Protected areas: A foundation for the Dominican Republic’s tourism industry
Thousands of thousands of tourists visit the Dominican Republic each year. That unquestionably stimulates the economy. In actuality, the tourism industry (hotels, bars, and restaurants) only directly contributed 5% of the GDP in 2021. With the entry of more than five million people into the nation, it indirectly affected much more.
Although the Caribbean island is well known for its idyllic beaches, both tourists and locals come here for a variety of reasons. In this sense, ecotourism plays a fundamental role. National parks, protected areas, and scientific reserves fall under this category. In addition, there are trails, mangrove viewing routes, and bird watching routes.
This area received 937,070 visits in 2021 and 2022, according to data from the Vice Ministry of Protected Areas and Biodiversity of the Environment, which is even more encouraging. Only 1,107,757 people visited these areas between January and June, with national parks (505,650) and natural monuments (344,124) being the most popular with Dominicans and visitors from other countries, despite the fact that this number still falls short of pre-pandemic levels. There were 1,255,626 visits during that time in 2019.