Tourist arrivals reached a record number in the Dominican Republic during July, boosted by an increase in cruise passenger arrivals of almost 100,000 passengers, which will likely be surpassed in the coming months and years.
The Dominican Republic is investing heavily in tourism, with the addition and upgrades of several cruise ports and a push from the current government to bring more tourists to the country.
Nearly 100,000 Cruise Ship Passengers in One Month
Traditionally a country reliant on all-inclusive vacation packages, the Dominican Republic is steadily increasing the opportunities it has to welcome more tourists to the country. One option the government is taking with both hands is bringing more cruise ships to one of the island’s many cruise ports.
This strategy is certainly paying dividends; during the month of July, the Dominican Republic welcomed 98,389 cruise ship passengers. With the steady build-up of several cruise ports in the country, this number will likely increase significantly over the coming years.
Including Amber Cove, Puerto Plata, Isla Catalina, La Romana, Punta Cana, and the capital of Santo Domingo, the country already features some of the busiest cruise ports in the Caribbean area. With the addition of Puerto Cabo Rojo, which will be able to handle up to one million passengers per year, the country is nearly doubling its capacity.
Add to that the expansion and renovation of Samana Bayport, which has a capacity of 10,000 passengers per day, about the same as Puerto Plata. The country is looking at significantly increasing the financial impact of those cruise ship guests on the local economies.
Port Authority executive director Jean Luis Rodríguez said, “We have had a great boom in cruise ships and we intend to continue expanding, we are talking about having a projection of going from three to six terminals.
Cases like Cabo Rojo in Pedernales, with the new terminal, Barahona; a province where it has always dreamed of receiving cruise ships and we are already working on a plan, as well as in Samaná and Arroyo Barril, which will be carried out through Public Private Partnerships.”
700,000 Tourists In One Month Driving Economic Recovery
It’s not just cruise passengers making an impact in the Dominican Republic, and driving the economic recovery the country sorely needed post-pandemic.
During the entire year, the Dominican Republic has welcomed 4 million 182 thousand tourists. July is the absolute highlight, with more than 700,000 tourists visiting the white sand beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, and diving hotspots the country hosts.
The United States continues to lead as a country of origin for tourists, followed by Canada, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Spain, Cuba, and the United Kingdom.
“We did it again. We achieved an extraordinary month in tourist arrivals to the Dominican Republic. July 2022 becomes, together with December 2021, the only months in history in which we surpassed 700,000 tourists in one month,” Minister David Collado said.
Over the coming year, the Dominican Republic expects to welcome over 7 million visitors in total, which will have a considerable impact on the local economy.
The country is nearly entirely dependent on the tourism trade, meaning that the 931 million dollars in foreign exchange earnings it earned in July from the 700,000 tourists are making a significant impact.