The Dominican Republic’s tourism industry is clearly on a roll.
Tourism authorities state the tourism sector in the Dominican Republic is fully recovered, with May seeing the World Tourism Organization recognize the Dominican Republic as leading the world in terms of tourism recovery from the pandemic, while 2022 has been a year of record numbers of arrivals for the Caribbean country.
The January-to-August period saw the country host 4,904,162 tourists and another 755,818 “excursionists.”
The Canadian market is the second most important for the Dominican Republic, with 431,190 Canadian tourists having visited in the first eight months of this year.
Cosette Garcia, director of the Dominican Republic Tourism Board’s Quebec office, adds the upcoming winter looks very promising for her homeland, stating Canadian tour operators are very optimistic about the country’s tourism prospects.
“The most popular destination is Punta Cana of course, however other favourites are Puerto Plata and Samana, especially for Canadians,” Garcia reports.
Covid was hugely damaging to tourism throughout the world but Garcia says the situation now in the Dominican Republic is “extremely controlled. Our destination has been an example in the Caribbean, due to its safe tourism practices. The World Tourism Organization publicly commended the Dominican Republic for the travel and safety protocols that the country established to help ensure visitor safety during the global pandemic.
“Since Sept. 15, 2020, the Dominican Republic implemented the Responsible Tourism Recovery Plan, which included providing a free healthcare plan for tourists, insurance that included all types of emergencies (including a possible coronavirus contagion) and conducting random tests on incoming passengers at the airport. In addition to this, the Dominican Republic implemented security protocols, these industry security protocols were endorsed and certified by the international organization Bureau Veritas and the World Travel and Tourism Council. Furthermore, the Ministry of Tourism launched the Traveler Information Center, an interactive platform that answered the most frequently asked questions by those planning to visit the country in those times.”
Feb. 15 2021, saw the Dominican Republic receive its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines and the country began an immediate roll-out with the launch of the “D.R. Get Vaccinated” campaign. The vaccination plan was divided into three phases, aiming to vaccinate the country’s 7.8 million adults by the end of 2021. The application of the first COVID-19 vaccine in Dominican territory marked the beginning of immunization against the pandemic and a step forward towards the country’s recovery.
The measures contained in the plan ensured that the country’s tourist centers remained safe places for visitors, “with a positivity rate close to zero in the random tests applied at the main airports to incoming passengers,” Garcia states. “Among these measures that remained in place are the vaccination of 100% of the tourism service personnel.
“All these measures have contributed to our recovery.”
Meanwhile, Garcia reports that between January and July of this year, 18 tourism projects were approved, with an approximate investment of $331.5 million. Projects approved by the Tourism Development Council of the Ministry of Tourism include ones in Samaná, La Altagracia (East Coast, Punta Cana), La Romana and Santo Domingo.
“There is so much we can say about the Dominican Republic, but without a doubt the difference between our destination and other Caribbean destinations is the people, the courtesy and kindness of the Dominican people, the service in the tourism sector,” Garcia continues. “Our country is a tourist-oriented destination, we are pleased to receive visitors and make their stay an unforgettable experience, it is simply part of our way of being, of our culture.”
“Perhaps what is interesting about Dominican culture is its ethnic mix, which could be explained in its mixture of Taíno, African and European roots. But also other European, Asian and Middle Eastern communities have influenced and enriched the cultural landscape of the Dominican Republic since the 19th century, turning the population and culture into a fascinating melting pot. You’ll see our numerous influences showing up across regions in food, music, celebrations, and customs.
“If we talk about the gastronomy, there is a plethora of Dominican dishes, ranging from soups and stews to street side fried snacks, and sweet coconut desserts. Beyond the classic Caribbean rice and beans plate are staple specialties unique to the D.R. Familiarize yourself with a few of the Dominican’s staples, from table to roadside, to best enjoy your culinary adventure around the country.
“Same thing happens in music. Dominicans are renowned for their dancing talents – you will spot them spontaneously (dancing) at the park, on their house veranda, or pretty much anywhere they hear their music. Music is in a Dominican’s veins, that simple.
“The Dominican Republic is a vibrant country with everything for everyone. We invite readers to come and discover our beautiful country.”