Above: Radames Martinez-Aponte, the Dominican Republic’s vice minister for tourism (CJ Photo)
By Alexander Britell
PUNTA CANA — The Dominican Republic saw 10 percent growth in visitors from the United States last year, according to Radames Martinez-Aponte, the country’s vice minister for tourism.
US-based tourists totaled around 1.6 million last year, accounting for about 40 percent of the nearly 4.7 million people that visited the Dominican Republic in 2013.
Canadian visitors were the country’s second-largest source market, with about 700,000 visitors, followed by France, which sent around 218,000 tourists to the country, according to Martinez-Aponte.
The South American market, an increasingly important one for the Dominican Republic and the wider Caribbean region, showed growth of 11 percent, the Vice Minister said, for a total of about 500,000.
Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina has set a goal of reaching 10 million annual visitors by the year 2023.
Martinez-Aponte was speaking at the opening of the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange at the Paradisus Palma Real in Punta Cana on Thursday morning.