TORONTO — Arrivals to the D.R. were up 6.32% for January to September 2018, compared to the first nine months of 2017, topping the 5 million mark with 5.009 million arrivals.
Canadians accounted for 699,000 of the visitors during this period, contributing to North America’s status as the D.R.’s major feeder market.
The island’s ministry of tourism recently launched its new Dominican Republic ‘Smiles’ campaign to capture the country’s genuine hospitality, and boost tourism even more.
There are always new hotel updates coming out of the D.R. Here are the latest…
- Sanctuary Cap Cana has reopened its doors after a four-month, $35 million renovation. The makeover revamped the hotel’s lobby, spa and dining areas and included a restoration of the Spanish Colonial architecture. Two new towers joined the existing resort, for a total occupancy of 324 rooms.
- Grupo Lopesan, through its hotel subsidiary, Ifa Hotels, will welcome a new hotel complex in Playa Bávaro. The construction is currently entering its final phase, with structures already in place. Doors are expected to open in the summer of 2019.
- Guests visiting Hard Rock Hotel in the D.R. and Mexico no longer pay a resort credit but instead pay a 25% service fee for unlimited access to resort amenities. The Hard Rock Hotel calls the new program Limitless All-Inclusive. It debuted mid-September 2018 for travel beginning in January 2019 at participating Hard Rock Hotels. Guest are offered all-inclusive experiences such as golf at Jack Nicklaus and Robert von Hagge designed courses, Rock Spa treatments, tours and excursions and more.
- Spanish hotel chain, BlueBay Hotels, has reinforced its presence in the Caribbean with a third hotel, BlueBay Grand Punta Cana. The new five-star hotel has 156 rooms and includes a top-tier spa and three restaurants inspired by grilled foods and Mediterranean cuisine.
- Marriott, the world’s largest hotel company, is launching a new series of hotels called Moxy. The boutique hotel is for “the next generation of travellers,” and is described as vibrant and playful. Plans to bring Moxy to the D.R. are finalized, however dates and more specific information have yet to be determined.
In other D.R. news, Sunwing will offer vacationers in Sept-Îles, Quebec two different winter sun destinations from their local airport. The airline will fly from Sept-Îles, QC to Punta Cana and Cancun.
The D.R.’s beaches are getting plenty of attention, with the Ministry of Tourism recently allocating 777 million pesos (about Can$20.4 million) to the regeneration of 11 beaches in popular tourist regions including Punta Cana, Puerto Plata and Samaná.
The beaches of Arena Gorda, El Cortecito, Cabeza de Toro and Macao will be regenerated. The project also covers the beaches of Bolaños-Costa Verde and El Morro, in Monte Cristi; Cofresí, in Puerto Plata; Playa Bonita, Punta Popy, Ballena and Cosón, in Samaná; Juan Dolio, in San Pedro de Macorís, and Boca Chica and Andrés, in Santo Domingo.
Golf tourism to the D.R. has grown 10.5% and is expected to increase another 8.5% throughout the remainder of the year, according to the International Association of Golf Tour Operators.
The D.R. has culture news too: the island has announced two new museums for Santo Domingo. An undersea museum will showcase the nation’s underwater salvaged heritage. Another new museum will highlight the nation’s musical history.