Central Bank stats for December show a 4.6% decline in foreign visitors
Lemay’s Pedernales Master Plan presented to ambassadors and media directors
Health Tourism Congress set for October 2020
La Vega Carnival to only skip Sunday, 16 February
Guns N Roses booked for 11 April in Punta Cana

Central Bank stats for December show a 4.6% decline in foreign visitors
2019 was a bad year for Dominican tourism, and the stats show this. The bad press after media coverage of several US tourists that died in the Dominican Republic in mid-2019 had the same effect as a nasty tropical storm. The US FBI would confirm the tourists died from natural causes, but the damage was done. The Dominican Republic had its first decline in travelers in more than a decade.

Central Bank stats indicate that in 2019 non-resident air arrivals were 6,446,036 air arrivals. This is 122,852 fewer visitors than in 2018, or a decline of 1.9%. The decline was not more because more Dominican expats visited. Indeed non-resident Dominican travel to the country was up 14.5% (138,090 more visitors), compensating for the lull in foreign visitors. In 2019, 260,942 fewer tourists traveled to the country than in 2018.

A large number of canceled flights, meetings and general bookings affected Dominican hotels. It would not be until the fall that recovery began to be felt from the decline in bookings. In the meantime, the situation worsened for the tourism industry after baseball legend, David Ortiz was shot at in a Santo Domingo East bar and lounge. Investigators.

The Central Bank forecasts that it will still take until the second semester of 2020 for the country to recover its growth trend in tourism.

Non-resident travel to the Dominican Republic in December 2019 was 624,269, 34,740 fewer visitors (down 5.3%) compared to December 2018.

58.4% of tourists visiting the Dominican Republic came from North America (United States, Canada and Mexico). Another 23.6% of visitors traveled from Europe, 13% from South America and 4.3% from Central America and the Caribbean. Travel during 2019 from North America was down 4.6%, equivalent to 151,744 fewer visitors from the United States (-148,265) and Canada (-12,484). Economic conditions in South America and Europe also affected travel to the Dominican Republic. Travel from Europe was down 66,616 passengers (-5.0%) and from South America was down 47,951 air arrivals (-6.3%). Travel from Puerto Rico was up by 5,425 visitors.

Punta Cana International Airport continues to lead in number of arrivals. In 2019, some 3,476,451 tourists arrived via that airport. Las Americas (SDQ) was second, with 954,984. Puerto Plata’s Gregorio Luperón International Airport was third, with 389,706 arrivals to the north coast airport. Cibao International in Santiago received 242,837 air arrivals. La Romana received 193,020 air arrivals. El Catey International Airport in Samaná received 81,868 air arrivals. La Isabela International Airport in northern Santo Domingo received 18,753 arrivals.

59.% of tourists visiting the Dominican Republic were ages 21 to 49 years old. 54.1% of visitors were women. 92.9% of those visiting said they stayed at hotels. 94.6% said they came for leisure.

Lemay’s Pedernales Master Plan presented to ambassadors and media directors
The Minister of the Presidency Gustavo Montalvo announced the Pedernales Master Plan contemplates the construction of 12,000 hotel rooms in the southwestern beach area. The Canadian firm, Lemay developed the plan. The tourism development plan was presented to ambassadors and invited media on Thursday, 16 January 2020.

The government is looking for potential investors to develop the area. The government has also created the Pedernales Tourism Development Trust for studies on the development and infrastructure of the new area targeted for tourism development in the southwest. Montalvo clarified that the Bahia de las Aguilas beach area will continue to be of public use. In the presentation, he pointed out that the government is also promoting farm and small business developments in the area.

René Hubert, principal, director-international for Montreal-based Lemay, shared details from the Pedernales Master Plan with the press and diplomats. He highlighted ecotourism and circuit tourism is being emphasized. The plan is to attract active, adventurous and high standard profile tourism, that are interested in greater bonds with the community. He also mentioned a series of strategies to control the number of visitors to minimize environmental impact.

Present for the government were: Economy Minister Juan Ariel Jiménez; Environment Minister Ángel Estévez; Public Works Minister Ramón Pepín and Hacienda Minister Donald Guerrero. Also attending were the legal advisor to the President Flavio Darío Espinal, and Banreservas administrator Simón Lizardo.

Several ambassadors and diplomats were present. These included: United States Ambassador Robin S. Bernstein; Italian Ambassador Andrea Canepari; European Union Ambassador Gianluca Grippa; Canadian Embassy's Head of Commercial Affairs, Waleska Rivera; the Spanish Embassy's Minister-Counselor, Luis Mateo, and the Spanish Embassy's Economic and Commercial Counselor, Clara Fernández.

Also in attendance were journalists Alicia Ortega, Grupo SIN; Alberto Caminero, Telecentro; Emilio Ortiz, editor of the Economy section of El Nacional; Ramón Tejada, CERTV; Osvaldo Santana, El Caribe; Roberto Cavada, Telesistema; Ricardo Roja León, Red Nacional de Noticias; Melton Pineda, El Zol de la Mañana; Edwin Aristy, Z 101; Pedro Guzmán Badía, La Información, and Wilky Ándujar, Z101 Digital.

Pedernales is a short drive from Haiti. Lemay is also working in Haiti on several development projects. Lemay has consulted on projects in Ile a Vache and Jacmel.

The Academy of Sciences published remarks stating they are in agreement with the Pedernales development plan presented by Lemay.


Health Tourism Congress set for October 2020
The Dominican Association of Medical Tourism (ADTS) announces the celebration of the 5th International Medical and Wellness Tourism Congress. The event will take place 21-23 October 2020 in a hotel in Santo Domingo. Alejandro Cambiaso, president of the organization, says that in 2019, around 47,725 international patients came for health tourism services and another 69,550 tourists were assisted at Dominican medical centers.

La Vega Carnival to only skip Sunday, 16 February
The municipal election is set for this February. February is also the carnival month in the Dominican Republic, and nothing is stopping carnival.

The organizers of the La Vega Carnival, the lead carnival in the country, announced the music (bachata, merengue, urban music) line up for this year. On the program are Frank Reyes, Elvis Martínez, Raulín Rodríguez, Héctor Acosta, Los Hermanos Rosario, Fernando Villalona, Mozart La Para, Don Miguelo and El Mayor.

The La Vega Carnival parades this year will not be held on Sunday, 16 February. The municipal election is scheduled for that date.

The carnival dates in February will be Sundays 2, 9, 23, Thursday 27 February and Sunday, 1 March. The carnival is in the afternoon. There are artistic concerts as of 3:30 pm.

Carnaval Vegano 2020 takes over the Jose Horacio Rodríguez (Flamboyanes) and Professor Juan Bosch avenues in La Vega. The stage has been set up on Av. Pedro A. Rivera near the Duarte Highway for the artistic presentations.

The carnival will be telecast on Microvision Canal 10 of Telecable Central in La Vega, Luna TV in Santiago, Antena 7 in Santo Domingo.


Guns N Roses booked for 11 April in Punta Cana
Guns N' Roses, often abbreviated as GNR, the American hard rock band from Los Angeles, California is booked for a 11 April 2020 performance at the Hard Rock Punta Cana Hotel & Casino. This is the first time that the band will perform on a local stage. The original members of the band will be here for the tour stop in Punta Cana. Coming for the Guns N Roses tour are vocalist Axl Rose, guitarist Slash (Saul Hudson), guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler.

Guns N Roses is one of the most important rock bands of the late 80s and 90s. They were popular in Santo Domingo after the release of their first album "Appetite for Destruction", in 1987.