Economy July 25, 2020 | 9:01 am

Dominican hotel occupancy could exceed 50% at the end of 2020

Andrés Marranzini affirmed that the key to recovery is effective communication of the health actions and protocols in the sector. External source

  • Vice President of Asonahores assures will depend on the evolution of the pandemic and the program to reopen tourist rooms

Hotel occupancy in the country could exceed 50% at the end of the year, although it will depend on the local evolution of the pandemic and the program to open tourist rooms.

This was estimated by the executive vice president of the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (Asonahores), Andrés Marranzini, who stated that the key to the recovery of the sector is effective communication of the health actions and protocols that are being implemented in that activity.

Marranzini announced that this month the country will receive more than 900 flights, equivalent to about 20% of the flights the country had before the pandemic “and we expect a gradual recovery, slower than expected.”

“We have been surprised by the demand in the last week, despite having a declared state of emergency. A level of demand continues from the markets that are open,” he highlighted.

Speaking during the virtual panel “SMEs: successful transition to the new normality,” organized by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Dominican Republic (AMCHAMDR), the executive clarified that it will take 18 to 24 months for national tourism to recover to levels hotel occupancy recorded in 2018.

“For the recovery of the sector, we have proposed economic measures to the outgoing and incoming authorities. We have seen that in other countries fiscal and monetary measures have been applied that guarantee to take the industry to what was its moment of glory, which in our case was 2018,” he declared.

In another order, the Asonahores vice president recommended that the Dominican authorities break down the information that they provide to international markets on the local evolution of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The information must be complemented with the breakdown of the tourist municipalities. The situation that occurs in Santiago is not that of Puerto Plata, that of Santo Domingo is not that of La Altagracia, and much less in the tourist municipality. In other words, it is important to complement the service of this information with the tactical objective, in addition to the fact that the issuing markets do not request this type of clarification or information,” he said.

He indicated that, with respect to monetary and fiscal measures, the sector has proposed the ITBIS (tax on the transfer of industrialized goods and services) differentiated to the restaurant sector, temporarily, and from the monetary point of view, guarantee funds for the small and medium businesses.

In another order, the Asonahores vice president revealed that there is a drop in the return of foreign investments linked to tourism activity of about 12%.