Grupo Piñero, Banco Popular and IDB Invest sign US$200 MM strategic alliance for tourism in the DR and Jamaica

The country recorded an important achievement with a major agreement for the Dominican tourism sector, with the signing of a strategic alliance between Grupo Piñero, Banco Popular Dominicano and IDB Invest, the financial arm of the Inter-American Development Bank for the private sector, for an amount of US$200 million that will be destined to hotel restructuring and the protection of natural resources in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.

The information was given at a press conference at the Palacio de Linares, Casa de América, Madrid, in the presence of President Luis Abinader, Grupo Piñero CEO Encarna Piñero; Gema Sacristán, general business director of IDB Invest, and Christopher Paniagua, executive president of Banco Popular Dominicano, diplomats and invited press.

At the activity, Encarna Piñero, CEO of Grupo Piñero, said: “we are very proud to be able to announce this great milestone, the largest agreement of its kind reached in the Caribbean, together with two entities such as IDB Invest and Banco Popular”.

He said that “without a doubt, this agreement is a sign of the market’s confidence in our solvency and excellent reputation in the countries where we are present, as well as our firm commitment to sustainable financing in business management”.

She indicated that this strategic alliance is the largest of its kind in the Caribbean, “which allows us to continue our commitment to inclusive and sustainable economic growth as an engine for development and wealth generation in this specific case of Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.”

The CEO of Grupo Piñero highlighted that in the Caribbean country of the Dominican Republic the group has its largest operations, with more than 7,000 hotel rooms and a workforce of 7,5000 people, and highlighted the support received in its operations in both countries, as well as the support and trust of Banco Popular and IDB Invest, as well as Alantra Investments.

In Jamaica, Grupo Piñero’s operations are at 1,500 rooms and 1,700 jobs.
Grupo Piñero is a family business of Spanish origin, with more than 40 years of history, considered a reference in the sector that employs in all its businesses more than 15,000 collaborators in the four destinations where they operate, which are Mexico, Jamaica, Spain and the Dominican Republic, the latter with more than 50% of its operations.

Speaking at the ceremony were the Minister of Tourism of Jamaica, Edmund Bartlett; the Minister of Tourism of the DR, David Collado, and the general business director of IDB Invest, Gema Sacristán, who said that this transaction is a sign of the bank’s commitment to sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean through sustainable tourism in these countries.

The amount of the financial investment comprises a $120 million loan from IDB Invest and $80 million from Banco Popular Dominicano, the largest percentage of which will go to the DR because it is the largest operation, but the final value is not yet defined.

“We have joined forces with two strategic partners that share our vision on the importance of sustainable tourism in the green and inclusive recovery of the region,” he said, explaining that work will be done on the restoration of coastal areas and the protection of mangroves and corals as an initiative to analyze the climate impact on their properties.

This financing will go towards the reopening of Grupo Piñero’s hotels in both countries, the generation of foreign exchange, the reactivation of value chains and the creation of jobs, he said.

Christopher Paniagua, executive president of Banco Popular Dominicano, pointed out that the Piñero Group is one of its major corporate clients in the tourism sector, with which it has had a commercial relationship for more than two decades.

He pointed out that this agreement sends a clear signal of the potential of the tourism sector, particularly in the Dominican Republic, which is the regional leader in the Caribbean, as well as reinforcing the commitment to sustainable tourism.

Paniagua emphasized that Banco Popular is the only financial institution in the insular Caribbean that is a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Banking, which allows it to align the business model with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Tourism Minister David Collado affirmed that with the IDB and the country there is a very important relationship such as the beach regeneration project, and the US$90 million Colonial City refurbishment project.

Collado affirmed that the Bahia Principe Group and its manager of the Piñero Group, Encarna Piñero, is a great friend of the Dominican Republic, where they have the largest number of rooms and are committed to continue investing.

Collado affirmed that the Bahia Principe Group and its manager of the Piñero Group, Encarna Piñero, is a great friend of the Dominican Republic, where they have the largest number of rooms and are committed to continue investing.

Collado indicated that this fair begins with this important operation, an alliance that will continue to stimulate foreign investment in the country to refurbish part of the facilities, open the hotel in Cayo Levantado and the regeneration of beaches in their hotels that will generate more than 2,000 jobs directly, so he expects to generate about 10,000 jobs.

Collado expressed the great expectation of FITUR 2022, where agreements will be made with European tour operators (Spain and France) and three agreements with Iberia, a German and a French airline that will bring five flights to the destination of Puerto Plata, in these agreements will participate the Dominican President Luis Abinader.

“We are very happy, we are going to sign approximately 16 agreements. We are seeing in separate meetings all the important European players in the Dominican Republic,” he said, in addition to the meetings with President Abinader and his Spanish counterpart, with the King and Queen and the Minister of Commerce of Spain, which will consolidate the country’s leadership.

Collado also indicated that this is the first time that the World Tourism Organization will hold a breakfast to introduce foreign investors to the Dominican Republic and where businessman Frank Elías Rainieri will present an investment of more than US$200 million in Miches.

In Miches alone, there are investments of more than US$1.5 billion, of which US$600 million will be made in this fair, and on Friday the destination of Pedernales will be presented.

Minister Collado affirmed that in December alone the country registered 5,200 flights, a record, since in August, when the Government began its efforts, there were between 1,200 and 1,300 flights.

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