Tourism up 6.7% in November 2016
Punta Cana leads in Dominican tourism
Punta Cana preclearance ready to start in January matches at Puntacana’s Corales Golf Course

Tourism up 6.7% in November 2016
Tourism to the Dominican Republic was up 6.7% for the first 11 months of 2016 compared to the same January-November period in 2015. A total of 336,395 non-resident travelers have visited this year compared to last year. Of these, 84.2% are foreigners (283,226), while 15.8% (53,169) are Dominican expats. Travel to the Dominican Republic has shown consistent increases over the past four years. The growth is attributed to joint initiatives by the Ministry of Tourism and the private tourism sector.

Tourist arrivals in November 2016 were 435,547, up 2.9% when compared to November 2015. The Central Bank statistics department says that the relatively low increase in this month is attributed to a lull in Venezuelan arrivals. In 2015, a total of 22,590 Venezuelans traveled to the Dominican Republic. Additional sources and news reports state that many of the Venezuelan arrivals visited with a view to relocating here. This is compared to 12,669 in November 2016. Another reason for the lesser increase is the adverse weather conditions, with heavy rains affecting practically the entire country all throughout the month.*November arrivals showed significant increases from Russia (11,948), Colombia (3,904), Panama (2,159), Brazil (2,158) and the United States (1,759).

United States, Canada and Mexico non-resident foreigner arrivals for the Jan-Nov 2016 period were up 4.3% (109,534 additional visitors). Of these, 89,584 were from the United States.

Arrivals from South America are up 6.8% with 40,984 more visitors. From Colombia, there was an increase of 23,272 visitors, 12,605 more from Venezuela, Uruguay 10,111 more and 6,912 more from Peru. Travelers from Central America and the Caribbean were up 16.8%, with an additional 34,230 visitors.

European travel also increased in November 2016 compared to November 2015. There were 50,420 more Russian tourists, 21,292 more from the UK, 12,357 more from Germany, 11,699 more from Poland and 4,004 more from Switzerland, among other European source markets.

Broken down by source markets, North America made up 50.5% of all tourists to the Dominican Republic, followed by Europe with 28.4% and South America with 15.5%.

Punta Cana leads in Dominican tourism
Punta Cana International Airport continues to be the main port of entry, with 3,115,468 tourists from January to November 2016, followed by Las Americas-Santo Domingo with 841,659 tourists, Puerto Plata (361,528), Santiago-Cibao (183,657), La Romana 82,542, Samana-Catey (55,325) and La Isabela-Santo Domingo (5,862).
Punta Cana International Airport reported an increase in tourist arrivals of 228,121 from January-November 2016, for a 7.9% increase.

Arrivals were also up at Puerto Plata’s Gregorio Luperón International Airport (30,065 more), Las Americas International Airport (25,685), and El Catey in Samaná with 5,207 additional travelers.

94% of travelers polled said they came for leisure, and 89.8% reported staying at a hotel. The poll showed that 56% of travelers to the country are between the ages of 21 and 49. 50.2% are women and 49.8% men.

Punta Cana preclearance set to start in January
Punta Cana International Airport is getting ready to start the pre-clearance facility in January 2017. This means that US passengers traveling back to the United States or Puerto Rico from the international terminal can clear US Customs and Migration inspections in the Dominican Republic. Travelers entering the United States from the Dominican Republic will be treated as domestic arrivals, enabling them to be processed more quickly.

Speaking during the London Travel Market, Ministry of Tourism marketing advisor Magaly Toribio announced plans to bring the facility to the Las Americas International Airport, the second busiest airport in the country “in the near future”. matches at Puntacana’s Corales Golf Course
The Dominican Republic will be hosting Golf Tour events in 2017. The final international event of the 2017 season will be the second annual Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from 1-7 April 2017. In the Dominican Republic, golfers will compete for a purse of US$625,000.

The tour features 26 golf tournaments across six countries – Bahamas, Colombia, Panama, Mexico, Dominican Republic and 16 states in the United States.

The top 25 players on the regular-season money list are guaranteed PGA Tour cards for the 2017-18 season, with another 25 cards up for grabs at the Tour Finals.