Tourism in the Dominican Republic is an industry that generates more than 5 million arrivals every year. It is an important source of income in the country, especially in the coastal areas. The Dominican Republic is the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean and ranks 6th in the Americas. The tropical climate, white sandy beaches, diverse mountain landscape and colonial history attract visitors from all over the world.
The Dominican Republic is one of the most geographically diverse countries in the region and is home to the highest mountain in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte, and the largest and deepest lake, Lake Enriquillo. The country is also the site of the first cathedral, castle, convent and fortress built in the Americas, in the colonial zone of Santo Domingo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tourism in the 2000s
Tourism has become the main source of income for the country and its main provinces dedicated to this industrial activity. The country offers a wide range of accommodation in the city, in the mountains and in hotels on the coast. The Dominican Republic is one of the main holiday destinations for countries of the European continent, North America, the United States and Canada, as well as for countries in South America. This is because the island has a rich history and a unique culture, and the people there are so welcoming and friendly. It is also known for its beautiful Caribbean beaches and unique tropical climate.
The main areas of tourist activity in the country are the eastern, northern regions, Santo Domingo and Barahona, but there is an increase in activity in the interior, with many hiking and cycling trips through the mountains and fields. In 2001, the Dominican Republic was visited by more than two million people. According to the Central Bank, the Dominican tourism industry generated $2,103 million that year, up 18% from last year’s figure of $1,782 million.
According to the Central Bank, more than 2.5 million tourists arrived in the country by air in 2001, an increase of 10.1% over 2000. 58% of the tourists came from European countries, mainly from countries such as Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the United States, were recorded from countries such as the United States, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and among others.
Tourism is one of the most important sectors of the Dominican economy, as it contributes greatly to it. The travel of tourists to other parts of the country generates expenses, especially when it is from one nation to another, which is the case of the country; foreign tourists usually consume in dollars or exchange their currency for the Dominican peso, which generates an injection of dollars into the economy, thus allowing the country to buy the services and products it does not produce. The country had a turnover of 2,557 million euros in 2004.
The Dominican Republic, thanks to its geographical location in the Caribbean, has many areas that are exploited for tourism because of their beautiful beaches and landscapes. The most exploited provinces in terms of tourism are, after the era of Trujillo, Puerto Plata, La Romana and La Altagracia, it should also be noted that the Peninsula del Este, is the most important tourist area in the country.
Tourism in the Dominican Republic is an issue that is part of the daily life of its citizens, as it is highly dependent on their economic livelihood and lifestyle.
The main destinations in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is internationally known as the “Caribbean Paradise” and this is because the whole country is beautiful, both its beaches and its mountains, which are a unique natural landscape.
The main tourist destinations include:
It is the first province in the country in terms of tourism, among the main areas are:
- Bávaro: This region is located in the east of the Dominican Republic, in the province of La Altagracia. According to a UNESCO report, the beaches of Bávaro are recognised as the best in the world, so much so that they are one of the 10 best in the world, along with the beaches of Punta Cana. Among the most popular and fun attractions in the area are Manatí Park Bávaro and its luxury hotels.
- Higüey: The town of Higüey is one of the province’s tourist destinations, as it has the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia and the Sanctuary of San Dionisio; it also has the fortified residence of its founder, Juan Ponce de León, which is thus visited by foreign tourists and the country’s municipalities and more inhabitants.
- Punta Cana: This resort of the country is located in the extreme east of the Dominican Republic and is an important part of the most important destinations of the world, the country, the region, the province, in conclusion, it is one of the most important places for the realisation of tourism in the country, since Punta Cana is the place where have the most famous beaches of the country. To get to Punta Cana, you can travel by vehicle along the 179-kilometre corridor made up of the sections of the Las Américas motorway, the eastern motorway, the San Pedro de Macorís ring road, the San Pedro de Macorís-La Romana section, the La Romana ring road and the Autopista del Coral; likewise, it can be reached via the Las Américas international airport, or via the Punta Cana international airport, which is located approx. 2 km from the city of Punta Cana, where there are many luxurious 5-star hotels that enjoy great international prestige. Punta Cana is considered one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean, because with more than 50 km of beaches, a hotel infrastructure of excellence and high level, also has a large international airport, facilities for all sports, from sailing excursions, boats, inflatables, etc., to the benefits of some of the best golf courses in the Caribbean.
- La Romana: One of the main options for foreign tourists when choosing a holiday destination. La Romana has many beaches. To get to La Romana, you can go via La Romana International Airport. Here are some hotels in La Romana: Casa de CampoGran Bahía Príncipe La Romana, Hotel Frano, Dejavue and others, also has a luxury spa, which is La Romana Hotel-Spa. Information about Casa de Campo
- Altos de Chavón: It is an old Mediterranean village built on a hill overlooking the Chavón River in the Dominican Republic. It is the seat of a cultural centre, the National Archaeological Museum, and is known as the City of Artists. It also has a remarkable amphitheatre. There is the famous amphitheatre Altos de Chavón, which has about 5,000 seats. It opened in 1982 with the presentation of Frank Sinatra and Carlos Santana, many other artists and rock bands have passed through this beautiful landscape, such as Heart, English Beat, America, Tania Maria, Scandal, Sergio Mendes, Juan Luis Guerra, Michel Camilo, Spiro Gyra, Duran Duran, Aventura, among others. Currently, there are still shows all year round by national and international artists that tourists can enjoy.
- Saona Island: Saona Island is considered one of the most important destinations or tourist visits in the country. It is considered a natural paradise by the visitor. Saona Island is the largest of the 13 neighbouring islands in the country, covering about 110 kmª. This island offers fine white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. One of the biggest attractions is the “natural pool“, which is not one metre deep and where you can see aquatic life such as coral reefs, seagrass beds, starfish and fish. The main white sand beaches on Saona Island are on the south coast, from Punta Catuano to Punta de Cruz, except for the area between the southern end of El Gato beach and Punta Laguna. The most important places on Saona are the towns and villages of Mano Juan and Catuano; wide white sand beaches and coral reefs with very clear water; coconut palms along the coast, the lagoons of Secucho, Los Flamencos and Canto de la Playa, the most beautiful beach, Alto de la Vigía (the highest point on the island); crowned flocks of pigeons, ancient forests, cultivated areas and the town of Adamanay.
The island of Saona belongs to the Parque del Este. Together with the Haitises, it is the most important park in the region and one of the most important in the country, as it is the only forest area of relative extent on the southern coast of the eastern region. Semi-humid forests, coastal lagoons, mangroves, coral reefs and sea grasses are preserved in this protected natural area. There are also caves of cultural value. There are impressive archaeological sites such as remains of indigenous settlements, perfectly preserved ceremonial sites, ceremonial sacrificial sites, large-scale rock art and sunken colonial ships.
- Catalina Island: This island is a protected nature park where there are no buildings.
- Bayahibe: Bayahibe is also suitable for sharing with family and friends, and it is also a frequent spot for golfers and for those who love diving. Bayahibe is the closest point to take a trip to Catalina Island, Catalinita Island and Saona Island.
Bayahibe has many hotels such as: Catalonia Gran Dominicus, Oasis Canoa, Iberostar Hacienda, Viva Dominicus Beach y Palace, Dreams Romana.
Juan Dolio: The place is only a few kilometres away from the capital Santo Domingo and San Pedro de Macoris. Juan Dolio is currently one of the most important tourist areas in the country. The town of Juan Dolio is very touristy and between its borders are several beaches, the most famous of which is the one that bears its name: Juan Dolio Beach. Juan Dolio beach is one of the most popular beaches in the tourism sector and among domestic and foreign holidaymakers. Juan Dolio has access to a good number of quality hotels and a wide range of seafood restaurants, clubs, Los Marlins golf courses and car rental agencies. Hotels in the Juan Dolio area offer all-inclusive packages, a la carte and buffet restaurants, modern spas, trained animation teams, water sports, tourist packages and many other features to make your stay enjoyable at the best prices. Hotels that are in Juan Dolio include: Barcelo Colonia Tropical, Barcelo Talanquera, Decameron Beach Resort, Coral Costa Caribe, Barcelo Capella and the five-star luxury hotel Embassy Suites.
- Santo Domingo: It is known throughout the world as “the first city of the Americas, the cradle of civilisation of the New World“, that is Santo Domingo. It is a place to explore its main tourist area, the colonial zone, as well as its streets that hide great secrets and its historical monuments, most of which were built by the Spaniards of Santo Domingo. It has many hotels such as the Jaragua Hotel, Barceló Santo Domingo, Hilton Hotel, Meliá Santo Domingo Hotel, Intercontinental V Centenario Hotel, Hispaniola Hotel, Santo Domingo Hotel, Napolitano Hotel, Delta Hotel, Clarion Hotel, Hotel Ambassador, Hotel Intercontinental V Centenario, Hotel Hispaniola, Hotel Santo Domingo, Hotel El Napolitano, Hotel Delta, Hotel Clarion, Hotel Occidental El Embajador, among other hotels with great national and international prestige.
- Boca Chica: It is one of the most popular places in the Dominican Republic because of its beach, which is visited by all kinds of tourists, locals and foreigners. It is located about 30 kilometres and 25 minutes from Santo Domingo, passing through Las Américas International Airport. The beach is surrounded by a large coral reef, has a turquoise blue colour and the water is only covered after about one kilometre. Sometimes, if the tide allows, you can walk to an island called “La Matica”.