Dominican Republic stars in first UNWTO tourism investment guide

Launched at the FITUR tourism fair in Madrid, the Investment Guidelines represent a comprehensive tool for stakeholders interested in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) opportunities. In particular, they aim to attract and promote and retain investment in sustainable tourism initiatives in the Dominican Republic, including those that provide local jobs and build greater resilience across the sector. The guide shows the potential for closer collaboration between the public and private sectors and makes clear the importance of directing investments towards building new tourism business models focused on innovation and sustainability.

As the UNWTO guide points out, the Dominican Republic represents one of the most competitive opportunities for investors for a number of reasons: excellent geographical location, solid legal framework, economic stability and modern infrastructure.

Top investment destination
According to data compiled by UNWTO and fDi Markets from the Financial Times, some 26 tourism projects in the Dominican Republic received some US$5.7 billion in greenfield tourism investments between 2016 and 2020. At the same time, the country has experienced an annual GDP growth rate of around 5% over the past 25 years, double the regional average. In recent years, the Government of the Dominican Republic has worked to further attract FDI, including through the restructuring of free trade zones, tourism investment incentives, and the signing of DR-CAFTA. (Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement).

In 2021, the Dominican Republic’s economy recovered and reached pre-pandemic growth levels. It is worth noting that about 38% of this recovery came from the tourism sector. According to figures from the Ministry of Tourism (MITUR), as of December 2021, around 300,000 jobs were assured by the recovery of tourism, as a result of the Responsible Tourism Recovery Plan led by the President of the Republic, Luis Rodolfo Abinader Corona. The Plan, which contemplated the vaccination of workers in the tourism sector as soon as possible, allowed the country to be among the first of all world destinations to reopen its borders.

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