Economy March 15, 2024 | 3:23 pm

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Airfare costs: main obstacle to Dominican tourism

Santo Domingo.- The tourism sector in the Dominican Republic, while celebrating a significant milestone in February 2024 with a record-breaking 1,057,216 visitors, confronts pressing challenges requiring immediate attention.

Foremost among these challenges, as identified by officials, is the issue of air connectivity and the associated high cost of airfares. Despite a notable surge in visitor arrivals by air, totaling 755,832 in February alone, the prohibitive expense of flights remains a deterrent for many potential travelers. Tourism Minister David Collado underscored the urgency of addressing this matter to ensure sustainable growth within the tourism industry.

A second critical challenge revolves around the shortage of hotel accommodations. With demand on the rise, the country requires approximately 30,000 additional rooms to adequately cater to tourists. While around 16,000 rooms are currently under construction, representing a $9,000 million investment, there remains much ground to cover in bridging this gap and providing a quality lodging experience for all visitors.

An analysis of travel motivations in February 2024 reveals a diverse array of activities enticing visitors to the country. Sports tourism, at 4.4%, visiting friends (4.5%), business trips (4.4%), weddings (4.3%), and medical consultations (4.4%) emerge as some of the primary reasons for travel to the Dominican Republic during this period.

Despite the outlined challenges, Dominican tourism continues to exhibit resilience and allure. Collado expressed optimism regarding the sector’s future, citing ongoing growth in tourist arrivals and projecting a year-end total of over 11 million visitors.

In addition to these challenges, significant shifts are occurring within Dominican tourism, as reported by El Caribe.

In terms of air connectivity, February 2024 witnessed a total of 5,873 flights recorded in Dominican airspace, reflecting a 15% increase compared to the previous year. This uptick in air activity underscores the critical need to address ticket costs and enhance air accessibility as top priorities in fortifying the country’s tourism sector.

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Paul Tierney
March 17, 2024 7:53 am

It is a reasonable thought to expect stable or reduced fares for flights to and from the RD because of the large numbers of passengers filling the planes. One would think economies of scale of the large passenger numbers would signal a call for fare reductions. It seems the old school pricing behaviors by the airlines to decrease the costs of passenger fares in densely traveled and competitive routes have been scrapped and replaced by their compulsive need to drain the traveler’s pocketbook.

Greed?

Last edited 30 days ago by Paul Tierney
gerald lee dammann
March 17, 2024 3:00 pm

I am married to a Dominican lady and fly to and from the USA several times per year. The open air treaty with the U.S. was in this paper 2 years ago! recently it was here and stated the treaty was very close to signing, What is taking so long? who is the problem? I want arajet to be able to get routes into the USA to drive down cost.