Collado emphasized that the country has challenges such as the construction of 30 thousand hotel rooms and the improvement of air connectivity by lowering the prices of air tickets.
The Dominican tourism sector is fully recovered, and in frank growth, showing to foreign and local tourists the diversity of offers that the country has.
This upturn is felt throughout the economy due to the linkage produced by the industry, an example of this is that this sector contributes 15 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP) and generates more than 800,000 jobs.
According to Tourism Minister David Collado, the arrivals of more than seven million tourists in 2022 have been a regional example of recovery and a demonstration that working in synergy between the public and private sectors is profitable.
He says that throughout the process, the economic sectors put aside particular interests to focus on the recovery of the tourism industry.
“We have been lucky, but we have not left the recovery of the sector to chance,” said the Minister during his participation in the weekly luncheon of the Corripio Communications Group, where he was accompanied by Jacqueline Mora, technical vice-minister; Patricia Mejía, vice-minister of Destination Management; Shaney Peña, director of Planning and Projects; and Amín Abel, project director of the Inter-American Development Bank.
He noted that in this process, turning the country into a safe destination during the pandemic crisis and investing in infrastructure improvements in tourist destinations was key.
He cited among the actions carried out the implementation of an insurance for tourists with Covid-19 coverage, the international certification of virus management and the training of human resources in the sector.
“These actions turned the eyes of the world towards us, and tourists began to arrive,” Collado recalled, highlighting that these actions favored international recognition from the World Tourism Organization, tourism ministers of Colombia, Spain and more than 16 families of Spanish investors who have recognized that the Dominican Republic has been a model of success compared to other destinations in the region.
He argued that the tourism recovery story is to be applauded because despite global uncertainties it continues to grow.
“This year in January the arrival of tourists grew over 20% compared to 2022, the preliminary figure”, highlighted the official by showing that from tourism they perform constant monitoring of the entry and exit of tourists to maintain the quality of services.
But that was not all, work was also carried out to strengthen the infrastructure of the tourist poles with the recovery and modernization of beaches, streets and boardwalks, said the minister, detailing that in the recovery of these spaces is expected to invest 2,000 million pesos, resources which he said are taken from the savings of the ministry.
He emphasized that these works are carried out with transparency and for this purpose, an observatory of good practices was created, presided by five universities which oversee and carry out the bidding of the works.
In addition, they are focused on the viability of mountain tourism areas such as the Los Cascabeles resort, said Shaney Peña.
Challenges for the country
In spite of all this, the country has challenges such as the construction of 30 thousand hotel rooms and the improvement of air connectivity by lowering the prices of air tickets, said the official, indicating that Arajet has motivated the competition to lower prices, which favors the country.
He also added that the Government has introduced a bill to eliminate the payment of 27% tax to Dominican airlines and 1% of the assets.
He also said that the Government intends to sign this month the open skies agreement to have an impact on better prices for passengers.
Another challenge country is the regulation of the Aibnb platform, which has some 97 thousand rooms with whom they have a pre-agreement to regulate.
“The importance of this regulation is important for safety issues and to maintain quality,” he said.
Miches, the sector’s model destination
Miches has become the model tourist zone, where an organized development is being planned, and it has room projects of 3,000 units.
Regarding its development, the Government intends to build an access road, which is under feasibility study, to be carried out either from Miches, La Altagracia or San Pedro de Macorís. David Collado emphasized that although it is under development, this is currently a preferred destination because the occupancy rate exceeds 97%.