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Dominican Republic gets ready to compete with Cuba as tourism destination

Cuba is trending as a holiday destination and gained more visitors and a more privileged position within Caribbean tourism during the past few years. Looking to maintain their current status in the region, the Dominican Republic now prepares to face this strong competition, which is threatening to lure more American visitors after US-Cuba thaw.

Dominican Republic gets ready to compete with Cuba as tourism destination

Generating over 5 million visitors a year, tourism is one of the main pillars in the Dominican Republic’s economy. After years of occupying the number one spot in Caribbean destinations, the country’s tourism authorities are now concerned about Cuba becoming their main competition in the sector.

The country’s National Hotels and Tourism Associations (ASONAHORES) have already begun taking steps to prepare for this strong competition.

After the re-establishment of diplomatic bonds between Cuba and the US, travel restrictions were loosened for Americans and they are now able to visit the island if they fit into one of 12 legal categories authorised by the US government.

With this new possibility, many Americans are looking to get to know the nation that has been off-limits for over five decades. Given that the US is traditionally one of the Dominican Republic’s most important sources of visitors, the country must prepare to compete with Cuba in order to reach their targets for tourism income this year.

As he gave the opening speech the association’s 30th Annual Trade Show, ASONAHORES president Simon Suarez declared that the country had a position to defend to reach national targets, including the goal of visits by 10 million tourists by 2022. Suarez went on to say that the Dominican Republic must maintain their position during this time of change in the region and declared they should keep investing in tourism to face competition with Cuba:

“This is a scenario in which the country should maintain public investment in infrastructure and increase the public pace of investment in promotion abroad. As the Caribbean’s main destination we must expand our coverage and prepare for strong competition with Cuba.”

The Dominican Republic is currently the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean region, and ranks sixth overall in the Americas. Its tropical climate, white-sand beaches, diverse mountainous landscape, and colonial history attract visitors from around the world.

As one of the most geographically diverse nations in the region, the Dominican Republic is home to the Caribbean's tallest mountain peak, Pico Duarte, as well as the largest lake and lowest elevation, Lake Enriquillo. The country is also the site of the first cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress built in all of the Americas, located in Santo Domingo's Colonial Zone, an area declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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