After Another Strong Year, D.R. Optimistic For 2017
After another very strong year for tourism, the Dominican Republic says it is setting aggressive new targets for 2017, underpinned by new developments, increased investment in infrastructure and soaring cruise traffic.
Several arrival records were broken in 2016, with a 9% increase from 2015. Even more impressive is the 67.5% increase in cruise passenger arrivals, with 580,000 cruise passengers arriving throughout the year.
PUJ airport arrivals increased 7.1% over 2015, and it continues to be the busiest airport in the Caribbean, accepting over 2.4 million arrivals each year.
With new hotel developments, the addition of Cap Cana Marina as an international cruise port, plus new and re-invigorated activities and festivals throughout the country, D.R. officials are expecting another good year in 2017.
Here are a few emerging developments:
$100 Million in Improvements: Las Terrenas, a popular destination in Samaná, will undergo extensive renovations to advance tourism in the northeast region. Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina recently approved the beach town’s relaunch, which includes renovations to the beach, tourist promenade, hospital and more.
Strong Shoulder Season: According to the Central Bank, October marked another record-breaking month with 5,411,796 total arrivals, representing a increase of 366,112 passengers from October 2015.
PUJ Is Popping: The National Association of Hotels and Tourism announced that hotels and resorts in Punta Cana achieved an average 82.8% occupancy this year. Overall occupancy in the D.R. averaged 79.3%.
Riu Makes a Splash: RIU Hotels & Resorts recently opened Splash Water World in Punta Cana, a water park designed for travellers of all ages. The US$3.5 million complex is accessible at no charge to guests staying at any of the five RIU hotels in Punta Cana, and is the brand’s first water park.