The travel and tourism industry has long been a key driver of economic development and employment generation worldwide. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has radically changed this sector, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding both physical and mental health. In this context, older adults are actively seeking out places for retreats, prioritizing their well-being in an ever-changing world.
According to World Bank statistics, the world’s population is aging. In 2021, people aged 65 and older represented 9.5% of the global population. This percentage has almost doubled in the last six decades, from less than 5% in 1960. This trend is expected to continue to rise in the coming decades.
Faced with this growing demand, real estate projects focused on health and wellness are being developed internationally, which are expected to be necessary until the year 2050. For this reason, the Dominican Republic is not lagging behind.
According to data from the Dominican Association of Health Tourism (ADTS), the country has received 60,000 foreigners seeking this type of tourism. Although wellness and health tourism existed a few decades ago, in recent years it has become more relevant thanks to the advances made.
Flavio Acuña, wellness tourism consultant, highlights the great potential and cross-cutting effect of high-quality health and wellness tourism. He points out that this activity not only provides diversity to the traditional “sun and beach” tourism, but could also have an impact on the development of new health and wellness centers, generating productive linkages and attracting new markets, foreign currency and foreign investment to establish lasting links in the sector, as well as promoting residential retirement tourism and the acquisition of second homes.
Acuña points out that Mexico and California are leading destinations in wellness tourism, but the Dominican Republic has all the necessary elements to boost this sector, according to El Dinero.