During January-August 2023, 1,535,213 cruise passengers arrived in Dominican ports on 554 ships, according to the Ministry of Tourism (Mitur).
Although this type of traveler does not spend the night in the country, they tend to boost the local economy through purchases from micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). In 2022, spending is set at US$116, 26% more than the US$92 in 2021 and 13.7% difference with respect to 2020 (US$102). In addition, between 2017 and 2019, travelers’ consumption on Dominican soil grew by 7.4%, going from US$85 to US$91.3. In absolute terms it is US$6.3.
This means that if the 1,325,442 cruise passengers who arrived in the Dominican Republic in 2022 had all stepped off the ships their consumption of in US$116 each would have reported revenues in the order of US$153.7 million in income. However, not everyone gets off the boat. In fact, although Mitur does not report how many get off, it is estimated that only about 10% of the cruise passengers do so.
The Central Bank (BC) indicates that of the US$116 spent in ports, 47.5% goes to the purchase of gifts, that is, US$55.10. This is followed by US$25.10 in excursions, US$8.90 in the purchase of food and beverages, US$8.00 in local transportation, US$2.10 in entertainment and US$0.61 in unidentified consumption.
Data establish that visitors who disembark in La Romana have greater purchasing power, reporting US$130.60, US$38.70 more than those who dock in Santo Domingo (US$91.90) and US$77.80 difference with respect to those in Samaná (US$52.80).
The statistics of the state entity establish that the arrival of passengers via sea is growing, going from 528,999 in 2015 to 1,103,898 in 2019, or 574,899. In 2020, due to the covid-19 pandemic, only 342,872 tourists were reported, while in 2021, 333,134 people were accounted for.
Furthermore, when breaking down the data for 2022, it is evident that Puerto Plata received 1,026,344 passengers, followed by La Romana with 195,874 and Santo Domingo with 65,750. According to the statistics, Samana received 37,247 and Cap Cana, La Altagracia, 277 passengers, according to El Dinero.