Tourism April 20, 2017 | 2:43 pm

Dominican tourism posts income of US$13.0B+ in 2 years

Sleeping giant: The South

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic’s tourism sector posted income of more than US$13.0 billion in the last two years, making it the Caribbean country’s main economic pillar, said official sources quoted by EFE.

Tourism minister Francisco Javier García said the sector’s foreign exchange earnings skyrocketed 135% in the last seven years, from US$2.9 billion in 2000 to US$6.7 billion last year.

Speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon, the official proposed a national pact with all sectors to continue to spur the nation’s tourism development. “Last year 5,470 rooms were added, which is an indicator of the real boost the tourism industry is having in the Dominican Republic.”

He said the number of tourists worldwide climbed 83% since 2000, compared with Dominican Republic’s posted a growth of 101%.

The official said local growth forecasts for cruise passengers stands at around 10%, but the area increased 37% in the first quarter. “It’s considered a phenomenon in the sector.”

Garcia added that Santo Domingo’s Colonial City is developing as a country brand after the renovations, as hotel occupancy climbed from 53% in 2014 to 74% in 2016.

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