Built by hand, Rosalie Bay Resort was the first luxury hotel on Dominica. Forty-five minutes from the capital city Roseau, it features spacious accommodations, organic cuisine, and a personalized wellness program. The resort is committed to educating tourists while implementing eco-friendly practices at its facilities. Rosalie Bay organizes an annual “Beach Clean-Up Day” which coincides with Earth Day, and in April 2012, it collaborated with the Nature Enhancement Team to sponsor a beach cleanup for the sea turtles that frequent the island’s shores. Rosalie Bay supports three species of endangered sea turtle in Dominica, the Leatherback, Green, and Hawksbill. Through the Rosalie Sea Turtle Initiative, the business provides the animals with nesting grounds and sets up protection hotlines. The resort promotes its dedication to wildlife to customers, encouraging guests to take part in educational walks along the beach and providing night guards to protect the nesting animals. Guests can even ask for a ‘wake-up call’ when hatchlings make their way out to the sea.
Rosalie Bay is an environmentally conscious business, utilizing alternative energy to power its facility. With 96 solar panels and a 225 kW wind turbine, which is the first wind turbine on Dominica and one of the largest in the Leeward Islands, the business is a prime example of eco-friendly commerce. An additional 106 solar panels, which are 50 percent more efficient, are to be installed later this year. Such progress is made possible due to Rosalie Bay’s groundbreaking agreement with a local power company regarding self-generated power and power sales, opening the door for other Dominican businesses to do the same. Most importantly, Rosalie Bay’s reliance on renewable energy addresses a serious issue in Dominica, where the cost of energy is among the highest in the world, and energy costs amount to approximately 15% of gross domestic product.
Dominica’s economy relies on eco-tourism; depending on businesses such as Rosalie Bay to attract visitors to the self-promoted “Nature Island.” Tourism the country’s largest export sector and Prime Minister Skerrit has emphasized the government’s commitment to developing the struggling industry. Dominican tourism is overshadowed by sandy beaches on neighboring islands, despite the country’s renowned rain forest, mountains, and lush vegetation. Eco-tourism could propel Dominica into prosperity, and businesses like Rosalie Bay are essential to that strategy. In its remote location, the resort relies almost entirely on local labor, using U.S.-level labor standards in provision of employment. The business provides a much-needed source of employment and training to the community which has been negatively impacted by the decline of the banana trade industry. Moreover, the majority of Rosalie Bay’s artwork and buildings were created and built by resident artisans.