Central Bank: health tourism is increasing in the DR

The Central Bank reported a change in the profile of tourists visiting the Dominican Republic in 2021, highlighting the growth of medical tourism in its statistics.

According to the institution, medical tourism increased in its participation in 2021 compared to 2019, going from 0.5% of air travel to 3.7%, during the aforementioned period.

It is recalled that the “Study and diagnosis of health tourism in the Dominican Republic”, the most recent on the segment, revealed that as of 1918 health tourism contributed more than 13 billion pesos to the State.

In addition, 117,275 services were offered to people who traveled to the country for health reasons.

The study’s numbers do not include wellness tourists, who represented an average growth of 15 percent for the health tourism segment and 7 percent for the medical tourism segment with respect to 2017.

The data has represented great interest in the government, as President Luis Abinader and Vice President Raquel Peña are awaiting a report from the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Tourism (Mitur) on the current situation of health tourism in the country, a document that must be delivered and presented by those institutions to the Health Cabinet before next March 6.

The report requested by presidential decree must include a survey of the current situation of health tourism in the DR and short-, medium- and long-term proposals aimed at institutionalizing and strengthening the sector, in order to favor its formalization and promotion.

Decree 787-21, issued late last year, also instructs the Ministry of Public Health and Mitur to sign an inter-institutional agreement for the elaboration of policies and strategies aimed at the development of this important market niche.

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