Bradley Byam is the proprietor of Ecoinnvites, a two-year-old travel company in the picturesque Caribbean island of Dominica.
A tourism professional that has worked in the Dominica tourism industry for more than a decade, Bradley started out as a tour guide facilitating adventure excursions. Today, in addition to running his company, Bradley holds the position of Tourism Information Officer for the Tourism Board Discover Dominica Authority.
Ecoinnvites came to be as a result of Bradley’s goal of creating a platform where travelers are presented with Dominica as the leading eco-conscious Caribbean island. Providing holiday experiences specializing in green tourism services, the company strives to answer the call for vacationers seeking a natural haven.
“As we commonly say in Dominica, ‘tourism is everybody’s business’ and I’ve enjoyed every moment of playing my part. Ecoinnvites was planned and executed by me through collaboration with other stakeholders. The idea was kept pending in my mind, but the drive came during the dreadful halt to travel during the pandemic. When the world of travel got hit by COVID-19, as a frontline service provider, my functions at work were affected.”
Bradley enrolled in an eight-month online course in pursuit of a diploma in social media marketing. Midway through the course, he felt the time was right to begin planning for his company. He decided upon the name Ecoinnvites, with ‘eco’ deriving from his niche market, and ‘inn’ referring to the accommodations aspect of the travel industry.
“We provide a niche completely different from your typical Caribbean experience, in which we offer both nature and adventure. Inviting visitors to our island is a priority. Dominica is an off-the-beaten-path Caribbean getaway, and we wish to increase visitor traffic to the island and exercise responsible concepts that encourage users to take eco-friendly actions.”
For Bradley, running an eco-friendly business means observing earth consciousness and practicing conservancy. This includes not only the use of sustainable products and accommodations, but also recognizing genuine socio-cultural elements of a host community and committing to safeguarding cultural understanding by protecting their traditional values and heritage.
“Eco-friendly means traveling responsibly and promoting sustainable travel lifestyles. It means preserving the culture, natural wonders, and indigenous communities. Sustainable travelers do their best to ensure that their experiences do not impact the environment and communities visited.”
Services provided by Ecoinnvites include transportation, accommodations, and excursions for solo travelers, families, and other groups. Some must-see and do wonders of Dominica include numerous waterfalls, lakes, whale watching opportunities, and hiking trails.
“The Boiling Lake is one of Dominica’s most popular and strenuous trails. The hike to Boiling Lake is just as much of an attraction as the lake itself. It features the Valley of Desolation, a trek through lush rainforest and the beautiful mountain flora. This natural cauldron of boiling water, covered by a blanket of vapor, is the world’s second-largest boiling lake. The flooded fumarole of grayish-blue water is approximately 63 meters across and a real sight to behold.”
Dominica is also the only Caribbean island with a national hiking trail, WaitKubuli National Hiking Trail, which stretches over 115 miles and forms a winding corridor through 32 communities. Visitors seeking a down-to-earth experience where tourism meets local life should check out Mero Black Sand Beach. Due to the island’s natural volcanic origins, it isn’t your typical Caribbean white sand shore. Stretched across the western coast of Dominica, the unique gray sand blanket is a haven for local music, food, and beach lover alike. The calm, warm water made for swimming also serves as the perfect runway for jet ski fun.
No trip to Dominica is complete without meeting some of the island’s indigenous Kalinagos. In fact, Dominica is home to the last Kalinago tribe in the Caribbean. The Kalinagos are thought to be the descendants of a tribe of Arawakan language-speaking Amerindians who set off from the northeastern coast of the South American continent and migrated northwards up the Lesser Antilles island chain. The Kalinago are skilled fishermen, hunters, and pottery makers, and their women are known for creating traditional basket wares from Larouma, tall forest trees, and river reeds.
Although Bradley feels his country is often underrated and underexplored, he believes this will change as access to Dominica becomes easier. In December 2021, American Airlines began direct flight service from Miami to Dominica. The country also has an international airport in the works, which is scheduled to be completed by 2025.
Doing his part to educate others and increase awareness about his beautiful island, Bradley is sure that once people experience Dominica for themselves, they will be excited to share their stories with others.
“Dominica is the type of Caribbean island visitors crave; no crowds and offering a range of natural attractions and hidden adventures. Dominicans, like people from the rest of the Caribbean, have a passion for having a good time. Tourists will also enjoy our Carnival and World Creole Music Festival celebration. Christopher Columbus would likely still recognize Dominica today, since the island has kept its authentic and natural beauty.”