Real estate tourism is an option to invest in real estate. Vacation real estate properties located in Punta Cana (La Altagracia), as well as in downtown sectors such as Bella Vista, Evaristo Morales and others, have become focal points for foreign investment and for Dominicans absent after the covid-19 pandemic.
During the first seven months of this year, 18 tourism projects were carried out with an investment of US$331.5 million, according to data from the Tourism Development Council (Confotur). These projects are located in La Altagracia (12 works), La Romana (3), Santo Domingo (2) and Samaná (1), of which three were destined to hotels with 277 rooms; 11 to real estate properties, with 2,237 rooms and three to unidentified projects, totaling 6,361 rooms.
The Ministry of Tourism (Mitur) registered 4,182,207 passengers arriving to the Dominican territory during January-July 2022. Meanwhile, in July 2022, 735,064 tourists arrived to the Dominican Republic by air, in addition to 98,389 cruise passengers, visitors who contributed US$931 million in foreign exchange to the local economy. Of this amount, US$134 million came from non-resident Dominicans and US$797 million from foreigners.
The Dominican Central Bank counted 3,901,896 tourists between January-June 2022, breaking down the data according to the type of accommodation of the passenger. During that period, hotels hosted 56.1% of the tourists (2,190,504) and 44% in short term rentals (1,711,392), of the total number of visitors.
With the boom of short rentals such as Airbnb, the vice president of the National Association of Hotels and Tourism (Asonahores), Andres Marranzini, understands that the short stay rental platform is unfair competition, due to the non-compliance with health and safety standards required of hotel chains.
“The public is different and tourists must have offers, so both models must coexist, being regulated and without price distortions due to the lack of requirements,” he says.
On this matter, the Minister of Tourism, David Collado, estimates 53,000 rooms on the digital platform, while the hotel sector registers 83,000 rooms.
The official expressed that this platform offers people a type of accommodation for tourism in the country, a positive action that attracts new visitors, but that should be regulated to promote fair competition.
The State establishes the payment of US$10 for the tourism card that allows passengers to enter the national territory. According to figures from the General Directorate of Internal Taxes (DGII), during the first semester of this year, the tax for passengers departing abroad through airports generated RD$4,338.1 million, while the tourist card tax generated RD$2,301.7 million in the same period.
Meanwhile, a report by the CB indicates that, in the first quarter of 2022, non-resident tourists stayed an average of nine nights with an estimated expenditure of US$134.8.
This is 1.5% more than 2021, when the CB reported spending of US$132.8, 35% more than 2020 (US$99.8), but US$1.6 less than 2019 (US$136.4).
However, this spending increases when it comes to resident Dominicans. For the January-March 2022 quarter, spending per 11-night stay was US$1,026.3.
Whether for pleasure or work, people always need a place to stay when traveling for a defined period of time. Given this situation, many investors have been inclined to diversify their finances in real estate.
According to data from the digital platform Airbnb, four million people rent their properties worldwide, an action that generates US$8,000 annually, with an average cost of US$122.5 per night. This income inflow is a focus of attraction for entrepreneurs such as María García, general manager of Apartalisto, a company dedicated to decorate apartments dedicated to rentals on digital platform.
“Most of our clients are absentee Dominicans who are buying in Santo Domingo to invest and generate new income,” she said, noting that buying property and then renting it out is a growing interest of Dominicans living abroad.
García points out that with a budget of US$12,000 the renter will be able to furnish his apartment with three established styles such as beach, mountain and city.
He highlights that with an amount of US$2,000, renters will be able to add an additional space to be decorated.