DATE gets underway in Punta Cana with Canadian tour ops signing on for more lift to the D.R.

DATE gets underway in Punta Cana with Canadian tour ops signing on for more lift to the D.R.

PUNTA CANA — Welcoming travel suppliers, international travel agents, media and more, the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE), taking place May 11-13, kicked off this week for the first time in two years, at the Barceló Bávaro Grand Resort in Punta Cana.

In its 22nd edition, DATE’s success is evident in its record-breaking numbers: 30% higher attendance, with 6,000+ business meetings scheduled, and 700 delegates.

A recording of the opening ceremony is here (fast-forward to approximately the 42-minute mark):


Welcoming delegates at DATE’S opening ceremonies on May 11, Rafael Blanco Tereja, President of the Hotel and Tourism Association of the Dominican (ASONAHORES), said “this level of participation represents a record for us and validates the importance of the Dominican tourism sector and the recovery of tourism after the pandemic.”

In the first four months of 2022, the D.R. has received more than 2.3 million tourists and is projected to surpass 7 million arrivals by the end of 2022, an all-time record.

Specific to the Canadian market, the D.R.’s Minister of Tourism, David Collado, together with ASONAHORES signed an agreement with Canadian tour operators and airlines, with the aim of promoting new air routes that will increase capacity to the destination from Canadian gateways.

The agreement was signed by Minister Collado along with the President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, and the President of ASONAHORES, Rafael Blanco Tejera, together with Renee Boisvert, VP Product, Air Transat; Eric Rodriguez, Executive VP, Sunwing; and Dina Bertolo, VP, Product Development for Air Canada  Vacations.


Just this week, the World Tourism Organization, through its Secretary General, recognized the D.R. as the number one country in the world in the recovery of tourism worldwide.

In his opening remarks Tereja made sure to discuss the importance of tourism sector and its ability to contribute to transportation, foreign exchange, jobs and the thousands of enterprises that supply goods and services to that sector.

In acknowledging the work of the entire industry, Tereja also thanked the Tourism Minister Collado for his leadership and success in moving the destination forward with strength and success.

Collado had his own take on the exciting numbers the D.R. is seeing so far this year. The destination broke records with the greatest entry of foreigners in the history of D.R. tourism in April 2022, receiving 726,000 people, and Collado is projecting that this will continue into May.

He credited the entire industry, commenting: “It is a clear result of what happens when we all come together towards a common goal, when we leave out political interests and differences to focus on what matters. And what matters are the jobs that have been recovered, the airports that are no longer empty, but full, the cruise ship ports full of tourists.”

More information on DATE 2022 is here.

Stay tuned to Travelweek Daily for more coverage of DATE 2022 in the days to come.


Main photo: Dignitaries on hand for the official opening of DATE 2022 in Punta Cana included René Grullón, EVP, Commercial, Banco Popular Dominicano (far left); Minister of Tourism David Collado (third from left); President of Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader (centre); Rafael Blanco Tereja, President, ASONAHORES (third from right); and Samuel Pereyra Rojas, Administrator, Banco de Reservas