Economy January 21, 2023 | 12:10 pm

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Collado says country’s success at FITUR will attract more tourists

Santo Domingo, DR
The Dominican Republic successfully closes its participation in the International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR 2023) with more than US$1.645 billion in investments for the year 2023, several connectivity agreements with major airlines, and a projected arrival of approximately 7.8 million tourists by air and more than two million cruise passengers.

The information was offered by the Minister of Tourism, David Collado, during a breakfast at the Casino in Madrid, Spain, to announce the results of the country’s participation in the 43rd edition of FITUR 2023.

He revealed that winter is overbooked and that January may exceed historical projections with 850,000 foreigners from the European market.

“In the end we built a success story with more than 7 million tourists by air and one million three hundred thousand on cruises. This year we are projecting the arrival of two million cruise passengers and also between 7.7 and 7.8 million foreigners, if there are no difficulties in the world,” said the official.

Collado affirmed that he feels happy, excited, and satisfied to have fulfilled his duty because the country once again shone at FITUR.

He stressed that the concrete results are there and cited new investments by Hollywood in Cap Cana with US$50 million; Sports Illustrated with US$50 million, the Pioneer Investment Fund with US$2 billion in Macao, and the entry of the luxury all-inclusive Ritz Carlton Hotel into the country for the first time this year with US$250 million.

In addition, Hyatt, with US$90 million and US$50 million in the remodeling of its hotels in Punta Cana; El Zemi and the Rainieri family announced an investment of US$200 million in Miches; Rafael Blanco of Viva Windham will invest US$150 million, Grupo Fuerte announced US$325 million in 1,000 rooms in Miches; Four Seasons, of the Cisneros family US$200 million and the Rainieri family one of US$135 million.

Also, Encarna Piñero announced that it would invest US$100 million in Bahia Principe, US$50 million in 2023, and another US$50 million in 2024.

“We have investments for US$3,645 million and of that US$3,645 million, US$1,645 million is coming in this year 2023,” noted Collado.

Also speaking were Banco Popular Dominicano (BPD) senior executive vice president of national and international business, René Grullón; Banco de Reservas administrator Samuel Pereyra; vice president of the Republic Raquel Peña, Jacqueline Mora and Tammy Reynoso.

Grullón stressed that the work done after the pandemic has been “spectacular and has brought us to where we are today.” On Sunday alone, they arrived at FITUR with more than 40 meetings, with 12 projects of almost 4,000 rooms, more than US$1 billion in investment, and US$600 million in commercial loans,” and that has doubled in these four days.”

He revealed that there are already ten new projects and an increase in the country’s projection.

Meanwhile, the administrator of the Banco de Reservas said that a sign of the support of President Luis Abinader to the tourism sector is the presence for the first time of a vice-president of the Republic at a tourism fair.

He indicated that this is the best year of the bank’s participation in FITUR. It closed more than 55 meetings that project investments of over US$4 billion and requests for financing for more than US$2.3 billion in new assets to construct 6,000 new rooms.

He detailed that the new destinations have as protagonists Miches, with two financings, one for a 500-room hotel (of the Rainieri family), and El Fuerte, with 1,000 new rooms, which together with others add up to more than 2,000 new rooms. He highlighted the alliance of Banco Popular Dominicano (BPD), BHD, and Banco Reservas, which, although competing, are doing business as a single bank supporting the Dominican Republic.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Jacqueline Mora, said that this Thursday the World Tourism Organization (WTO) gave the most recent results of the behavior of the sector, which point to a 37% drop in tourism activity in the world in 2022, while the Dominican Republic closed with a growth of more than 10% and an arrival of 8.5 million visitors, adding those from cruise ships, one million more than in the pre-pandemic, “and that is a result out of the ordinary.”

She said that this is due to the recovery plan implemented by MITUR and coordinated with all stakeholders, as well as the union and support of the government and the private sector.

Mora said that in FITUR 2023, “we are going strong,” while the vice-minister of Promotion and Development of the MITUR, Tammy Reynoso, indicated that in this fair eleven cooperation agreements were signed which will directly impact the different destinations of Puerto Plata, Samaná, Santo Domingo, and Romana, Bayahíbe. “We are going to have an arrival of around 780,000 tourists for the rest of the winter and summer,” projected the MITUR official.

“Everything we are seeing today is a harvest,” said the deputy minister, after making an account since July-August 2020 of all the work of the Government and the Ministry of Tourism for the recovery after the pandemic.

Launching of Punta Bergantín

The Minister of Tourism, speaking at the launching of the Punta Bergantín project, in Puerto Plata, during a ceremony at the Casino de Madrid, explained the details of the investments of each new project again and introduced Jordi Pelfort, representative of the hotel chain that goes for Punta Bergantín and president of Blue Diamond Resorts.

The project will have 6,760 residential rooms, an innovation center, and a film studio to be installed jointly with the international firm One Race Films, presided by actor Vin Diesel, and a modern 18-hole golf course and the first Planet Hollywood Hotel. Vice President Raquel Peña participated in the activity.

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