The major Latin American tourist sources that the Dominican Republic is not taking full advantage of
The Dominican Republic has a tourist cake with great potential in Latin America, especially in the source markets of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico; however, at present, the quota of tourists from those countries that the DR has managed to attract in recent years has been minimal when compared to the volume of visitors from those nations that go out to vacation in the world every year.
According to official statistics, in 2016 a total of 137,642 Argentine tourists arrived in the Dominican Republic, while globally, the tourist flow from that market was 12,821,000. In the case of Brazil, only 125,984 visited this country in the year under analysis compared to 20,920,201 visits in the world.
As for Chile, 84,601 chose to travel to the DR in that period, but worldwide visits by Chileans amounted to 9,252,375. Regarding Colombia, the contribution of tourists to the Dominican market was 100,697 visitors compared to 11,805,615 in world terms. The arrivals from Mexico to this country were a total of 36,997 visitors, a minimum figure when looking at the 39,490,593 Mexicans who left to travel the world in 2016.
It should be noted that although in the 2016-2020 period, the tourist flow of the markets mentioned above has maintained a slight growth year after year, with the obvious exception of 2020 due to the negative impact that the global tourism industry suffered from the Covid- 19, whose devastating effects still afflict tourism and travel; The truth is that the contribution of visitors from these markets to the Dominican Republic represents a challenge for the Caribbean country that must strengthen its promotional offensive from now on to have greater participation in these significant Latin tourist sources.
In 2018, for example, a year cataloged as “historic” by the Dominican tourism authorities due to the large flow of visitors attracted, specifically the record figure of 6.5 million visitors by air. Argentina, a market that has traditionally led tourist arrivals to the DR in Latin America, contributed 221,850 visitors to the country at that time compared to 132,861 tourists from Brazil. Worldwide, 14,545,000 Argentines traveled that year and 24,133,026 Brazilians, respectively.
Against this background, it should be noted that these South American markets and Mexico (with a more significant presence today in DR tourism) are key sources to which the public-private sectors should target, especially at this time that it is urgent to diversify the local tourism product and boost a full recovery.