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Online Vacation Rentals Skyrocket In Popularity In The Dominican Republic

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Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic are some of the trendiest Caribbean destinations this year as millions of travelers set their sights on the tropical island.

Aerial view of the Caribbean city of Punta Cana with Hotels and resorts

The growing popularity of this sun-soaked destination has prompted many locals to rent out their homes on Airbnb in record numbers. While online vacation rentals offer multiple benefits, many people are wondering whether it’s the right choice for their next Punta Cana accommodation.

Vacation Rentals In The Punta Cana Accommodation Scene

With a record number of travelers flocking to Punta Cana, a growing number of tourists are opting for one of the city’s many online vacation rentals, primarily through services like Airbnb.

Aerial view of the resorts by the beach in Punta Cana

In fact, new statistics published by the country’s tourism ministry show that nearly 60% of all rooms on offer on the sun-soaked island can be classified as online rentals.

Even though new resorts are constantly opening their doors to travelers, online vacation rentals outnumber traditional resort-style accommodations by a significant margin, reflecting a general trend in the travel market.

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Airbnb in the Dominican Republic, typical Puerto Plata house

Airbnb’s astonishing surge in the Dominican Republic has led many travelers to wonder whether they should opt for a vacation rental on their next Caribbean getaway.

Consider This Before Booking Your Punta Cana Accommodation

As of 2023, there are an estimated 99,000 online vacation rental rooms across the Dominican Republic, with destinations like Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, and Punta Cana having some of the highest concentrations of this type of accommodation.

Rental Residence in Cap Cana, DR

Airbnbs are a popular choice for some travelers due to lower rates, larger rooms, and a more authentic approach to experiencing life like a local. While all of those are excellent reasons for considering a vacation rental, Airbnb suffers from several drawbacks.

Unlike all-inclusive resorts, online vacation rentals operate largely informally and are dependent on the owners or landlords, which means that quality can vary drastically from one property to the next.

With Airbnbs representing up to 30% of all overnight stays in the Dominican Republic, there has been a growing urgency to strictly regulate the market, ensuring aspects like hygiene and safety.

Large luxury villa in the Caribbean with a pool and sunset views

Another important aspect to consider is that while Airbnb may offer significantly more spacious accommodations compared to your standard all-inclusive, they lack the amenities and around-the-clock services that make resorts a hit among travelers.

From 24/7 room service to security, travelers have to fend for themselves when it comes to online rentals, having to clean, cook, and look out for trouble. Depend- ing on the location of the property, safety can be a major concern, as foreigners are an easy target for criminals in areas prone to crime.

Another important benefit of all-inclusive resorts compared to vacation rentals is the sheer amount and diversity of on-site activities; outdoor pools, private beaches, and entertainment options all make resorts some of the most action-packed accommodations available for travelers in Punta Cana.

@flightattendantbaelee Reposted as requested | Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 🇩🇴 #adayinthelife #flightattendant #airbnb #review ♬ original sound – Lea

That said, Airbnbs are a great option for travelers looking to save on their next Caribbean getaway. More adventurous travelers can also prefer the authenticity offered by online rentals as opposed to resorts, which mainly cater to foreign travelers.

Meanwhile, the Dominican Republic’s main hotel and tourism association (Asonahores) has called for online rentals to be strictly regulated to protect travelers. Officials on the sun-soaked island are currently considering new rules to guarantee certain minimum standards when it comes to safety.

Beautiful beach resort in the Caribbean

Experts also say it’s likely new taxation rules will be announced later this year concerning online rentals. Unlike hotels and resorts, online rentals pay much lower taxes, causing concern among industry leaders over fair play.

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