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Punta Cana Set All Time Tourism Record As Popularity Soars

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Punta Cana International Airport just broke two all-time records in a matter of days, as thousands of travelers flock to the resort town’s white-sand beaches ahead of the busy New Year. The country’s busiest airport recorded 8 million travelers this year – a new record – and more than 574 flights took off and landed at the airport this week, another impressive milestone. 

The Dominican Republic continues to smash all kinds of travel-related records, and its most popular destination, Punta Cana, is leading the race. The resort hotspot – known for its unmatched offer of top-rated all-inclusive resorts and spectacular tropical beaches – is turning out to be a magnet for sun-seeking visitors. 

Beautiful white-sand beach in Punta Cana with palm trees

The seaside resort town, located in the eastern parts of the sunny island, is home to the country’s largest and busiest airport, Punta Cana International Airport. The airport handles up to 70% of all foreign arrivals in the country, with direct connections to dozens of destinations around the world and the U.S. 

The award-winning airport smashed several travel records this week when it reported that over 8 million travelers had walked through its gates this year. The impressive record isn’t only noteworthy for Punta Cana, but rather the Dominican Republic as a whole. As such, Punta Cana International Airport is the first ever in the country to break the 8-million-passenger threshold, setting the tone for a busy 2023 season. 

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Line at airport security with Christmas decoration

According to Frank Elías Raineri, president and CEO of Grupo Puntacana, “today we celebrate 8 million passengers, which represent 8 million adventures, smiles, new ways of seeing life, all created through passengers that have traveled through our airport,” the business magnate said in a celebratory statement. 

Punta Cana airport entrance sign

Officials and investors across the Dominican Republic have made great progress in opening up more routes to the Caribbean island and improving airport infrastructure. Punta Cana airport is undoubtedly at the helm of a wider push to attract more travelers to the Dominican Republic, and the airport is finalizing a massive renovation of its facilities which will add more floor space and air bridges, making travel there more comfortable and convenient for passengers.

Punta Cana's busy airport with passengers departing

Last week, Punta Cana International Airport also welcomed a total of 574 international flights to its busy terminals, setting yet another record. The airport managed to break its previous record – set in 2021 with 537 flights – by a considerable margin. The impressive air traffic numbers are a taste of what’s to come for the tropical island, which is heading into the new year with high expectations. 

Meanwhile, passengers traveling to and from the Dominican Republic during the record-breaking Holidays have been told to show up at the airport at least three hours prior to their flight. While this is a general guideline, each airline issues specific recommendations to their passengers, so it’s a good idea to consult with your carrier prior to flying.

Passengers lining up for their flight at a busy airport

While Punta Cana International Airport has reported smooth sailing for most flights and passengers, the capital’s Las Américas International Airport – the country’s second-largest – has seen queues and delays, leading to occasional travel chaos. Officials around the country have activated special protocols during the high season by adding more staff members and stepping up cleanliness measures. 

Authorities have also deployed more troops and law enforcement personnel across the country’s busiest airports to keep travelers safe. Passengers flying during the high season can expect to see more sniffer dogs and face more rigorous bag checks as officials crack down on illegal drug trafficking. Punta Cana International Airport is benefiting from new x-ray scanning technology to boost security and efficiency. 

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