Economy January 31, 2021 | 11:04 am

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Closure of the borders of Canada and France threatens the arrival of more than a million tourists to the country

In 2020, despite the closure of borders and the fall in tourism, about 415,131 travelers from Canada and France were reported.

The coronavirus pandemic has left a deep wound in Dominican tourism, which, when weighed that it was going to recover again, is affected by the closing of borders.

Recently, countries such as Canada and France announced that they would not allow the exit and entry of people through their airports, which represents a severe blow to national tourism since the first country is the second from which the largest number of tourists enter the Dominican Republic.

In 2019, a total of 5 million 357 thousand 619 foreigners entered the country, of which 865 thousand 927 came from Canada and 219 thousand 750 from France, for a total between both lands of 1,085,677 tourists.

In 2020, the year in which the coronavirus pandemic arrived, 337,297 people came from Canada and 77,834 foreigners from France. However, this is not a reference that denotes the importance of tourism from these countries.

Historically, the country receives direct flights from Latin America, the United States, Canada, and Europe.

The arrival of visitors has meant foreign exchange income to the country from tourism for more than US $ 58,000 million between 2010 and 2019, receiving only in 2019 an amount of US $ 7,468.1 million.

According to the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic (BCRD), tourism income represented 36.4% of exports of goods and services during 2019. In that same year, it received in remittances an amount of US $ 7,468.1 million, that is, 8.4% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to official figures, the number of accommodation units continues to grow, surpassing the 86 thousand hotel rooms available in 2019.

“Just when the national tourism sector began to resume its growth trend, after the adverse impact on flight reservations to the country as a result of the international press coverage of the unfortunate death of some American tourists during May and June 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic surprises the world ”, explained the BCRD in a document published on its website.

The arrival of tourists through airports

In 2020, the airport with the highest tourists’ flow was Las Américas with 954,984; Puerto Plata 389,706; La Romana 193,020; Cibao 242,837; La Isabela 18,753 and El Catey de Samaná 81,868 passengers.

In that order, 1,699,194 people arrived through the airports to the country, which means that compared to 2019, there was a reduction of 3,658,425 tourists. The same document indicated that after the airports’ reopening in the July-December period, 10,011,224 tourists arrived. Before the coronavirus, the Dominican Republic received about 6.5 million visitors annually. It occupies first place in the Caribbean region and number 49 on the planet.

According to statistics from the Central Bank, in 2019, the country received 160,924 people who belonged to countries that make up the United Kingdom. Of those, 158,085 belong to England, 2,016 to Ireland, and 823 to Scotland.

According to the entity, even though the interannual flow of travelers in the second quarter of 2020 was zero (-100.0%), in December, the number of non-resident visitors (foreigners and Dominicans) reached 348,464 tourists, representing 55.8% of the total number of non-resident visitors who arrived in the country.

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