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Santo Domingo to be transformed into the capital of the Caribbean with new hotels, museums and activities

The capital of the Dominican Republic and the country's only UNESCO World Heritage Site is to soon benefit from a massive investment and development project that aims to exploit the city's potential and attract more tourism. Plans include the additions of new hotels and museums as well as the creation of new, educational cultural immersions and recreational options.

Santo Domingo to be transformed into the capital of the Caribbean with new hotels, museums and activities

The first city in the Americas to be discovered and founded has experienced a popularity boom in recent years, with tourism authorities now looking to bank on this appeal and enhance it to attract an even larger number of tourists. After being mostly ignored for years, in favour of other sun and beach destinations like Punta Cana or Puerto Plata, the Dominican Republic is finally turning its attention to is historic capital, Santo Domingo, the oldest in the New World, dating all the way back to 1498.

At the recent Santo Domingo Meeting, Incentives Convention and Events (SDQ MICE), the city’s Hotel Association announced a series of additions and renovations that would take place across Santo Domingo to make it the country’s premier destination for national and international meetings and conventions. After opening with a new promotional video of Santo Domingo, which showcased the city’s potential with its 4,000 rooms and 1,500 conference rooms, many of the city’s top hotels followed by pledging they would be updating their properties next year in order to further propel this growth.

Some of the Santo Domingo hotels to enjoy renovations and upgrades in 2019 include: El Embajador Crowne Plaza Santo Domingo, Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino, Catalonia Santo Domingo Hotel, Radisson Santo Domingo, Hodelpa’s Nicolas de Ovando and Royal Hideaway Hotel. More could soon be added to the list as the capital gets in tip-top shape to welcome an increasing number of international tourists.

But it’s not just high-end hotels that are trying to look their best in the Dominican Republic capital. The country’s Ministry of Tourism has also revealed plans to support the city’s goal of becoming the Caribbean’s most culturally diverse destination with a new series of unique attractions announced by the Development Programme of the Colonial City. The most notable and extraordinary of these is a new Underwater Heritage Museum, a subaquatic experience where visitors will be able to view close to 1,200 underwater shipwrecks, including the remains of one of the three 15th century vessels in which Columbus made his first landing in the Americas - the Santa Maria ship. This immersive and educational attraction is due to open in June and anticipation is rife for it to become one of the most noteworthy museums not just in Santo Domingo, but in all of the Caribbean.

Other improvements to be carried out throughout the city include the introduction of ten public walking routes for tourists, financed with $31.5 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IBD) and showing visitors Santo Domingo like never before. This summer will see the official launch of the Ruta Imperdible (Must-See Route or Unmissable Route) offering a quick glance through the city’s 500 years of history.

To learn more about the Colonial City’s planned enhancements, take a look at the facts below:

  • A 64 per cent spike in tourist arrivals since 2010
  • A 77 per cent increase in cruise ship arrivals compared to 2017
  • 500 new businesses being set up over the last 5 years, most directly or indirectly linked to the tourism sector
  • Updates and renovations carried out in pavements, old houses and local buildings

Sound impressive? Just wait until the planned improvements are done and you’ll see Santo Domingo shine like never before!

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