Converting Pedernales into a tourist destination, the DGAPP’s main project

The transformation of Pedernales into a first class tourist destination is the most important project of the General Directorate of Public-Private Partnerships (DGAPP) and a long-standing promise that President Luis Abinader wants as a flagship of his government.

But the long-term project is also a challenge from an environmental perspective, with the materialization of 12,000 rooms in a province that has 68% of its territory protected. The public-private initiative contemplates in its initial stage the construction of some 3,000 hotel rooms, and an investment of US$1,000 million.

The DGAPP recognizes Pedernales and its transformation into a tourist destination as the most important project, already in the sights of nine international hotel chains, including Hilton, Marriot, Iberostar, Raddison and Viva Wyndham.

“The first thing is that in Pedernales there will be a low-density tourism development. If we take as an example what happens in Bávaro-Punta Cana, that for each hectare about 30 rooms are built, we will be talking about about 12 rooms (in Pedernales), that is a third part”, explained the director of DGAPP, Sigmund Freund.

He explained that the start of the construction works, i.e. the hotel works, could begin in the second semester of 2022.

Pedernales will be the first tourist destination in the Dominican Republic to be fully planned, unlike other projects that have been planned on the fly”.

A precautionary measure recommended by the Ministry of Environment and welcomed at the outset is that hotels will not be built so close to the beach. If in Punta Cana they are 60 meters from the beach, “we are talking about 160, 180 meters away from the hotels (in Pedernales)”, adds the official, to protect the beach, “and not to impact in such an aggressive way”.

“Likewise, it has been decided that no hotels will be built in Bahía de las Águilas, but that it will be a complementary attraction to the development of the hotels that will be in the Cabo Rojo and La Cueva area. Bahía de las Águilas, as the jewel of the area and located within the Jaragua National Park, will not be directly impacted by hotel facilities,” he said.

The official indicated that the Ministry of the Environment is part of a working group with a view to guaranteeing that everything that is executed in relation to the Pedernales project and its master plan that will be designed, will be in accordance with the country’s environmental guidelines, according to Acento.

“The Jaragua National Park and all the environmental tourist attractions in the area will be for us an additional element to the project, because it will be the only tourist destination in the entire region that can contemplate beach tourism, environmental tourism with additional areas such as Hoyo de Pelempito and border development with Haiti,” he added.

“Imagine the tourist that you can bring him and tell him that you can spend a day in Haiti, and he can see different culture. They are our neighbor we cannot live with our backs to them,” Freund added.

He also said that a multidisciplinary company will be in charge of making a master plan to design the tourism project, which will be built under the public-private partnership trust model.

“With the master plan defined, we can then put a number on the house, as they say: how much the hotels, infrastructure, airport, electricity and everything else will cost… The government will be in charge of providing the land and building basic infrastructure, such as roads and the aqueduct,” he explained.

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