Tourism September 15, 2016 | 4:15 pm

Get ready to compete with Cuba, Dominican hoteliers warn

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.- The National Hotels and TourismAssociation (ASONAHORES) on Thursday said it the country must take important stepsto defend its position as the Caribbean’s leading tourist destination, I viewof what it means for the economy and development.

Speaking to open its 30th annual Trade Show, ASONAHORESpresident Simon Suarez said the country has a position to defend to reach nationaltargets, including the president’s goal of visits by 10 million tourists by 2022.

Suarez said at a time of change in the region, opportunitiesmust see in the problems in other tourist areas. "This is a scenario inwhich the country should maintain public investment in infrastructure andincrease the public pace of investment in promotion abroad."

He warned however that "as the Caribbean’s main destinationwe must expand our coverage and prepare for strong competition with Cuba."

Suarez said the country won first place in the TourismQuality Index corresponding to the Caribbean in 2016, produced by ResonanceConsultancy, a monitor of destination development, marketing and branding basedin New York and Vancouver.

The index will be presented today Thursday at a meeting ofthe Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). “In that assessment the DominicanRepublic ranked first in the quality of its entertainment, accommodations andair connectivity; second in gastronomy, tours, sports and adventure; and thirdplace in the quality of its cultural offerings,” he said, adding that “we were notin the top three only in public safety, in fact we were in 20th place.”

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