft and develop a formula for progress and success.

“Great Britain, Canada, the United States and several countries in Europe and Eastern Asia are in transitional and transformational mode. It will be a while before their focus moves beyond the bounds of grappling with and managing their own social, geo-political and economic challenges,” the Prime Minister said.

He promised that 2017 will be a year of acceleration for several of the mooted projects and programmes his government has been articulating in recent years.

Last week, Skerrit criticised Linton, who appeared on the CBS television programme “60 Minutes” indicating that Dominican citizenship under the CIP was being given out with some investors not even putting a foot on the island.

One of the directors of the project, Dr. Michael Lawrence said the initiative will greatly enhance the local economy.

“One of the core objectives of this development is to provide jobs for the people of Dominica and to assist in developing the economy of our beloved country,” he said, adding that the “project will create hundreds of jobs for Dominicans during the construction phase and the post construction phase.”