Dominican Republic leads way in tourism recovery

The Dominican Republic welcomed 7.9 million foreign air travellers last year, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 2019 and hitting a record in 2022. This makes it one of the first countries in the world to see its tourist arrivals in 2022 exceed 2019 numbers. Arrivals grew by 11.4% between 2019 and 2022.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) acknowledged the incredible recovery of tourism in the Dominican Republic last May. At the time, Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the UN agency, said that the Dominican Republic was the number one country in the world in tourism recovery . He then highlighted that the coutnry’s tourism model stands out as an example for the recovery of the industry, reaching record figures in tourist arrivals.

Recent figures published by the Dominican Republic show the extraordinary recovery since 2019. That year, total arrivals by air reached 7.126 million, including 6.388 million coming for leisure purposes. 2020 hit the bottom line with 2.707 million travellers, before recovering in 2021 to 5.59 million foreign arrivals. In 2022, total arrivals jumped to 7.942 million according to the country’s national office of statistics. This represented a growth of 42% between 2021 and 2022. But even better, it also represented a growth of 11.4% compared to the year 2019.

Dominican Republic leads way in tourism recovery
Cayo Arena island in Puerto Plata (Photo credit )

In details, while the total of leisure travellers still remain below 2019 numbers (6.24 million in 2022 versus 6.38 million in 2019), the business travel and the conference/MICE segments showed very strong progression. Travellers for business purposes generated last year close to 210,000 arrivals (compared to 96,312 in 2019) while conference and MICE travellers reached 73,410 arrivals (compared to 22,102 in 2019).

Figures regarding arrivals by cruises are estimated to have reached in 2022 an additional 1.3 million travellers, pointing to a strong bouncing back. This was a growth of 20% compared to 2019 figures. According to figures provided by the Dominican Republic ministry of tourism, tourists spent a record US$8.671 billion last year. The country’s hotel sector closed out 2022 with a room occupancy of over 75%.

The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism will be exhibiting at ITB Berlin 2023, Hall 22 / Stand 108.

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