Increase in Canadians, new cruise port and hotels for the Dominican Republic

Increase in Canadians, new cruise port and hotels for the D.R.

TORONTO — The Dominican Republic has once again solidified its reputation for being a top vacation destination, welcoming over 900,000 Canadians in 2018.

In total, the country recorded more than 6.5 million passengers via air travel last year, a 6.2% increase of more than 380,000 additional arrivals compared to 2017. Of that, 904,460 were Canadian, representing an increase of 67,356 from 2017.

According to the Dominican Civil Aviation Board (JAC), one of the topmost trafficked flight routes was Toronto to Punta Cana.

Cruising is also anticipated to increase following the Dominican Republic Port Authority’s recent announcement of a US$125 million cruise port scheduled for 2020. The port will be able to handle 680,000 passengers per year, with five cruise lines already planning on calling there, including Virgin Voyages’ brand new Scarlet Lady.

In hotel news, Marriot International’s $350 million project will add three new luxury resorts – possibly a Ritz-Carlton and a W – to the Puerto Plata region. Moreover, Hilton recently opened two new all-inclusive hotels in La Romana, while the highly anticipated Club Med Miches, Playa Esmeralda continues to generate big buzz, recently ranking on Forbes Magazine’s list of most anticipated 2019 Caribbean properties.

Punta Cana also welcomed the country’s first BG Hotel Group property, which offers a total of 345 rooms ranging from Junior Suites to Premium Suites, as well as seven restaurants, eight bars and several pools. The latest property from H10 Hotels is also open – Ocean El Faro – an all-inclusive resort on famous Uvero Alto beach boasting 618 rooms, 13 bars, 10 restaurants, a spa centre, pools and a 293-room, adults-only phase called El Beso coming later this year.

Excellence Group Luxury Hotels and Resorts will be expanding with a new all-inclusive luxury resort in Punta Cana. The resort, slated to open in the first half of 2020, will offer 450 suites and will be the third brand location in the Dominican Republic.

In addition to the region of Miches, the Dominican Republic has set its sights on developing a new tourism hub in the area of Bahia de las Aguilas, on the country’s southwestern coast. The new destination will include the construction of an airport, port areas and the possibility of building more than 15,000 new hotel rooms in the area.

For golfers, Greg Norman is in the process of constructing his first Dominican golf course in Santo Domingo. The 18-hole course is set on 1.1 million square metres and is expected to open in late 2019. Also, the high-end Rio San Juan Golf Course at Playa Grande Golf & Ocean Club recently celebrated its grand opening and is anticipated to become one of the country’s best golf courses.

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