Tourism July 24, 2021 | 12:00 pm

Dominican Republic among countries with highest demand for air travel in Latin America



Mastercard produced the Recovery Insights report that indicates that in Latin America and the Caribbean, the preference for road trips stands out; in terms of air travel, the consumers with the highest demand are from the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Mexico; the further study revealed slight signs of recovery in the business tourism industry.

The report, prepared by Mastercard Economics Institute, builds on aggregated and anonymous sales activity across Mastercard’s global network to better understand the next phase of travel, its drivers, and its challenges.

This includes the balance between leisure and business, local and long-distance travel, and also between savings and spending. In addition, the report analyzes the spending categories that are experiencing an uptick and what this indicates in terms of travel recovery.

The main trends for Latin America and the Caribbean are:

Local road trips are becoming a big trend in 2021, as more and more people travel around their country to enjoy smaller places close to beaches and mountains. Among the countries that are experiencing an increase in gasoline spending are Argentina (+28%), Brazil (+31%), and the Dominican Republic (+39%), compared to January 2019.

Pre-pandemic booking levels have been surpassed by travelers from the Dominican Republic (+29% of air spending); Mexico (+35%) is experiencing a similar situation led by those traveling during spring break, and Colombia is also experiencing a significant uptick (+12%).

Business travel bookings have been making at a slower pace than leisure travel. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, corporate travel was represented in Mexico (-10%), the Dominican Republic (+2%), Colombia (-7%), Brazil (-57%), and Argentina (-63%). However, it is interesting to note that travel by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has recovered faster than in large companies. These figures are significant, considering that SMEs tend to spend less on flights, hotels, and restaurants than large companies.

The limited reopening of borders has proven to be a challenge for travelers and the tourism sector. Still, some open corridors, such as the Dominican Republic to the United States and Mexico to the United States, are reaching and, in some cases, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

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