The recovery of tourism demand from the U.S. market is proceeding apace in the Dominican Republic, so much so that projections are that it will surpass even the volume of visitors reached by Expedia in 2018, the DR’s record year for tourist arrivals, a period in which the country managed to exceed six million visitors.
“The company Expedia, which is our main tourism supplier, already has booking levels towards the future higher than in 2018 and 2019. In other words, the projections we have with a company like Expedia are even higher than what we had before, so we are very excited,” said the president of Asonahores, Rafael Blanco Tejeda.
Blanco Tejera explained that currently with the closure of Canada and a large part of Europe, the country is depending on the U.S. market. “The United States has given us great support by not closing international travel with us. We are basically filling our properties with that market, which is traditionally the most important market. The United States represents 44% of our hotel business domestically.”
The president of the country’s largest tourism guild, explained that the United States is carrying out an exceptional vaccination process, so, they are observing that not only has it responded in these months, but that this is going to get stronger because the American population in a few months is going to reach more than 70% in collective immunity. “What we are going to see is that the American market is going to increase its participation in the Dominican tourism sector”, he said according to Diario Libre.
In this sense, he specified that the tourism sector wants to try to turn around the whole crisis generated by the Covid-19 and to relaunch itself in a much more competitive way.
“We do not only want to achieve the success of the past, but we want to relaunch ourselves with a modern vision, with a competitive vision, and with a public-private vision”, said the executive.
He expressed that they are convinced that the only way to establish the tourism sector is hand in hand with the public sector. In fact, “the way we are working with the public sector has been exceptional, we are working as a team on most things”.
Referring to how the Dominican Republic has handled the reopening, he indicated that really, the handling of the pandemic and the economic opening carried out by the government of the Dominican Republic has been an example not only regionally, but worldwide.
“We have to talk first about the vaccination processes. We are one of the leading countries in terms of vaccination; we have to talk about the responsible reopening, about domestic tourism, but also about the support given to hotels. We have the financial part, we cannot leave aside the Central Bank, the Dominican banks, for the support they gave us, a resounding support; then we have to look at the labor part through the Ministry of Labor”, he said.
Blanco Tejera added that, “In addition, the way in which together we work the protocols. The Dominican Republic has done an extraordinary job that has been recognized by international organizations such as the World Tourism Organization (WTO)”.