Impact of tourism sector on economic recovery evaluated

Valdez Albizu meets with Asonahores to evaluate the impact of the tourism sector on the economic recovery.

The directors of the trade association highlighted the measures taken by the Government and the Central Bank to reactivate economic growth and the tourism sector.

The governor of the Dominican Central Bank (BCRD), Héctor Valdez Albizu, held a meeting with a delegation of the board of directors of the National Association of Hotels and Restaurants (Asonahores), headed by its president Rafael Blanco, in which he emphasized that this sector has made the greatest contribution to the growth of the Dominican economy this year, thus becoming a backbone of the great recovery process that the country is experiencing after the pandemic and the effects of the current war in Ukraine.

In this regard, Valdez Albizu indicated that this sector contributed 1.8 percentage points in the average expansion of 5.5% registered by the economy in the January-July 2022 period, that is, one third of the growth experienced in the first seven months, with an increase in its real added value of 32.9%.

Likewise, the governor pointed out that this remarkable performance responds to the arrival of 4,282,207 million travelers in January-July of the current year, for an increase of 1,820,577 passengers (74.0%) with respect to the same period of 2021, highlighting in particular the historical record for a month with the arrival of 735,064 tourists in July 2022.

It is noteworthy that this favorable trend was again reflected in the non-resident passengers received in August 2022, reaching the remarkable figure of 621,953 tourists, being the best August in the entire statistical series, according to the data announced by the Minister of Tourism, David Collado. In this way, a total of 4.9 million non-resident travelers arrived in the last eight months of this year.

Valdez Albizu specified that the foreign exchange income from tourism, which reached US$5,759.1 million in January-August 2022, together with the entry of US$6,518.8 million from remittances in said period, contribute significantly to maintain a sustainable balance in the current account of the balance of payments and to maintain the exchange rate stability, an important element to generate certainty in the economic agents.

He added that 31% of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2021, that is, some US$960 million, was destined mainly to the expansion and remodeling of tourism infrastructure, with an expected value of close to US$1 billion for this concept in this sector by the end of 2022.

The directors of Asonahores described as “surprising” the recovery being experienced in tourism in the Dominican Republic, “due in large part to the work carried out by the Government, and more specifically to the strategy developed in all markets by the Ministry of Tourism, headed by David Collado”. They also highlighted the importance of the monetary measures implemented in the pandemic to offer facilities to the private sector and households, through the financial system.

The representatives of the sector stated that foreign investors, especially hoteliers, praised the treatment received in the Dominican Republic by the Government and the credit facilities granted by the Central Bank through the financial system to sustain the sector in difficult times.

The governor recalled that, through the measures provided by the Monetary Board, US$600 million in financial resources were made available at interest rates of up to 8% for the tourism sector, which was a great help for the maintenance of its businesses and the preservation of jobs.

In this regard, Valdez Albizu pointed out that the preliminary estimates of the National Continuous Labor Force Survey (ENCFT) for the April – June 2022 quarter showed that the total number of employed persons in the economic activity of hotels, bars and restaurants reached 363,334 persons, a level higher than the 300,996 net employed persons of the same period of 2021.

Rafael Blanco was joined by Andrés Marranzini, executive vice-president of Asonahores, and Javier Tejada, director of the Board of Directors. Governor Valdez Albizu was accompanied by Deputy Governor Clarissa de la Rocha de Torres; Deputy Manager of Monetary, Exchange and Financial Policies, Joel Tejeda; Deputy Manager of National Accounts, Ramón González; and Director of National Accounts, Elina Rosario.

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