The Dominican Republic has always been a Caribbean hotspot with scenic locations and venues for tropical weddings, lively hotels for bachelor parties and girls trips, and family-friendly resorts for fun in the sun for everyone! But in recent years, the Dominican Republic has been growing economically and with that has come to an increase in tourism. In the first three months of 2018, the country has seen nearly 4 million passengers enter the country and with more flight routes and airlines being added, it doesn’t appear that the DR plans on slowing down anytime soon.
Why does the DR stand out to travelers? It is a leader in the tourism market because of its accessibility from a wide variety of U.S. gateways, the airfare is affordable thanks to the competition from multiple airlines available, and the country offers diverse vacation options suitable for an assortment of tastes. Not to mention, this past hurricane season, the country got lucky! There has been a trend coined the “Hurricane Effect” which looks at the increase in tourism due to other Caribbean nations getting hit hard, deterring visitors and directing a flow of tourists to the Dominican Republic.
Let’s talk about the U.S. gateways and affordable airlines. This year, the number of passengers traveling to the Dominican Republic from January-March has increased by 5.4% in comparison to the same time slot last year. There are seven new air routes operating to the DR that didn’t exist prior to 2017. Along with different cities scattered around the States, there are new airline routes coming in from Sweden, England, Germany, Iceland, Denmark, and Ecuador. Big time airlines still dominate like Jet Blue, Delta Airlines, American Airlines, Air Transat, etc. but there are new routes coming into play that are bringing in massive passenger loads. Take, for example, the new Philadelphia-Punta Cana route operated by Allegiant Air. This airline is known for its low-cost format and travelers are drawn to it, bringing about 5,000 passengers in.
The number of incoming travelers keeps rising, and if one thing is for certain, as a Caribbean country with tourism as a main economic resource, more visitors means more economic growth. Economic growth leads to more infrastructure improvements and more jobs available to local and foreign markets within the country. Over the past few years, the country has seen a steady increase in visitors and if the first quarter is any indication of how 2018 will be, I don’t expect it to slow down anytime soon. I am very proud of the work the ministry of tourism has put into advertising and promoting our beautiful island oasis!