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Better to visit Dominica or the Dominican Republic? A new brand logo is the story

Dominica launches ‘Safe in Nature’ program for visitors
Written by Harry Johnson

Dominica is frequently confused with the Dominican Republic. Both countries are Caribbean travel and tourism destinations.

Destination branding is about identifying the destination’s strongest and most competitively appealing assets in the eyes of its prospective visitors. A good destination logo could make a destination to stand out and become unique.

Dominica invested in creating a new logo to become different from the Dominican Republic. Is it working?

They love it so much, that a proud Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Denise Charles, celebrated this in a press release where he was quoted on December 21, 2021, and repeated it again in an almost identical release circulated yesterday by the Caribbean Tourism Organization. He said:

“As part of the brand evolution, we have been working towards establishing a bolder identity for the Commonwealth of Dominica. Dominica is frequently confused with the Dominican Republic, so we needed to create a distinction in the mind of potential visitors. A global study revealed that changing the logo would help Dominica stand out in the global tourism market.”

Dominica is not the same as the Dominican Republic. Dominica lies in the Windward Islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, halfway between Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago. The Dominican Republic is located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles.

Is Dominica better than the Dominican Republic?

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west. It’s known for its beaches, resorts, and golf. Its terrain comprises rainforest, savannah, and highlands, including Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s tallest mountain. Capital city Santo Domingo has Spanish landmarks like the Gothic Catedral Primada de America dating back 5 centuries in its Zona Colonial district.

Dominica is a mountainous Caribbean island nation with natural hot springs and tropical rainforests. Morne Trois Pitons National Park is home to the volcanically heated, steam-covered Boiling Lake. The park also encompasses sulphur vents, the 65 meter-tall Trafalgar Falls, and narrow Titou Gorge. To the west is Dominica’s capital, Roseau, with colorful timber houses and botanic gardens. 

The Dominican Republic boasts size and scenery, but compact Dominica’s thrills are easier to navigate for the time-pushed. Rainforest treks and exotic wildlife aside, both landscapes offer wild green adventures away from the usual Caribbean resorts.

Dominica is a safe island in the Caribbean; tourist-targeted crime is rare and residents are more than willing to help.

The Dominican Republic is also safe to visit, though it has many dangers and is riddled with crime. A visitor should be aware that tourist hotspots, restaurants, shops, and public transportation are places where most thefts and pickpocketing occur. Violent crime exists on the streets as well.

Can a logo tell a traveler to visit Dominica or Dominican Republic?

The previous logo for Dominica had been used for many years, but it was difficult to discern what it stood for.

Dominica launches a new destination brand identity
Dominica launches a new destination brand identity

This new logo is unambiguous and clear and can be clearly identified when used in smaller applications such as digital advertising and social media. Dominica’s tourism product has expanded and evolved in the past few years, so the new logo better reflects Dominica as a unique and desirable Caribbean destination.

The Dominican Republic Tourism Authorities, however, claim they not only have the nature, but they have it all:

This process was guided by key stakeholders including global source market representatives, prospective visitors, hoteliers, business owners, government officials, residents, and Dominicans living abroad.  Adjectives used to describe Dominica include natural, dignified, lively, luxurious, and serene. Dominica offers authentic experiences found nowhere else. 

The new Dominica logo is as unique as the island itself. It has the feel of the rising Morne Trios Pitons, and the various shades of green depict the lush verdant landscape covering the country. The rich purple accent color comes from Dominica’s beloved Sisserou parrot, and the vibrant red connotes the island’s Creole culture and Kalinago heritage. “The Nature Island” tagline was retained as a competitive advantage. It helps reinforce Dominica’s position as a leader in climate resilience and sustainability.

The logo that identifies the Dominican Republic’s “country brand” strategy has become one of the main topics of conversation on social networks when it was introduced. Just the design cost the country a cool US$552,000.

This must-have inspired some PR and Marketing companies Dominican Republic competitor Dominica uses to talk the Dominica Government into investing in a new destination brand logo as well.

It’s not clear how much Dominica invested, but showing they celebrated a launch of its new brand twice within 2 months is looking for the best momentum.

PR and marketing companies, publications, newspapers, and advertising agencies will be all over Dominica in the coming weeks when the new marketing materials will be rolled out including video, print and digital advertising, promotional items, tradeshow assets, and other collateral as needed.

Tourism in the Dominican Republic is an important sector of the country’s economy. The industry accounts for 11.6% of the nation’s GDP and is a particularly important source of revenue in coastal areas of the country, while tourism in Dominica is essential to Dominica’s economy with a 38% GDP stake in the country’s economy.

Therefore, Dominica hopes its investment in the new brand will be almost 4 times as important as it is for the Dominican Republic.

Perhaps the real answer is with the marketing company that did the development and the design of the brand logo. According to what the chat is on social media, marketing companies love the Dominican Republic even more.

While the Dominican Republic spent $100 million a year in marketing, Dominica increased arrivals with about $6 million in marketing dollars.

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About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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1 Comment

  • I’m sorry to say, this sounds like the usual guff creative agencies gush in attempting to persuade clients an expensive logo is a panacea for all their tourism woes. It is not. So many destinations ignore what really matters: the destination’s core brand values, its essence, its DNA, which makes it stand out from everywhere else. A logo doesn’t do this. A logo’s value derives from its consistent application over time, which renders it recognisable as a symbol, but not an expression, of the place. The worst thing a destination can do is keep changing its logo, whereby it loses all recognition value already built up and has to start again from scratch, kissing goodbye to years of investment in the last logo. (Shell have kept their logo, with modernisations but not radical change, since the 1930s.).

    That said, having worked in Dominica, I know the smart people in Discover Dominica understand this. They have done a great job so far. I only hope the change of logo does not bring unrealistic expectations of accelerated growth, which no logo on earth can deliver. To assume a logo can achieve this is like painting a ‘go-faster’ stripe down the side of a car and expecting it to improve engine performance. If you want to go faster from 0-60, you need to look at the engine, not the stripe.

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