Dominican Republic must diversify complementary tourism offerings to attract new tourists

For a visitor to become a repeat visitor, he or she must find a combination of experiences that go beyond a five-star hotel, where the gastronomic offer is varied and of high quality, where there are several swimming pools and a beach that transports them to paradise.

Tourists belonging to the millennilals and Z generations are in search of spaces that allow them to get into the culture of the country they are visiting. For this reason, in order to attract these potential clients, who tend to be more selective when choosing a destination, the additional tourist offer must be improved.

This is the opinion of Rafael Feliz, president of Karisma Hotels & Resorts, who affirmed that “our additional offer may be interesting, but it is not sufficiently broad or organized for a client to say that he went to the Dominican Republic four times in 2022”.

He stressed that “a client does not only want to be in a hotel. To the extent that there is a generational transition and our clients are no longer baby boomers, but millennials, generation X and generation Z, for them it is more important the experience, what they are going to live than what they are going to eat and what they are going to drink, it is the overall experience”.

Regularly, foreign tourists tend to have long stays, which drives them to look for excursion options. Therefore, there is a need for a “robust and varied additional offer, which makes the client experience and be exposed to different experiences”.

During the conversation, Feliz listed the qualities that make Cap Cana an important destination for tourism development and investment. He mentioned the connectivity that Punta Cana Airport has, the geographical location and the Dominican way of being. “We transmit hospitality from the beginning to the end. Even when they serve you a dish, if they don’t know how to serve it well, it doesn’t look good”.

From the economic point of view, he emphasized that the country is attractive for investors because it has competitive costs, a stable exchange rate and, “as far as possible, a level of security, where clients feel safe when they go out to explore other alternatives”.

However, Feliz believes that there are several points that the government should pay attention to in order to continue developing the sector in the Dominican Republic. “We have to continue working on improving safety and we need to train our workforce more.”

“The secret of this business is training, because as the hotel supply increases we need more labor. So, we need the labor force to be trained, not that we hire them and waste six months training so that later the clients that arrive leave with a bad experience,” he said.

The president of Karisma Hotels & Resorts highlighted the investment climate in the country. “There is a lot of appetite to continue investing in the Dominican Republic”.

For the executive, “the Dominican Republic is undoubtedly one of the most important tourist destinations in the region and that has combined with the fact that the country is in fashion”.

The chain officially opened the Margaritaville Island Reserve Cap Cana in January 2022. In addition, they have two other properties in the pipeline. One under the St. Somewhere brand, to be developed in Cap Cana, which would be an expansion of the Margaritaville, and “the other property is located in a strategic project”, but the executive did not offer more details.

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