The entire country of the Dominican Republic will open up for international tourism beginning July 1, according to Lucien Echavarria, director at the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic.
In an exclusive interview with Caribbean Journal, Echavarria said about 40-50 percent of the country’s hotel inventory would open its doors in July, with the remaining hotels expected to open in November.
Although she couldn’t provide further details about the carrier names at press time, she noted that the destination will receive “several” flights on July 1.
Indeed, Punta Cana International Airport confirmed that it was restarting commercial operations on July 1.
Punta Cana’s airport, the busiest in the Dominican Republic, says it will receive flights from cities including New York and San Juan on July 1, followed by other airlines in the following days like Air Canada Rouge and Frontier, among others.
And although Punta Cana and its airport tend to get most of the attention when it comes to the Dominican Republic, Echavarria said it was important to open the whole country at once.
“We didn’t want to do this region by region,” she said, noting that all airports in the country will also be operational on July 1. “We didn’t want to do Punta Cana, then Puerto Plata and so on. No, we wanted to open the whole country so we can get back faster.”
Echavarria noted that there will be safety precautions at all airports to ensure people are not carrying the coronavirus, including temperature checks for all passengers.
The destination’s hotels are also preparing for travelers with new health and safety precautions.
The Dominican Republic’s eagerness to open may have to do with how prepared the country has been, Echavarria said.
“Throughout [the COVID-19 pandemic) we have remained in close contact with our tourism partners from operators to hoteliers to agencies,” said Echavarria. “We are ready and we know we are in a position to be among the fastest to recover because we are close and safe.”
For more, visit the Dominican Republic.