The growth of Dominican tourism has left the region open-mouthed, to the point that the U.S. newspaper The New York Times took on the task of investigating what it called “a rare pandemic success story”.
The report states that the numbers of tourists entering the Dominican Republic far exceed those of most other Caribbean destinations. It indicates that easy entry rules are a major attraction for tourists, who prefer to visit a country with fewer restrictions.
Tourists are not required to have a negative PCR test to enter the Dominican Republic, nor an anti-virus vaccination record.
The New York Times reports the experience of at least 25 visitors, mostly Americans, Canadians and British, who enjoyed the adults-only “Preferred Club” pool at Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana on a recent weekend, when the omicron caused a spike in coronavirus infections in the country.
He noted that, among the tourists, some arrived in the country infected and were in isolation.
“A teacher from Chicago read a book quietly while new resort friends from Michigan and Ontario chatted about whether the woman hanging out on the private terrace of her room, about three lounge chairs away, was quarantined. They were pretty sure she was, given that she hadn’t left her room for days. This was a bummer. So was the fact that at least three other preferred guests had tested positive since arriving,” he recounts.
Pandemic tourism in numbers
In December, the Dominican Republic attracted 700,000 visitors from abroad, more than it had attracted not only before the pandemic, but in any month, according to the Ministry of Tourism. That brought the 2021 totals to nearly five million visitors, more than any other Caribbean country. In December, some financial analysts estimated that the Dominican Republic was having its best economic year in 30 years.
The non-requirement of PCR testing, vaccination and quarantine is the strategy Tourism authorities have used to attract visitors.
Guests and employees follow different rules.