Spanish hotel companies, all-inclusive and central planning in Dominican tourism
It attracted Spanish hotel companies and is now attracting the interest of large U.S. chains for its simple way of vacationing, very attractive to the middle class, which is the large market. The all-inclusive is here to stay.
I began to follow tourism issues in 1978. When I arrived at the newspaper El Sol, as editor-in-chief in 1977, I found several copies of Bohío magazine, then the only way to access information on this sector, including the World Tourism Organization. The reading was a novelty for me. It connected me with tourism and created for me a new space of professional interest.
As I got involved, and because of my roots in Higuey, I became increasingly convinced that this activity was a great opportunity for the Dominican Republic. I have been in the front row, but always as a journalist and since 1988 also in tourism communication and with the newspaper Resumen Turismo.
But yesterday I participated in an interesting activity to review the evolution of tourism in our country. It was organized by the Official Chamber of Commerce of Spain in the Dominican Republic, with Simón Suárez, Luis López and Julio Llibre, as exhibitors. They are first-rate protagonists, as direct actors in the development and construction of the foundations of the tourism industry we have today. I will soon publish their speeches.
The convenience of central planning of tourism development; 2. The decisive contribution of Spanish hotel companies; and 3. The all-inclusive as an important contribution to the development of tourism and the conquest of important markets.
The panelists agreed that the development of Puerto Plata, an important milestone in the launching of the modern tourism industry that we have, was possible because it originated in a central planning process, placed in the hands of the Central Bank, which in the 1970s was the institution with the financial muscle, credibility and structure to organize a team capable of carrying out the process. That experience suggests that central planning of tourism development with the participation of private actors is the way forward in Pedernales and in any other project.
Playa Dorada in Puerto Plata was designed to win the U.S. market. It failed to attract investment from U.S. hotel companies. The two chains that arrived failed and withdrew soon after. That pushed us towards Europe, because those who did invest here were the Spanish hotel companies, starting with Occidental and Barceló. They attracted the others. They connected us with Europe and brought investment, industry knowledge and marketing expertise. They made possible what we have today
The all-inclusive, created in Jamaica and developed here, was brought to Playa Dorada, from its early days, by the atypical American hotel company Jacktar (because it sold packages like in Europe and Canada). This model made the difference because it facilitated hotel development when we lacked an attractive complementary offer. It attracted Spanish hotel companies and is now attracting the interest of large U.S. chains because of its simple way of vacationing, very attractive to the middle class, which is the main market. The all-inclusive is here to stay, it has evolved and improved. It is growing here and in many markets.
Learn more: World Tourism Organization
Learn more: Tourism in Dominican Republic
Learn more: Hotels in Dominican Republic