Dominican Republic takes center stage of Caribbean cruise tourism


SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – The Dominican Republic (DR) located in the heart of the Caribbean, is the center for all things cruise this week as the DR Ministry of Tourism welcomes the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) conference in Santo Domingo Oct. 25-29. The Caribbean’s leading tourism destination, the DR will welcome the cruise industry’s best and brightest executives, marketers and government leaders to share their vision to accommodate the ever-increasing demand to cruise to DR ports during workshops, meetings and trade shows in the historic capital city.

“Santo Domingo’s world-class port and modern cruise terminals have a privileged geographic location at the city’s marine entrance on the Ozama River, just steps away from the ancient Colonial City. The Port of Santo Domingo is also the gateway to our vast country with over 1,000 miles of coastline,” said DR Minister of Tourism, Francisco Javier Garcia. “The DR’s location at the center of the Caribbean is very well-suited for flexible itinerary planning and easy transfers throughout the country,” he added.

Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association President Michele M. Paige said, “The FCCA annual conference provides a superb forum to cruise industry leaders and partners to exchange information, share ideas and cultivate valuable business relationships. Our conference in Santo Domingo is the most important conference of the year for the Caribbean cruise industry. Attendees will experience first-hand why Santo Domingo is so popular with cruise passengers who crave an exciting cultural and historic destination that offers a multitude of opportunities to interact with authentic Dominican culture.”

“Santo Domingo offers so much to cruise lines and passengers. Dominicans express their unique ancestry through their music, food, art, architecture and friendly hospitality. FCCA delegates and visitors alike will discover much expression of Dominican culture in Santo Domingo,” added Garcia.

With cruise tourism to the DR increasing each year, the Dominican government has a long term strategy that includes new ports and reinvesting in existing ports to ensure more cruise lines and passenger demand for the unique Dominican experience in the decades to come.

In 2009, 500,000 cruise ship passengers visited the Sans Souci and Don Diego Terminals in Santo Domingo, the Port of La Romana on the Southeast Coast; and the Samana Peninsula on the Northeast Coast. During their exploration of the DR, passengers and crew from over 400 ships spent a total of $80 million dollars in 2009. The DR Ministry of Tourism expects a five percent jump in cruise ship arrivals for 2010 due to the increasing awareness of the DR as a unique destination engaging visitors in vibrant Dominican culture, arts, history, music and gastronomy.