Tourist visits have continuously increased, to the point that it has made this nation the leader in tourism in the Antilles archipelago. 5.9 million tourists were recorded between January and November 2018, which is a 6.2% inter-annual increase.
The upcoming edition of the International Tourism Fair, FITUR 2019, will present the Dominican Republic as a partner country, a destination that has continued to grow in recent years and which is currently a tourism leader in the Caribbean, with 6.2 million international tourists arriving in 2017, according to the Dominican Republic Central Bank. The addition of the Dominican Republic as a FITUR partner opens a wide field of joint action for communication and promotion of this important tourism industry event, organized by IFEMA from the 23 to 27 January at Feria de Madrid.
This collaboration also contributes to creating a close relationship between the sum of the Dominican Republic and the International Tourism Fair, which will enable the new FITUR partner, a country that has long participated in the Fair, to take advantage and benefit even more from the event’s great promotional potential. Under the slogan “It has everything” the Caribbean country will set up an important international showcase to promote the destination.
The strong ties with Spain in language, culture and history, as well as the good commercial relations and air connections, make the Dominican Republic a destination packed with opportunities and in constant growth for the tourism industry. This industry represents 60 to 70% of the total Spanish investment in the island, with plans to increase in coming years, positively affecting the country’s economy and tourism development.
The “FITUR partner” initiative was implemented in 2016 and it provides Trade Fair participants with the chance to join a partner program, offering them the widest publicity and impact for their destination through its communication strategy.
A leader in Caribbean Island tourism
Cruise tourism is also going through a period of development and success, after registering a record number of 546,444 cruise passengers in 2017, with a very good forecast for 2018. “The Ministry of tourism estimates that by the end of 2018 we will have positive tourist numbers. The Dominican Republic is the favorite long-distance destination for Spaniards”, explained Karyna Font-Bernard, director of the Dominican Republic Tourism Office for Spain and Portugal. In 2017 a total of 173,065 Spanish tourists travelled to the destination, which takes up the Eastern two-thirds of the island that Christopher Columbus founded as Hispaniola.
The increase in the complementary offering, excursions and tourism attractions, as well as the noticeable increase of internal land, air and sea communications justify not only the inter-annual growth in tourism but also the interest of international investors in the destination. The increase and improvement of the hotels is one of the most significant indicators. Throughout 2018 over 7,000 new rooms were added to the accommodation offered by the Dominican Republic. Therefore, it is expected that the year will close having exceeded expectations regarding the number of tourists.
The Spanish groups are the ones best positioned in the destination and both the projects completed and the ongoing investments clearly show that the Dominican Republic is a firm choice for the future.
Top “eco-tourism” destination
Visitors at the Trade Fair will discover that this destination, bathed by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, has a green heart. Beyond its spectacular beaches, the Dominican Republic is vying for a top place in the eco-tourism destination ranking, meeting the expectations of adventure and nature tourism fans.
Mangroves, lagoons and natural wells, coral reefs and marine sanctuaries, dry forests and mountain ranges, among others. The diversity of eco-systems in the Dominican Republic provide it with an exuberant natural heritage, still largely unexplored by mass tourism. With 128 natural protected areas, which include 15 natural reserves, 32 national parks and unique locations, such as the Hoyo Azul wellspring, the Natural Park Los Haitises over the Samaná Bay, the Padre Nuestro Ecological Trail that crosses through tropical rainforest or the Ébano Verde Scientific Reserve, with its crystal-clear spa, the country aims to diversify its tourism in the coming years.
“Our picture-perfect beaches, our colonial legacy and our unique criollo gastronomy are well-known by our visitors; therefore, we will now focus on also showing them the incredible biodiversity and variety of activities that they can enjoy outdoors, in the midst of nature and all year round, thanks to our tropical climate”, pointed out Karyna Font-Bernard.
FITUR 2019 will be the global meeting point for tourism professionals and it will once again be the leading trade fair for the incoming and outgoing Latin American markets. The last edition brought together 251,000 participants, with over 6,800 business meetings. For five days, from the 23 to 27 January, this large global tourism event, organized by IFEMA at Feria de Madrid, will offer a wide array of content, specialized sections, B2B and B2C meetings, as well as a variety of activities aimed at promoting improvement in tourism management, destinations and traveler experiences. The progressive specialization of tourism has its best reference in the various sections offered by FITUR. Among these, the new section FITUR CINE/SCREEN TOURISM, along with the content provided by the monographic areas FITUR FESTIVALS, which is the backdrop for the first-time music festival FITUR IS MUSIC; FiturtechY; Fitur Know-How & Export; FITUR HEALTH and FITUR LGBT.
The Dominican Republic comprises 32 provinces, with a total surface area of 48,760 square kilometers and a population of over 10 million inhabitants. It borders to the North with the Atlantic Ocean, to the South with the Caribbean Sea, to the East with the Canal de la Mona, separating it from Puerto Rico, and to the West with the Republic of Haiti. The Dominican Republic is currently one of the countries that has the most tourism attractions, hence it is visited by millions of tourists every year. Some of its most popular places are Bávaro-Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, Boca Chica, Juan Dolio, Bayahibe, Puerto Plata, Sosúa, Cabarete, Samaná, Las Terrenas, Las Galeras, Jarabacoa and Constanza.
eTN is a media partner for FITUR.