Tourism January 9, 2021 | 9:09 am

The Dominican Republic received four million fewer tourists due to the pandemic in 2020

According to statistics from the Central Bank, the country had a year-on-year variation due to the arrival of non-resident visitors of -62.7%

Santo Domingo, DR

Even though the tourism sector began to recover in July 2020, due to the effects caused by the coronavirus pandemic, tourists’ arrival did not reach the growth trend throughout the year that the visitor-driven industry had been exhibiting for years.

According to Central Bank statistics, for the year 2020, the arrival of non-resident visitors to the country was 2,405,315 tourists. An interannual variation of -62.7% 1,699,194 are other nationalities, and 706,121 are non-resident Dominicans.

However, at the end of 2019, 6,446,036 non-resident passengers entered the Dominican nation, representing 17% of all visitors to the Insular Caribbean and Central America, positioning the country as a leader in this region.

Due to the closure of national borders by air, sea, and land between March and June 2020, as a measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the interannual flow of travelers in the second quarter of 2020 was zero (-100.0 %).

According to the Central Bank, thanks to the reopening of the airports in July 2020, tourism has been recovering. One example of this is that 1,011,224 tourists were received only in the July-December period.

“To give an idea of ​​the magnitude of the improvement experienced so far, if the figures for December 2020 are taken into account, the arrival of non-resident visitors (foreigners and Dominicans) reached 348,464 tourists, representing a 55.8% of the total number of non-resident visitors who arrived in the country in December 2019,” highlights a Central Bank report sent to the media this Thursday afternoon.

The financial entity adds that this constitutes a significant advance since 135,163 visitors arrived in the country in July 2020, for a proportion of 22.9% compared to the same month in 2019.

Recovery plan

According to the Central Bank, this improvement is exhibited thanks to the Responsible Tourism Recovery Plan that the Dominican Government promotes in conjunction with the private sector, which includes measures to promote the country as a safe vacation destination and promote the Brand Country.

The Government implemented the economic incentive package for the sector that includes an investment program of more than RD $ 420 million, the temporary elimination of the advance payment for six months, and the payment of the tax on assets until June 2021, as well such as the reduction of the Advance Price Agreement rate to 35% between September and November 2020.

The plan also includes internationally certified health safety protocols followed by tourism companies and travelers entering the country, basic health insurance in the event of being affected by the coronavirus during their stay.