Friday, March 1, 2024

David Collado assures that the tourism sector in the Dominican Republic is at its best

Tourism in the Dominican Republic is at its best, and estimates show that it will continue to grow. Air ticket reservations for flights to the country increased by 6.6 percent this month in January compared to the same month last year.

David Collado, Minister of Tourism, when participating in the Weekly Lunch of the Corripio Communications Group, presented on a giant screen the breakdown of indicators that support the growth of the sector. When comparing air ticket reservations in Mexico, the latter country registered a lower value, since the percentage was 0.3 percent.

Collado reiterated that during the period January–December 2023, the country received 10,306,517 people by air and sea, surpassing the goal of 10 million visitors by more than 300,000.

As explained, despite the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, the country is developing in terms of tourism.

Of the visitors, by arriving at the airport, 52.1 percent passed through Punta Cana, 30 percent for Las Americas, 11.5 percent for Cibao, 4.1 percent for Puerto Plata, 0.9 percent for La Romana, 0.7 percent for Catey, Samaná, and the same amount for Isabela.

The top five cities that will be home to tourists arriving by air in 2023 are the United States with 47%, Canada with 16%, Colombia with 5%, Spain with 3%, and Argentina with 3%.

“We are betting on Latin American countries such as Colombia and Argentina, which are developing countries, with a good participation of tourists entering the Dominican territory,” said the official.

To achieve the success they have shown today, they have defined an action plan that includes two basic strategies: meeting travel agents and tour operators, which has never happened before, as well as saving abandoned and crumbling infrastructure.

Currently, more than 50 roadshows are held in different cities in the United States (with the largest source of tourists), such as Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Atlanta, among others. Also, presentations are made for Canada, the European community, and other countries.

Regarding the recovery of the beaches, Guayacán 1 and 11 intervened: Macao (three stages), Miches, Los Patos and Saladilla (Barahona), the Santo Domingo Este boardwalk, and more.

Similarly, the minister reported that they are working in Haina, San Cristóbal, and Sosúa, Puerto Plata. Regarding this last city, he strongly explained that they will stop prostitution and the abuse of children and teenagers. “Tourists who want to go to the Dominican Republic to abuse our women should go to another country, because they have no hole here,” he pointed out.

In fact, he recalled that they recently signed an agreement with the Public Ministry to deal with this problem.

The most visited destinations in 2023 are Punta Cana with 42%, Santo Domingo with 18%, Puerto Plata with 12%, and La Romana with 11%.

Asked about the availability of hotel rooms in the country, the minister said that when he assumed office in 2020, 10,000 were available, and now there are 84,000. It has added more than 93 thousand rooms to Airbnb.

“We understand that one of the challenges in the country is to have more hotel rooms to meet the demand in the long term,” he said. In that context, he added that there are about 16 thousand buildings.

The Minister of Tourism participated in the dinner, accompanied by Jacqueline Mora, Technical Vice Minister; Patricia Mejía, Vice Minister of Destinations; Shaney Peña, director of Tourism Planning and Projects; Amín Abel, director of the BDI project; and Juan Mubarak, director of Cultural Heritage.

When pointing out the challenges in the sector, the Minister of Tourism cited air connectivity as the main one.
“The main challenge that the Dominican Republic has is air connectivity and, in turn, reducing the cost of tickets.”

Then he added, “We need to sign the open skies agreement with the United States and encourage Dominican airlines to open routes.”

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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