Dominican Republic Wants To Double Up On Tourist Numbers.

Photo Wikimedia Commons. Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, back in 2010.
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At a time when some destinations in Europe such as Ibiza, Majorca, and the Greek islands are trying to cut back on the number of tourist visits, the Dominican Republic says it has the potential to welcome twice as many tourists as its population, according to the optimistic president of the National Association of Hotels and Tourism (Asonahores), David Llibre.
The Dominican Republic has already been remarkably successful in attracting tourists since the Covid-19 epidemic put the dampers on everything in 2020. 2023 was an all-time record year for Dominican tourism.
However, Mr. Libre emphasized the need to preserve the current tax structure, which includes incentives for the travel and tourism sector, to achieve this goal.

Llibre indirectly referred to the incentive laws that protect the Dominican Republic’s travel and tourism sector, such as those established in the Competitiveness Law (Law 158-01, modified by Law 193-13).

The country reached a milestone last year with 10 million visitors and is on track to reach nearly 12 million by the end of the first half of 2024, according to Llibre.

He maintained that the Dominican Republic could even attract twice its population in tourists, a goal that could only be achieved through continued collaboration between the private and public sectors under the current fiscal framework.

“It’s a structure that has been called the ‘Competitiveness Law,’ which allows us to level the playing field with other industries and countries in our international competition. It’s what allows us to build new rooms, keep our offerings up-to-date, and maintain the growth in the number of visitors to the Dominican Republic,” stated the leader of the Dominican hotel sector.

He highlighted the efforts of businesses and authorities to develop new tourist destinations such as Puerto Plata with the Punta Bergantín project, the project to develop the southern region with the launch of the Cabo Rojo Pedernales project, and the boost being given to the Miches or Samaná destination, a destination that he said needs further work to increase both the number of rooms and the number of overnight visitors.

“As I said before, it’s not that we’ve reached the top because we should always aspire to more. That’s why Asonahores proposes to continue working hand in hand, as we have been doing so far with the authorities, to continue improving the experiences of our visitors,” expressed David Llibre.

He explained that when he mentions the word “experience,” he refers to both the tourist facilities that must continue to improve and update to continue offering new services to maintain the same or higher level than that of our competition.

He also spoke about improving experiences outside of tourist facilities that allow visitors to travel on safe, well-lit, and signposted roads so that their experience is more enriching and has a greater impact on nearby communities.

“The truth is that we believe that the Dominican Republic can even reach twice its population in tourists,” he reiterated, emphasizing that it is not a dream but a goal that has them working together under the current structure, a structure that has been called the “Competitiveness Law,” which allows them to level the playing field with other industries and countries at the level of our international competition.

Referring to the incentives in the Law, he said that this is what allows them to build new rooms, keep their offerings up-to-date and maintain the growth in the number of visitors to the Dominican Republic.

Mr. Libre’s speech  did not mention any concerns as to how increasing tourist numbers might affect availability of fresh water, sewerage, road capacity, and the environment.

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