A goal set by this state administration was to achieve 10 million visitors. 2023 closed with the arrival of 8,058,670 non-residents by air and the arrival of 2,247,847 cruise passengers, for a total of 10,306,517 visitors who chose to vacation in the DR.
“We are very pleased with the behavior of tourism 2023, the sector that contributes to the Dominican economy and that we have achieved an extraordinary increase in flights and cruises in the last days of last year and the beginning of January 2024,” explained the executive director of the National Association of Hotels of the DR (Asonahores), David Llibre.
For the executive, competitiveness must be accompanied by the country’s modification and adaptation to new consumer trends. “The DR must continue to strengthen its offer, diversified towards proposals aimed at the new trends of the issuing markets and the preferences dictated by generational changes,” he said.
Economist Rafael Blanco Canto considered that the DR is exploiting “niches such as sports, health and retirement”, a preference that will guarantee the innovation and sustainability of the productive sector.
“In addition, Dominican politicians have a very defined line and that is to bet on the macroeconomic stability of the country, they have all bet on maintaining a controlled inflation level, which is a long-term guarantee for investing in a destination,” he told Acento.
Although this sector contributes to the development of the economy through 183,373 formal jobs and DR$ 352,236 million in formal purchases, the so-called “smokeless industry” must be resilient in the medium and long term.
After the pandemic, tourists began to demand complementary offers during their eight-day stay in the land located in the Caribbean. In view of this, the Minister of Tourism, David Collado, assured that the State “is preparing the DR” to become the power destination of the region.
According to the state entity, eight out of every 10 tourists are foreign nationals. That is to say, of the total amount of arrivals in 2023, 6,730,802 were international and 1,327,868 Dominicans were absent. Breaking down the data, 52.1% of arrivals were through Punta Cana International Airport, followed by 30% in Las Americas, 11.5% through Cibao and 4.1% through Puerto Plata.
“Investment policies have made the difference in attracting investments with countries such as Mexico, Jamaica and Panama, which have very well directed important cost structures and benefits,” he explained. However, he stressed that these conditions are what sustain the phases that “have not become only surpassed by the main tourist destination in the region which is Mexico”.
“Maintaining that position implies that everything is possible by maintaining the existing physical plant promoting the formation of new projects, classified and enriching the tourism product in a strengthened way,” Llibre expressed.
Tourism development away from Punta Cana
The State is betting on the tourist development of Punta Bergantín in Puerto Plata, Cabo Rojo in Pedernales and Miches in El Seibo, will be shown to the “world as a form of competitiveness against other destinations in the Caribbean region”. According to the Tourism Minister, these destinations will be shown abroad at the International Tourism Fair (Fitur 2024).
The Punta Bergantin tourism development will provide 4,000 rooms and 83,000 jobs, while Miches will project the construction of 2,621 hotel rooms. The head of state, Luis Abinader, emphasized that the government’s support to businessmen is because they are “convinced” that the development of tourism boosts the social and economic development of the nation.
However, Llibre indicated that the arrival of 2,500 cruise passengers to Cabo Rojo puts into reality the “desire of a public-private alliance” in social and economic development of the Enriquillo region. “This is possible thanks to the initiative framed and directed to increase the levels of development and entertainment policies, axes that make the difference in attracting investment,” he added.
“We are very optimistic about tourism and we are going to accompany each developer so that in an efficient and transparent manner they can obtain permits in compliance with our laws, but speeding up the processes so that they can continue building,” said the Executive.
It is a fact that non-residents visit Quisqueya for its white sand beaches, crystalline waters and its leisure offer, in recent years the public has demanded other types of travel.
According to Abinader, the first convention center in the Dominican capital is expected to be operational by next year. “We have been lacking for a long time, so that convention center is the complement that we hope to finish by the end of 2025,” he revealed.