Travel and Tourism - Dominican Republic - May 2012
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Since it first embraced tourism in the early 1970s, the Dominican Republic has become synonymous with affordable all-inclusive holidays. This tourism model has served the country well and arrivals figures have remained buoyant in recent years when world tourism has been grappling with the global economic slowdown. However, the Dominican Republic has also had to contend with its own unique problems, chiefly the knock-on effects of the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 and the introduction of cholera into the country later that year. In 2011, the Dominican Republic nevertheless welcomed a record number of international tourists – growth that was fuelled largely by a significant increase in arrivals from South America. Many South American countries have benefited from solid economic growth and favourable exchange rates in recent years. In tourism terms this has translated into higher consumer confidence and a higher propensity for outbound travel, including travel to the Dominican Republic.
In recent years, tourism officials have tried to court more high-yield visitors through the construction of increasingly upscale hotels and resorts as well as real estate for tourists. A great deal of this development has occurred around Punta Cana in the east of the country – development that some analysts believe has occurred at the expense of Puerto Plata and its satellite resorts on the country’s northern coast. Despite the general increase in inbound tourists to the Dominican Republic, there has been a dramatic post-2005 decline in arrivals to the north.
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