The Dominican Republic sets all-time tourist arrival record: here’s where travelers are headed
The Dominican Republic’s tourism industry is off to an incredible start this year. The country is smashing tourist numbers month over month, proving more visitors than ever are choosing the Dominican Republic as a vacation destination. With a beautiful and diverse landscape, an endless choice of activities, and welcoming people, it is easy to see why so many tourists visit each year.
Breaking Records By Air And By Sea
Last month alone, combined visitor arrivals by air and sea were just shy of 1 million. 661,088 tourists arrived by air during February, a 17% increase from 2022 and a 9% increase from pre-pandemic 2019. Even more extraordinary is the growth in cruise passenger arrivals.
This February, over 250,000 visitors arrived by cruise ship, representing more than double the number of cruise arrivals from 2019 and triple that of the same period last year.
Add to these impressive numbers the fact that this past January also saw record tourist arrivals. That all means that in the first two months of 2023, over 1.8 million tourists visited the Dominican Republic. With no signs of slowing, it seems the nation is well on its way to its ambitious goal of reaching 10 million visitors by the end of the year.
Why Tourists Love The Dominican Republic
The majority of the Dominican Republic’s visitors hail from the United States, Canada, and Colombia. They come seeking something special that can only be found here. A unique mix of culture, natural beauty, and relaxation that is easily accessible. The Dominican Republic has all that and more.
With over 100 all-inclusive resorts, relaxing and enjoying the pristine beaches is easy. In fact, many of the top resorts in the Caribbean are in the Dominican Republic. The diversity of the nation’s vast natural environment means that visitors can enjoy mountains, caves, lakes, and waterfalls, as well as the pristine beaches and offshore islands the country is famous for.
Additionally, visitors love to experience the Dominican culture – one that is welcoming and rich in music, food, and traditions.
Where Are All These Visitors Headed?
The majority of visitors head straight to La Altagracia Province – home to Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic’s golden child for tourism, and many of the top resorts. This beautiful region is where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean and where incredible beaches are just waiting to be enjoyed.
67% of foreigners stayed in the resort towns of Punta Cana, Bávaro, and Bayahibe. But, as regular Travel Off Path readers will know, there is more to the Dominican Republic than just Punta Cana.
The second most touristed destination is the capital region – Santo Domingo and the surrounding area. Santo Domingo is a vibrant city and UNESCO World Heritage site, as it was the first permanent establishment of the “New World”, and is home to some of the oldest institutions in the Americas.
Visitors love Santo Domingo for its diversity of offerings – you can see Colonial architecture, visit Boca Chica’s tropical beaches, explore sunken cenotes in the middle of the city, and enjoy funky clubs with delicious food. 8% of foreigners stayed in Santo Domingo Province.
8% of international visitors also stayed in Puerto Plata Province. Puerto Plata was the original tourist hotspot in the Dominican Republic and is still loved for its breathtaking landscape that includes the coast, mountains, rivers, and of course – beautiful beaches.
The area’s most popular attraction is the 27 Charcos of Damajagua, a complex of 27 waterfalls along the Damajagua river that can be explored on foot with a local guide.
The remaining destinations that have been pulling in international tourists are La Romana, where the renowned Casa de Campo resort is located (4%), Samaná, the northeastern coastal region where visitors enjoy wild beaches and rainforests welcomed 3% of visitors, and finally, 2% of tourists headed for the cosmopolitan city of Santiago de los Caballeros which is full of fascinating museums and cultural sites, and home to some of the best food and nightlife in the Dominican Republic.