The Caribbean’s most popular destination is getting popular again.
The Dominican Republic, long the powerhouse of Caribbean travel, is seeing positive tourism growth so far in 2021, according to the country’s tourism officials.
The Dominican Republic reported 263,867 tourists in March, which represented a 56 percent increase compared to February 2021.
It was also a 3.4 percent increase compared to March 2020, when the country’s tourism sector (along with the rest of the world) shut down in the second half of that month.
In all, there were 3,142 flights from more 100 different airlines to the Dominican Republic last month, a 39 percent increase compared to February 2021.
In fact, flight occupancy of flights to the Dominican Republic actually reached pre-pandemic levels last month.
“The March 2021 rebound in international tourism to Dominican Republic is a clear sign that our reactivation strategy is being successful,” said Dominican Republic Tourism Minister David Collado. “This government’s objective has been to regain the international traveler’s confidence, implementing protocols and effective initiatives with impact on the entire value chain, and last month’s figures prove that we are on the right track.”
Hotel occupancy in the Dominican Republic was 70.6 percent in March, also the highest figure for the country in the last 12 months.
In the country’s five main tourism destinations, occupancy was uniformly above 68 percent.
It’s a strong sign for the country, making it one of the few Caribbean destinations that are outperforming the rest of the region, a small collection of destinations that also includes the increasingly strong US Virgin Islands.
The positive numbers are in line with what attendees heard at the recent Caribbean Hotel Outlook conference (you can watch it here).
So what’s next?
Officials told Caribbean Journal that the number of room reservations in the Dominican Republic as of the beginning of this month was even higher than in the years prior to the crisis.
And Punta Cana, the country’s highest-traffic destination, is seeing nightly room sales reach historic highs.
As the world’s vaccination program progresses, particularly in key markets like the United States, Dominican Republic officials say they believe international tourist arrivals to the country “will continue to increase.”