lopesan punta cana
The Lopesan Costa Bavaro resort in Punta Cana.

Dominican Republic Tourism Is Making History

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - July 11, 2023

There is a bit of unease in some parts of the Caribbean this summer, as sometimes absurdly high airline prices have cooled off arrivals. 

Not in the Dominican Republic, where the country keeps churning out new tourism records with the apparent frequency of waves on Bavaro Beach. 

The Dominican Republic just compiled its tourism numbers for the first half, setting an all-time record for the first six months of the year: more than 4 million stay over tourist arrivals. 

A total of 4,086,675 visitors came to the Dominican Republic by air in the first half, buoyed by a sizzling month of June which was itself an all-time record for arrivals in the month. June saw growth of 21 percent in tourism compared the same period in already-strong 2022. 

rooftop pool in santo domingo with building in background
The rooftop pool at the Billini hotel in Santo Domingo.

That was accompanied by another burgeoning source of arrivals to the country: its cruise ports, which also set a record with 1.267 million passenger arrivals in the first half. 

“If we add those who visited us by air and sea, the country received an incredible number of 5,354,126 people, something historic,” said Dominican Republic Tourism Minister David Collado, who has helped lead the country’s fast-paced growth since the heart of the pandemic. 

Miches, which began to find renown as a destination with the Club Med Miches, is the country’s new epicenter of tourism development.

The Dominican Republic has been positioning itself as the most-visited destination in Latin America, a title that is unsurprisingly joined by one as the most visited destination in the Caribbean — where it has more than double the stayover arrivals of its next-closest competitor, Jamaica. (The silver medal had long belonged to Cuba, which is still working to recover arrivals after several years of pandemic struggle). 

If the Dominican Republic keeps up this pace, it could top 8 million stayover visitor arrivals, which would be a record both for the country and the wider Caribbean. 

With new hotels continuing to go up, and airlines continuing to add flights and seats, and a push to develop new tourism destinations like Miches, it’s not a stretch to think that the country could in a year or two top its once-ambitious goal of 10 million annual stayover visitors. 

“This is an achievement that belongs to all Dominicans who are the main actors in [the tourism] sector that is so important to the country,” Collado said. 

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