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Dominican Republic Sets All Time Record For International Tourist Arrivals 

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The Dominican Republic reported a record number of international tourist arrivals – more than 730,000 -during July this year as millions plan on vacationing in the Caribbean island over the summer. The country is feeling the effects of a strong rebound in international travel following two years of pandemic-related difficulties, and is also on track to beat its yearly record.

More than 735,000 international travelers set foot in the Dominican Republic in July this year, setting a new all-time monthly record for the country. More people are choosing to visit the Dominican Republic thanks to its well-connected airports, excellent all-inclusive resorts, and year-round warm weather. Meanwhile, cruising is helping boost travel to the Caribbean destination, and the Dominican Republic is investing heavily in new ports to further accommodate growth in that sector.

Punta Cana's busy airport.

The record-shattering July numbers exceeded expectations, and the country even managed to surpass its December 2021 arrival numbers by several thousand tourists. The data, revealed by the country’s tourism ministry headed by David Collado, indicate a full recovery for the sun-soaked island when it comes to international travel. Compared to previous years, this July saw 10% more arrivals than the same month in 2018, and 24% more than in 2019. 

Punta Cana International Airport – the largest in the country – welcomed more than 816,000 passengers in July, with 45% of all passengers originating from the U.S. Punta Cana has direct flights to many U.S cities, such as Miami, Atlanta, New York, and is serviced by all major U.S carriers. Meanwhile, Santo Domingo’s Las Américas International Airport saw a total of 435,000 travelers during the busy month. With 117 direct connections on more than 120 airlines, the Dominican Republic continues to see new flights added to the island. 

If the positive trend in international travel continues until the end of the year, it is very likely that the Dominican Republic will exceed its yearly record of 7 million tourists; so far this year, more than 4.5 million tourists have vacationed in the tropical island. Tourism is the country’s largest industry and a major source of revenue for the Dominican economy, generating over $900 million dollars in July alone. 

The United States remains by far the most important market for tourism in the Dominican Republic, followed by Canada and Colombia. The impressive figures are in line with a study conducted earlier this year by international travel insurance firm Allianz, according to which the Dominican Republic is ranked one of the top international destinations for U.S travelers this summer.

Cruising Helping Fuel Travel Figures

The country’s tourism minister revealed that cruise ship passengers largely helped boost the growing travel numbers in the country. The Dominican Republic recorded a total of 98,000 cruise ship passengers in July, and although the industry has been slower to recover compared to air travel, officials are hopeful it will recover lost terrain during the rest of the year. The country’s main ports – Amber Cove in Puerto Plata, Isla Catalina, La Romana, Punta Cana, and Santo Domingo – are all seeing upticks in cruise ship traffic. 

Cruise Ship arriving

With several massive infrastructure projects in the making, the Dominican Republic is aiming to become a home port for cruise liners. The country wants to consolidate its leading position in the Caribbean, competing against heavyweights such as the Bahamas and the Mexican Caribbean. 

When completed in December 2023, the new Port Cabo Rojo cruise ship terminal will help bolster tourism in the Pedernales province, converting it into a resort and eco-tourism destination capable of welcoming up to a million yearly passengers. With its unique combination of resorts, shopping, and entertainment, the new port is focused on offering visitors a versatile experience.

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