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Dominican Republic hopes to bring in 10 million holiday-makers

The Dominican Republic, which has seen a surge in tourism in recent years, hopes to bring 10 million tourists to the country in the near future. Over the last 10 years, the country has seen a more than 50% increase in the number of tourists. Most of this growth is confined to the country’s resort areas, but the capital, Santo Domingo, is undergoing a massive restoration project in a bid to attract tourists.

Dominican Republic hopes to bring in 10 million holiday-makers

According to a recent report by Dominican Today news, the country’s plan to bring in 10 million tourists is gaining ground.

A recent Central Bank report stated that the number of tourists arriving in the Caribbean nation increased by 50.3% in the last 10 years.

According to the report, the number of non-resident passenger arrivals was 3.9 million in 2006, and 5.9 million at the end of 2016.

The report stated that:

“That growth has last accelerated in six years, though according to current figures that the country reaches the goal of 10 million tourists isn’t guaranteed.”

The country’s plan to dramatically increase tourism may fall short, however. The Central Bank’s analysis of the accumulative flow of non-resident visitors in the January-May 2017 period indicates a year-on-year growth of 6.7%.

In recent years, the Dominican Republic has grown in popularity as a tourist destination, but that growth was limited largely to resorts along the country’s coasts. More recently, the capital city of Santo Domingo has made concerted efforts to draw some of those tourists away from the beaches and into the old colonial city. Millions of dollars have been spent in making Santo Domingo more tourist-friendly, with new streetlights, sidewalks, and the restoration of numerous old buildings. The project is funded by a $120 million dollar loan from the Inter-American Development Bank.

The first part of the project involved painting hundreds of homes and restoring dozens of colonial-era facades. New businesses have followed closely behind, with numerous new shops and cafes opening in the historic parts of the city. The second phase will focus more on economic development and providing opportunities for poor residents in the city centre.

In addition to the restoration of the colonial part of Santo Domingo, the city also boasts a new convention centre and has plans for five hotels in the next two years. In 2016 alone, more than 5,000 new hotel rooms were added, although most of that growth was limited to Punta Cana. Tourism officials predict that the D.R. could have more than 80,000 hotel rooms by the end of 2017. 

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