Tourism card collections amounted to RD$1,557.6 million during the first six months of 2021, 33.2% more than the RD$1,169.6 million of the same period of 2020. The net increase is RD$388 million.
The tourism card, a fee charged by the Dominican Republic based on Law 199-67, is a requirement for entry into the national territory for tourism purposes, without the need for a consular visa. During 2020, the year of greatest impact to the tourism sector due to the coronavirus pandemic, taxes reported for that concept only reached around RD$28.2 million in May, the lowest of the first semester of 2020. A comparison with May 2021, when the collection reached RD$334.3 million, shows a net increase of US$306.1 million, or more than 1000%.
The pandemic generated by covid-19 dealt a hard blow to the national tourism sector, and in June of last year, for this concept, only RD$35.6 million was collected, which with respect to the same month of this 2021, when RD$331.2 million was collected, is equivalent to a net increase of RD$295.6 million, representing 830% this year, according to the General Directorate of Internal Taxes (DGII).
According to statistics of the auditing institution, the third month of greatest decrease in 2020 was April, when the confinement began due to the arrival of the virus to the national territory, and the country was forced to close its borders. In that month, only RD$132 million were received for the tourist card. In 2021, RD$333.5 million were registered, a net increase of RD$201.5 million with respect to the same month of the previous year, or 152%.
The figures establish that in January 2021 the tourism sector was beginning a process of recovery. Revenues from visitor taxes amounted to RD$184.5 million, although compared to January 2020 (RD$286.4 million), this year RD$102 million less was collected, reflecting a decrease of 55.2%.
The DGII indicates that during the months of February and March of last year, the arrival of tourists to the country was still strong, with RD$362.4 million and RD$325 million reported, respectively. These data show that, for the same period of this year, tourist arrivals have not yet recovered, as only RD$175.3 million were registered in February and RD$198.8 million in March.
The government reported that, during July of this year, some 572,644 tourists arrived in the country, 97% more than in July 2020, which reflects a remarkable recovery of the Dominican tourism industry.