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DDA’s marketing manager debunks tourism minister’s report that she and the company ‘mutually agreed to part ways’

Kimberly King

Destination Marketing Manager at the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA), Kimberly King, has publicly contradicted the recent statement by Tourism Minister Denis Charles that the DDA and herself had “mutually agreed to part ways” following the end of her contract at the end of September. King, however, has spoken out, clarifying that she decided to not renew her contract.

Speaking to state-owned DBS radio earlier this week, Charles made the disclosure and mentioned that the country was actively seeking a replacement for the position that King held for the last two years.

“We are thankful to Miss Kimberly King for her service and the time she spent with us. She joined us during the Covid period and she has done her best to represent the country and I wish her all the best in her future endeavors,” she stated.

In response to these comments, King, who joined the DDA team on October 8, 2021, issued a statement to clarify her position. She emphasized that the decision not to renew her employment contract with the DDA, set to expire on September 30, 2023, was solely hers.

The statement highlighted the date of her decision, stating, “On August 30, 2023, Ms. King, a Trinidadian by birth and the current Destination Marketing Manager submitted to her direct report, and Chief Executive Officer at the DDA, Mr. Colin Piper, a letter indicating her decision NOT to renew her employment contract which expires on September 30, 2023.

Importantly, the statement noted that there were no consultations or communications with any other parties regarding this decision. In her statement, King also highlighted some of her accomplishments during her two-year tenure at the DDA. These achievements included surpassing the 2022 stayover arrivals target, re-activating the French West Indies post-COVID to achieve an 86% improvement over 2022 figures (YTD) and -25% over 2019 figures (YTD), and improving editorial mentions of the destination by 83% in 2022 as compared to 2021.

She also mentioned successful marketing campaigns, such as the one targeting Trinidad and Tobago, which generated over 19,000 conversions to the website, among other achievements. The statement acknowledged that many of these accomplishments were realized during and after the challenging COVID-19 period, which presented significant challenges, including limitations in both human and financial resources. In closing, she expressed her gratitude to the DDA staff, whom she referred to as “the real MVPs” throughout her tenure and the ongoing transition.

During her interview with DBS radio, Minister Charles issued an appeal for qualified individuals, preferably Dominicans, interested in the Destination Marketing Manager position to submit their applications.

“It is a very important role for our country and I want to encourage Dominicans who are qualified because in order to sell the country we need people who have a passion and who understand the product that we have to offer and I am hoping that we would get a large response, especially from Dominicans,” she stated.

“It could be Dominica national abroad or anyone in the region who would like to help Dominica advance its nature brand product,” the Minister added.

She stressed the importance of the role in marketing Dominica as a destination and building crucial trade relationships with travel professionals worldwide. Charles expressed her hope that individuals with a passion for promoting Dominica’s unique natural offerings would step forward to apply.