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Dominican Republic Sets New All-Time Tourism Record In February

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A record number of travelers visited the Dominican Republic in February this year as the country continues to break record after record when it comes to tourism.

Blue skies and palm trees in a Punta Cana beach

With the country’s popularity skyrocketing, it’s very likely that the tropical nation will welcome over 8 million travelers by the end of the year, a huge feat for a small island like the Dominican Republic. Cruise ship popularity is also rising at an astonishing rate, according to new figures. 

Travel Figures Up 17% Compared To Last Year

The Dominican minister for tourism, David Collado, confirmed that the Dominican Republic had its best February on record this year as arrival figures sored 17% compared to last year. The news doesn’t come as a surprise, and the tropical island nation has reported back-to-back records when it comes to the number of arriving travelers this year.

Busy airport in the Dominican Republic capital

In his monthly news conference on the state of tourism, the high-ranking official also had plenty of good news about the growing number of cruise ship travelers. In the past several months, the Dominican Republic has invested heavily in improving its cruise ship facilities, and work is underway on Port Cabo Rojo, a new flagship cruise terminal. 

Overall, more than 661,000 travelers visited the Dominican Republic in February via air, and over 250,000 visited int cruise ships. The impressive number is set to grow even more over the following months as Spring Break approaches, attracting countless sun-seeking youngsters. 

A cruise ship docked at sea with palm trees and blue waters

“Not only was February the best on record in terms of arrivals by air, but it was also the best month in our history for cruise ship passenger numbers, which are up 300% compared to last year,” Mr. Collado revealed in his press conference. Hotel occupancy rates are also growing, reaching an average of 82% across most of the country’s popular hotspots.   

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A calm beach area in Bávaro Punta Cana with palm trees

This year, the Dominican Republic was ranked one of the top 10 destinations to visit in 2023, according to TripAdvisor, a leading online travel review platform. The prestigious nomination is likely to further entice more travelers to opt for the Dominican Republic, which is home to some of the world’s top all-inclusive resorts and white-sand beaches. 

Aerial view of Punta Cana's white-sand beaches with blue waters

These Were The Most Popular Destinations In February

While travel numbers are up across the country, some destinations are growing in popularity more than others. Over 65% of all travelers flocked to the province of La Altagracia, with Punta Cana, Bávaro, and Bayahibe seeing the largest arrival numbers.

Meanwhile, around 1 in 10 travelers chose to visit Santo Domingo, the country’s bustling capital, and 4% stayed in Puerto Plata. Meanwhile, La Romana, Samaná, and Santiago also reported high arrival figures.

A boat on crystal-clear water in Punta Cana

Several of the Dominican Republic’s newest destinations, including Miches and Pedernales, are also slowly starting to attract the attention of new visitors. Miches, situated some 100 kilometers west of Punta Cana, is already home to a few impressive luxury resorts, including the brand-new adults-only Temptation properties.

Meanwhile, Pedernales is set to have over 12,000 new hotel rooms over the following years as part of the massive Port Cabo project, which officials say will help transform the Dominican Republic into the leading destination for cruise ship passengers. 

A couple getting married on a Punta Cana beach

The United States remains by far the largest market for inbound tourism, with nearly 70% of all arrivals coming from the U.S. Canada was the second largest market, followed by Colombia. Punta Cana International Airport is the most well-connected airport in the Dominican Republic, having direct flights to over 10 destinations in the U.S. and many more to Canada, South America, and Europe. 

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