Central Bank governor assures tourism is the “backbone” of recovery
Santo Domingo, DR.
The governor of the Central Bank (BCRD), Héctor Valdez Albizu, specified that foreign exchange earnings from tourism, which reached US$5,759.1 million in January-August 2022, together with the inflow of US$6,518.8 million from remittances in the said period, contribute significantly to maintaining a sustainable balance in the current account of the balance of payments and to maintaining exchange rate stability, an essential element for generating certainty in economic agents.
He added that 31% of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2021, or some US$960 million, went mainly to the expansion and remodeling of tourism infrastructure, with an expected value of close to US$1 billion for this concept in that sector by the end of 2022.
The governor of the BCRD met with a delegation of the board of directors of the National Association of Hotels and Restaurants (Asonahores), headed by its president Rafael Blanco, in which he emphasized that this sector has made the most significant contribution to the growth of the Dominican economy this year, thus becoming a backbone of the excellent recovery process that the country is experiencing after the pandemic and the effects of the current war in Ukraine.
Valdez Albizu indicated that the tourism sector contributed 1.8 percentage points in the average expansion of 5.5 % registered by the economy in January-July 2022, one-third of the growth experienced in the first seven months, with an increase in its real added value of 32.9 %.
The governor pointed out that this remarkable performance responds to the arrival of 4,282,207 million travelers in January-July of the current year, for an increase of 1,820,577 passengers (74.0 %) concerning the same period of 2021, highlighting, in particular, the historical record for a month with the arrival of 735,064 tourists in July 2022.
It is noteworthy that this favorable trend was again reflected in the non-resident passengers received in August 2022, reaching the remarkable figure of 621,953 tourists, being the best month of August in the entire statistical series, according to data announced by the Minister of Tourism, David Collado. In this way, 4.9 million non-resident travelers have accumulated in the last eight months of this year.
The directors of Asonahores described as ‘surprising’ the recovery of tourism in the Dominican Republic ‘due, to a great extent, to work carried out by the Government, and more specifically to the strategy developed in all markets by the Ministry of Tourism, headed by David Collado.’
They also highlighted the importance of the monetary measures implemented during the pandemic to offer facilities to the private sector and households through the financial system.
The representatives of the sector stated that foreign investors, especially hoteliers, praised the treatment received in the Dominican Republic by the Government and the credit facilities granted by the Central Bank through the financial system to support the sector in difficult times.
Governor Valdez Albizu recalled that, through the measures established by the Monetary Board, US$600 million in financial resources were made available at an interest rate of up to 8% for the tourism sector, which was a great help for the maintenance of its businesses and the preservation of jobs.
Valdez Albizu pointed out that preliminary estimates of the National Continuous Labor Force Survey (ENCFT) for the April – June 2022 quarter showed that the total number of employed persons in the economic activity of hotels, bars, and restaurants reached 363,334 persons, a level higher than the 300,996 net employed persons of the same period of 2021.
Representatives of the sector stated that foreign investors, especially hoteliers, praise the treatment received in the DR by the Government and the credit facilities granted by the BCRD.