Real Estate Tourism Continues to Expand and Attracts More Investors

The business climate, legal certainty, location, and beauty of the country captivate buyers, including homes


15 years ago, the subject of real estate tourism was not well known in the Dominican Republic; He wasn’t talked about that often. The fact that there is US$10 billion invested in the sector is a reason to mention it.

They are investments placed in different points of the national geography, through the fifteen members that the Dominican Association of Real Estate Tourism Companies (ADETI) has. This private organization brings together the main tourism real estate companies in the country, such as Cana Rock, Ciudad Destino Cap Cana, Costasur/Casa de Campo, Club Hemingway, Green One Playa Dorada, Grupo Puntacana, Grupo Velutini, Kaynoa, Metro Country Club, Playa Grande Golf & Ocean Club, Playa Nueva Romana, Puntarena, Rincón Bay, Terra RD Partners (INICIA asset manager) and Tropicalia (Cisneros Organization).

In real estate tourism, foreign investment has been a key element. Of what there is, for example, in Cap Cana, 70% is American and Canadian; the other part is mixed, between European and Dominican.

In the past two years, Dominican investment has increased, and there is an explanation for this, from the point of view of the president of ADETI, Jorge Subero Medina.

“These are Dominicans who have been looking for a first home, or Dominicans who began to make different investments to build that home so that a foreigner can buy it. They have done it as developers. That means –concretely- that many Dominicans have become housing developers”, the business representative told el Caribe.

And the individual contribution?

Tourism is one of the pillars of the Dominican economy; This has been evidenced in the current context of the world crisis (due to the covid-19 pandemic, and later with the Russia-Ukraine conflict) if you look at the fact that in the recovery of the country, the sector has been of great push.

For example, in May the Monthly Indicator of Economic Activity registered an interannual growth of 4.8%, for an accumulated variation of 5.6% during the first five months of 2022 when compared to the same period in 2021. Seen in particular, hotels, bars, and restaurants increased by 35% (data from the Central Bank).

But it has been happening that within general tourism the contribution of real estate tourism has not been accurately measured. ADETI has begun to deal with the matter a little and wants to see it from the arrival of tourists to the country and the segmentation, which has not been done with a breakdown yet, according to Subero Medina.

Until now it has been measured, for example, whether the tourist is foreign or local and some other aspects. In other words, it has not been quantified how much is real estate from tourism that comes to the Dominican Republic.

The name real estate tourism is not very common. In Mexico and Spain, they call it residential tourism. Subero Medina acknowledges that, in general, it is very complex to measure, especially because if a person buys a property or a lot to build their house, it is not easy to determine how much money the owner invests to build. This, despite the fact that it is a property that is built by buying material in this country and using workers, architects, engineers, and later people who are hired to maintain and care for the home.

In the Dominican Republic, Cap Cana has become a destination for real estate tourism and rest homes; is due to many factors.

Cap Cana began as a destination, with a master plan of a planned city. It was something like having a blank land and with that land, it was planned what went in each place, and it continued to evolve.

In 2007 and 2008 what was seen there was the theme of a second home and little of the hotel theme. After the crisis, which was real estate and finance at an international level, the topic of high-luxury all-inclusive hotels became.

At that time, the hotel industry rose to a higher level and that was when Cap Cana turned a little inside so that hotels could be developed. Then, when the covid-19 pandemic arrived, in 2020, it became a “first home” space.

“Many people began to analyze that if they have the technology and can live in large places, this place is an excellent option in the Dominican Republic,” recalls Jorge Subero, who is also the executive president of Cap Cana.

The proximity to the capital, technology, and infrastructure, has made it possible for Cap Cana to become not only a place for a second home but also a first home, for an important part of the people, he says.

Additionally, the interconnection with Europe and the United States makes it possible for many Cap Cana investors to come and live in the country for four, five, or even six months. Cap Cana is an organized city, without problems of chaos, traffic jams, or anything that has been generating stress in big cities for years.

“This organization is the fruit of planning and has developed a master plan that respects internal regulations, not only state (government), but internal. And those regulations control even the weight of the dogs, the neighbors, and everything else,” explains Subero Medina.

For example, if you are on a golf course in Cap Cana, which is a low-density area, you are not allowed to have many condominiums or houses very close together. The boundaries are established and this avoids causing stress in the area. Everything is done with planning and respect for that planning.

The permit

The documentation part continues to worry the real estate tourism sector, and the fact of having to go to different institutions at least eleven times to obtain a permit for a real estate tourism project generates stress.

Depending on the lot, you have to go, for example, to the Cadastral Survey, to the Registry of Titles, to the Town Hall, Ministry of Tourism, Confotur, Public Works, Ministry of Finance, General Directorate of Internal Taxes, to Codia (if it is construction), and see the part of the condominium regime.

The president of the ADETI appreciates that very specific steps have been taken in favor, of the digitization of permits, because that eliminates bureaucracy, prevents people from putting their hands on documents, and increases deadlines. It increases them, as it allows that although an institution has closed at three in the afternoon, “you have the possibility of uploading a document until eleven fifty-nine at night.”

With all the services of an organized city

The repositioning of Cap Cana has been a work of 20 years, says its executive president.
“It is the only destination that has really been developed with a master plan since its inception. Second, Cap Cana is becoming a city, not a resort. Many of the buyers are motivated to place their capital there because that city has nightlife and other attractions that other similar destinations do not have,” he explains.

Within Cap Cana, there are more than 50 restaurants with a wide variety.

They are distributed between the “Fishing Lodge” area, which is the night area; the hotels, the stables, in Sanctuary town, and in the Green Village square. In the region, it is only comparable, possibly with Mexico, with the exception that the Aztec nation has been living on tourism for around fifty or sixty years. Cap Cana is younger.

Within the repositioning of the brand, the implemented strategy is to let Dominicans know that they can in various ways live on the outskirts of cities, some cities are increasingly congested.

Cap Cana currently has the El Dorado park under construction, which is the second park it will have. It is an adventure park.

The president of ADETI cites the importance of hoteliers creating infrastructure and amenities inside, to offer complimentary options to tourists. “That has led us to reposition ourselves, to have something different,” he says. The services that are required to live are in Cap Cana: School, pharmacies, bank, deli, cafeteria, supermarket, restaurants that do not belong to hotels, shopping centers, and a church.