The Dominican Republic is no stranger to recognition in the past year. The country has recently smashed tourism expectations – exceeding overall visitors in September and boasting the highest-ever recorded cruising tourism this October. The country is making key investments to cement itself as one of the premier destinations in the Caribbean, such as a new theme park opening in 2023, new resorts being planned and built, and even a new destination luxury wedding venue opening in the near future.
These investments and tourism records have led to the Dominican Republic being named the number one performing destination in the world in 2022 as it relates to growth and recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic. Forward Keys, a data company that analyzes international travel trends, recently released their report titled “Most Visited Destinations of 2022” which aims to compare pre-covid 2019 statistics to the growth seen in the most recent year since travel has resumed worldwide.
The Dominican Republic saw an increase of 5% in tourism when comparing 2019 to 2022. This figure may not seem substantial, but the Dominican Republic was the only country to have positive growth during the year. There were 3 countries –Turkey, Costa Rica, and Mexico – with stagnant (0%) growth from 2019 to 2022, and every other country on the list regressed during the comparative period.
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Speaking on The Dominican Republic’s dominance in 2022, Forward Keys explains the trend of Caribbean travel popularity, noting “the strong representation of Central American and Caribbean destinations towards the top of the list reflects the relative strength of the US outbound market and the approach taken by many highly tourism-dependent countries in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.”
The company notes that “throughout the pandemic, (these countries) imposed less severe COVID-19 travel restrictions than elsewhere, and in doing so maintained their visitor economies. The popularity of the region has allowed as the year has progressed, they have consolidated their leadership position and begun to exceed pre-pandemic volumes.”
Put in simpler terms, countries in the Caribbean, such as the Dominican Republic, helped to gain popularity due to relaxed COVID-19 restrictions and the proximity to US travelers who were eager to vacation during the Pandemic.
Oliver Ponti, VP at Forward Keys praised the area and says, “looking at the world on a regional basis, one must admire Caribbean countries for their early efforts to sustain visitor arrivals in the face of the pandemic and their continued growth in an increasingly competitive travel landscape.”
The Dominican Republic has no plans to slow down in 2022 and beyond as it aims to become the premier destination for pristine beaches, abundant nature, luxury resorts, and convenient cruising in the Caribbean. Along with the theme park and wedding venue discussed above, the country has been making logistical improvements in the tourism sector. The country is enacting protocols for high season to ensure that the airport continues to run smoothly as it welcomes tourists worldwide. Government officials are pledging to increase road safety with new traffic lights and laws to protect tourists from danger.
Aside from logistical and administrative changes, companies are investing big money to cash in on the country’s popularity. Marriott is opening their first W resort in Dominican Republic’s most popular city, Punta Cana. The property will be an adult-only resort aimed at luxury amenities and unmatched comfort on a beachfront property. Airlines are also taking note of the success, with many carriers ramping up flights to meet demand during high season and others offering deals to stand out from the crowd as supply increases.
Whether you arrive by plane or cruise ship, there has never been a better time to visit the Dominican Republic. Ready to plan your trip? Check out our article on the best-rated resorts in Punta Cana this winter!
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