Are you ready to travel to an exotic and beautiful island? You are not alone. Tourism is again on the rise in many destinations, but it has increased substantially in the Dominican Republic. As of September 2021, 73,000 rooms (out of a total of 80,000) in the Dominican Republic were in operation, averaging 69% occupancy. Recovery is happening and David Collado, the Tourism Minister predicts full recovery will occur in 2022. In September 2021 the Dominican Republic surpassed pre-pandemic tourist levels, generating $412 million. Air ticket reservations for October to December 2021 are between 12-22% above those made pre-pandemic during the same time frame. 1.5 million tourists are expected to arrive in the Dominican Republic by the end of 2021.
Many now want to travel and take much needed getaways. The Dominican Republic is attractive due to the ease of getting there and the numerous choices of all-inclusive resorts. With 8 international airports in operation, the Dominican Republic is one of the best-connected destinations in the Caribbean. Additionally, there are a variety of activities to choose from. Recovery in the Dominican Republic is due in part to the relaxation of restrictions in the United States, Spain, Russia and Columbia, all main feeders to the island. Another bonus of this exceling recovery is 82% of tourism jobs have been reinstated; another indicator that visitors are returning to the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic is also one of the most popular destinations for combined business and leisure. In fact, Punta Cana is known as a leisure destination, but the Punta Cana Convention Center is the largest on the island and perfect for meetings and events. Larger events and meetings veer to Punta Cana due to the largest number of all-inclusive and beachfront resorts (35,000 rooms) and the large convention center space. Santo Domingo, the capital, is the first urban settlement on the Americans and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, filled with numerous historical sites. La Romana offers luxury lodging and numerous golfing opportunities. Puerto Plato to the north is a great choice for medium size meetings and events, Samana is great for small groups, offering boutique hotels and secluded beaches with excellent wildlife watching.
The Dominican Republic is a beautiful island with welcoming residents. It offers a unique landscape with mountains, valleys, sand dunes and over 1,000 miles of continual pristine, white beaches. Accommodations are plentiful (most all-inclusive resorts) and many now are operating at 70-80% occupancy. You will find a modern transportation system and an updated venue infrastructure. And, attractions and activities abound. There are over 26 golf courses on the island, zipline tours, hiking, beach activities, snorkeling, caving, coffee plantation tours and wonderful food selections.
So what about traveling there with Covid still is still worrisome? What are the restrictions and protocols? The Dominican Republic Ministry of Public Health announced on October 18, 2021 that all persons 12 years and older MUST provide evidence of Covid vaccination or submit a negative PCR test to access public spaces, schools, business, restaurants, bars, gyms, public transportation, and other public areas. More details may be found on the Ministry of Public Health website or on the Dominican Office of the Presidency website. Keep this in mind now as you make plans to travel to the Dominican Republic. It is recommended by the US Embassy that US citizens traveling to the Dominican Republic carry digital or physical copies of their identification and vaccination proof or a negative PCR test. The United States also requires a negative test when returning home. Most resorts are offering testing as part of their services.
Please consider planning a trip to the Dominican Republic. It is an incredible destination. In the past, I have visited Santo Domingo, La Romana and Punta Cana. All offer something unique and different. The beaches on Punta Cana are incredible and I understand that now with tourism being down for almost two years, the beaches have returned to how they were before development occurred and hundreds of thousand of tourists embarked upon them. New tropical growth is happening, and the beaches are more pristine. Make your plans. Work with a trusted travel advisor and stay at a reputable all-inclusive resort. They all have stringent cleaning protocols. They provide the testing for the trip home and offer wonderful accommodations and an outstanding choice of food selections.
For more information on visiting the Dominican Republic, visit the Dominican Republic Tourism official site.