In 2018, the Dominican Republic saw a 6 percent growth in hotel rooms. The country added 4,365 total hotel rooms throughout various regions of the country resulting in a total of 80,256 overall hotel rooms. In addition to the flourishing additions, Dominican Republic’s hotel occupancy rate was an impressive 77 percent, a 0.5 percent increase from 2017.
The growth does not end there. ASONAHORES reported 65 projects are already approved for 2019 and Dominican Republic is slated to add 11 further new properties between 2019 and 2022.
Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) continues to be the main point of entry into Dominican Republic with a record breaking 3,921,351 tourists received in 2018, an increase of more than 277,000 travelers compared to 2017. This growth is followed by Santo Domingo’s Las Americas Airport (SDQ) with 1,374,777; Santiago’s Cibao International Airport (STI) with 628,170 and Puerto Plata’s Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP) following closely with 429,029.
This growth is due in large part to Dominican Republic’s open-sky policy, allowing for a large influx of flights as well as new nonstop routes to and from the United States.
Throughout 2018 Dominican Republic welcomed a total of 1,357,200 passengers via its four cruise ports, an increase of more than 157,000 compared to 2017. The Amber Cove cruise port in Puerto Plata continues to be the country’s main point of entry for cruise arrivals.
Diversification of Offerings.
Statistics show tourists are craving diversified experiences that span beyond beaches and showcase that multi-destination cultural travel is becoming more popular than in years past. Díaz detailed the diversity of travelers are evolving; in 2018, 80 percent of all tourist visits were to protected areas throughout Dominican Republic, proving that visitors are increasingly looking to explore beyond their hotel.
As part of MITUR’s commitment to supporting multi-destination travel and diversifying its segmentation, more than 8,000 kilometers of roads were created, renovated or expanded within the past four years. Now, all major tourist areas are connected and accessible within a 2-hour drive.
Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.