More than 800 delegates from over 25 countries participated in the event in which six thousand business meetings took place.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – May 17, 2022 – After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Dominican Republic welcomed, in person, a record-breaking 800 delegates from over 25 countries, 150 supplying companies, 40 sponsors and over 150 international and national journalists to the 2022 Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE), organized by the Hotel and Tourism Association of the Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES) last week. A total of 5,700 business meetings were held over the three-day conference.
The President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, inaugurated the event in an act of support to the country’s tourism sector. Rafael Blanco Tejera, President of ASONAHORES; Andrés Marranzini, Executive Vice President of ASONAHORES; and David Collado, Minister of Tourism, were present as well and addressed participants. They all celebrated record-breaking tourism activity for the past several months, reinforcing and highlighting the recent UNWTO announcement of the Dominican Republic as “the number one country in tourism recovery.”
“The success of this event validates the importance of the tourism sector and the success of the recovery after the pandemic,” said Blanco Tejera. “ASONAHORES has been working hand-in-hand with the public sector, developing strategies and actions to ensure a rapid recovery, and is honored to have received such recognition. We are optimistic that we will continue to grow, attract investments, generate jobs, and therefore promote the development of the Dominican Republic as the leading tourism destination, and a favorite to those who visit.”
Unprecedented Tourism Growth
At the event, Minister Collado highlighted the continued growth of the Dominican Republic: “The Dominican Republic is trending. We just closed the best month of April in the history of Dominican Republic tourism (with over 600 thousand tourists, a surpassing any April in the country’s history) and the best four-month streak in tourism the country has experienced. Additionally, we broke records of the greatest entry of foreigners in the history of Dominican Tourism with 736 thousand people, and based on projections, May will undoubtedly be the best month of May in the history of the Dominican Republic’s tourism.”
While DATE provided a business opportunity for tourism sector stakeholders, it also allowed for the celebration of Dominican Republic’s thriving tourism industry. In fact, according to official arrival numbers, during the first four months of 2022, Dominican Republic received more than 2.2 million tourists, with a projection of more than 7 million by the end of the year, ensuring that there are more jobs in the sector than before the pandemic, establishing tourism as the main pillar of national economy and post Covid-19 recovery.
Foreign and National Investments Contribute to the Expansion of the Tourist Offering
Another area that has experienced growth, as highlighted by Blanco Tejera, is investment, both national and foreign. The ASONAHORES president pointed out during the event that diversified investment- both geographically and from a product point of view- is making a significant impact on the country’s tourism sector growth. “There are multiple projects in Punta Cana that continue to consolidate the destination, and we also see how in Miches there are plans to bring several thousand rooms. Additionally, the country will soon launch the development of Pedernales in the South of the country and Bergantin in Puerto Plata, and we continue to see added rooms and complementary offers in Samaná. Lastly, we cannot leave behind Santo Domingo, which is becoming the capital of Central America and the Caribbean.”
Commitment to Sustainable and Inclusive Tourism The event also provided its platform to the establishment of important commitments to build on the growth of the sector and its development. During this edition of the event, ASONAHORES and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) signed an agreement to promote sustainability, the prevention of violence and the inclusion of people with disabilities in the tourism sector. The agreement was signed by Rafael Blanco Tejera, president of ASONAHORES, and Inka Mattila, UNDP resident representative, as a comprehensive action to strengthen inclusion in the sector, establish goals, and execute actions based on indicators of good practices to promote sustainable and inclusive tourism.
DATE is the main platform for business meetings between international travel agents and tour operators and the main suppliers of the Dominican Republic’s tourism industry. This year, in its 22nd edition, it was sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, Barceló Hotels & Resorts, Banco Popular Dominicano, Therrestra, Banco de Reservas, AMR Collection, Lifestyle Holidays Hotels & Resorts, Grupo Puntacana, Education First and Codelpa.
To learn more about ASONAHORES or Dominican Republic tourism, visit www.ASONAHORES.com and www.godominicanrepublic.com, respectively. For inquiries,
email email@example.com or DATE2022@edelman.com.