Source: Travel Pulse

The Dominican Republic continues to be a top sun destination for Canadians. The newest Dominican visitor arrival details, for January to May 2019, show the region with the highest increase in arrivals was North America, with 123,567 more visitors for an 8% growth – including 2,285 more visitors from Canada.

The majority of the foreign tourist arrivals landed at the Punta Cana airport at 67.2%, followed by Las Americas in Santo Domingo with 15.5% of the total, and Puerto Plata at 8.5%.

Cruise Arrivals

The Dominican Republic has received between January and July 2019 a total of 907,545 visitors in 292 cruise ships, of which 675,176 were passengers (cruise passengers) and 232,369 correspond to the cruise crew.

Increased Air Lift

Air Canada, Air Transat and Sunwing are making it easier for Canadians to travel to the Dominican Republic this winter season. Air Canada will be offering direct service between Quebec City and the popular sun destination Punta Cana. Air Transat announced the addition of direct flights from Vancouver and Hamilton to Punta Cana, and from London and Montreal to Puerto Plata. And Sunwing added a new flight from London to Punta Cana.

Environmental Roadmap

The Dominican Republic seeks to play its part to minimize the impacts of climate change and pollution. The Roadmap for Low Carbon and Resource Efficient Accommodation in the Dominican Republic was first presented in May 2019 during a meeting attended by 75 representatives from the tourism sector in Punta Cana. The roadmap sets five targets for the accommodation sector in the Dominican Republic: to reduce by 25% greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (from a 2020 baseline), reduce food waste by half, a 25% of reduction in non-renewable energy use, the complete elimination of single-use plastics and the uptake of a sustainability certification for hotels.

New Developments

The development of new Dominican properties reflects the high demand for tourism in the country. At DATE 2019, it was reported that 6,200 hotel rooms are currently under construction, which is 8.7% of the country’s current hotel supply.

Punta Cana:

Marriott International has announced it will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in all-inclusive resort products. The initiative includes new management contracts with hotel developers who plan to build five new all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Latin America including a 650-room Autograph Collection resort Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, opening scheduled for 2022. https://noticias.espanol.marriott.com/

The first stone was laid for construction of the Pure Salt Orchidarium in the northern Uvero Alto area of greater Punta Cana. The Pure Salt Orchidarium is a EUR75.3 million investment. The 269-room adults-only resort will feature pools, five-themed restaurants, four bars, a coffee shop, conference space for 350 people and a giant orchid garden as its centerpiece. This is the chain’s first resort outside of Spain. https://presidencia.gob.do/

AMResorts announced a new project in Punta Cana which will be the hotel group’s fifth Dominican property. Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana will hold an impressive 500 rooms and suites all with ocean views. The luxury resort will include a spa, six restaurants, seven bars, multiple pools and more. www.travelagentcentral.com

Excellence Group officially broke ground on an extensive all-inclusive property in Punta Cana. The group’s third Dominican resort, Finest Punta Cana, will have 450 suites with 60 suites dedicated to families. The resort will offer over 20 restaurants, six pools, in-room jacuzzis and plunge pools. www.caribjournal.com

Eden Roc Cap Cana has unveiled the new $2 million, 30,000-square-foot spa called the Solaya Spa and Wellness Center. The luxurious spa contains 12 treatment rooms with indoor and outdoor cabins, a 1,200-square foot anti-gravity yoga studio, aqua gardens and a freshwater pool. www.caribjournal.com/

Puerto Plata:

In 2018, Puerto Plata welcomed 407,568 tourists by air and 518,121 by cruise. According to the figures from the Central Bank, this represents an increase of more than 18% in the arrival of tourists by air, in relation to previous years

Puerto Plata continues to be the country’s leading cruise ship destination, since the opening of Amber Cove in 2015. To date, 543 cruise ship stops, bringing 2,275,727 cruise passengers and crew have arrived at that port. Puerto Plata is working to attract more maritime tourists with a second cruise ship terminal, Taino Bay, scheduled to open in 2020 and attracting different cruise lines. The new port is under construction in the city of Puerto Plata.

Amhsa Marina has invested more than $25 million dollars in updates to facilities and technology for its luxury Casa Marina Beach & Reef hotel in Sosúa.


Thanks to the new Samaná Whale Watcher mobile app tourists can interact with scientific researchers at the touch of a button to report whale sightings. Preserving biodiversity and marine life is a top priority for the Dominican Republic. Now tourists can support oceanic health, disseminate valuable sighting reports and learn more information about many whale species. Whale watching season runs from January to March in Samaná Bay.

Cristal International Standards, a leading consulting firm for safety and quality management, awarded Viva Wyndham V Samaná three Cristal Awards for maintaining the highest levels of health and safety standards. According to Cristal International Standards, Viva Wyndham Resorts are becoming the quality standard benchmark.

Santo Domingo:

The Finance Ministry and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) recently signed a US$90 million loan contract for the second phase of the tourism and urban development project for Santo Domingo’s Colonial City. The Colonial City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, remains one of the most visited tourism destinations in the Dominican Republic.

The first phase of Santo Domingo’s renovated Malecon is complete. The “Paseo Maítimo” or “Seaside Walk” features 3.5 kilometres of recreation, entertainment and improvements to the area including better lighting, improved pedestrian walkways and spaces reserved for families, children and live music.

Santo Domingo has a brand-new tourist site. Plaza Fray Anton de Montesinos has been revamped for visitors and the monument was opened to the general public on June 28, 2019. The monument honours the Catholic missionary who was the first to sermonize Spanish colonizers when he spoke up in favour of the native Taino Indian inhabitants of the island in 1510. His famous speech against the enslavement and harsh treatment of the indigenous people is regarded as the first human rights proclamation in the Americas. As part of the renovations, the plaza has been outfitted with meeting rooms with capacity for 150, 50 and 40, and 25 people with air conditioning and panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and the Colonial City.