The destination city seeks to expand the complementary offer for both foreigners and Dominicans who want to invest in real estate.
In a world of possibilities, why only enjoy seven days in front of the beaches of Cap Cana, Dominican Republic, when you can invest in real estate tourism? In fact, the latter combines two of the sectors with the most foreign direct investment (FDI), according to the Export and Investment Center (ProDominicana).
According to data from the state agency, while FDI in tourism amounted to US$1,011 million in 2022, in real estate it was US$483 million, ranking among the three items that generated the most foreign exchange that year. Examples of how the offer is expanding nationally for both foreigners and locals can be seen in Cap Cana.
As expressed by the executive president of the resort and of the Dominican Association of Tourism Real Estate Companies (Adeti), Jorge Subero Medina, real estate investment seeks a diversification of tourism in the Dominican Republic.
“We have to continue creating and contributing new rooms, because hoteliers will have, and have, a cap,” he assures. In that sense, the real estate sector will complement the hotel offer. “The great challenge is to achieve what we have achieved: diversification. To have theme parks, condominiums, villas, golf courses…”, he affirmed.
For his part, Cap Cana’s vice president of development and operations, Héctor Baltazar, pointed out that the so-called “Destination City” is more than a resort. “We have been designing a space where practically all the amenities that any citizen could have converge,” he said. He also took the opportunity to highlight that they have a combination of hotels, as well as real estate area for condominiums and residences.
“Adding to that we have a complementary offer in which we combine ecological parks, the largest in the Dominican Republic, the Scape Park, the Marina, also the largest in the Caribbean, with some 157 mooring positions. We have the Punta Espada golf course, as well as a second one… Las Iguanas Golf Residences”, he explained.
Investment in real estate tourism
For Subero, the acquisition of properties in tourist areas should be seen as more than just a house. “If we go to the financial aspect, when you invest in real estate tourism, it becomes an asset in your financial statements. That is to say, in front of a bank, you already have a property next to you… if you go to hotel tourism, you don’t necessarily have to buy to spend a night,” he said.
Likewise, for the executive, anyone who buys a property “makes his friends, his colleagues come and enjoy the country constantly”. Bets like Cap Cana offer a new alternative within the all-inclusive.
He explains that, within the tourist destination, the investor can find supermarkets, churches, and a variety of gastronomic points. “That means you can have more than 5,000 diners sitting at the same time in our destination city,” he said. As a result, Subero details that they have developed and put into operation a city for all tourists and Dominicans, where real estate, hotel, gastronomic, cultural and sports tourism converge. “All of that in one place,” he added.
In that sense, he understands that greater value must be added to the sector. “We have to continue to encourage other types of tourism and that people, tourists, come to live in the Dominican Republic, live with the Dominican and why not do it in a place like our destination city,” he commented.
According to the executives, in Cap Cana 100% of the water is collected and reused. “That is a sustainable community,” they added. In addition, 20% of the energy demand is supplied by solar panels and they have a foundation that looks after the conservation of the corals off the property’s coast.
“What we have is more than a project, it is a city that is constantly developing and growing,” he stresses. As a result, investments exceed US$2.5 billion. It also translates into some 16,000 jobs directly and indirectly.
They also assure that they have a policy of helping all collaborators “in any way they can”. This is how they understand that sustainability is not only environmental, but also social responsibility. Baltazar, for his part, emphasizes that one of the great strengths of the destination city of Cap Cana, which reached its 20th anniversary last year.
“It is that since its conceptualization it has been a planned space,” he says. In fact, he says it is the largest urban planning project in the Dominican Republic, which began with a master plan authorized by the Dominican State and different institutions.
“This planning allows us to look at the macro. That is to say, where we want to go and to have distributed and conceptualized different spaces to be able to locate zones of higher density, lower density, to give a projected use to what is the 10 km of coastline that we have”, he indicated. He concluded by inviting the tourism sector to reinvent itself and diversify.
In the city, which covers 110 million square meters or 30,000 acres, more than US$3.6 billion has been invested, of which US$1.5 billion is in infrastructure. This translates into more than 100 km of paved roads, 150 km of underground fiber optics for telecommunications, more than 29.1 MW of generation and more than 120 km of power distribution lines, drinking water tanks with a capacity to supply 18,000 cubic meters per day, and wastewater facilities.
It has an aqueduct with 112 km (70 miles) of infrastructure for drinking water, irrigation and wastewater services. It has more than 7,000 rooms in operation, 1,300 under construction, and nine luxury hotels, for 5.3% of the total hotel supply in the province of La Altagracia.
It has contributed more than US$2,812 million in capital investment and has earned more than US$1,225 million from the operation and management of the tourist and residential complex. In fact, it has contributed some US$9.7 million to the Social Security Treasury in 20 years, while in terms of ITBIS, it has contributed some US$15 million to the public treasury, although it enjoys tax exemption on some taxes due to the Tourism Development Council (Confotur).