Not all tourists stay at the AI for their whole vacation! We have enjoyed Samana for the past five years and love it! Most convenient for us to get a package out of Canada that includes air fare, transfers, and an all inclusive. To book everything by itself would be twice the price.
The highlight of our vacations are getting off the resort and enjoying some tours by locale tour companies and trying out some local, traditional restaurants.
Don't be putting Down the AIs...they have made it easy to get tourists to DR from all over the world. Up to the tour companies and restaurants ...and I would hope your government to come up with a plan to entice tourists off the resorts. Shouldn't be that hard in such a beautiful country!
Like I say, the AI's and airlines have come up with a profitable plan to get all these tourists to the DR...the hard part is done! Just show them what is off the resort....no brainer! Or they can go to Cuba and stay on the same resort, just a different beach as you say, a bit cheaper and soon to be much more convenient as far as the big USA market is concerned.
I would think the DR should embrace the whole AI concept as it is, and has been for decades, the way tourism is going. It's what tourists want. Just get some plans going to get them off the resorts.
Really would you book a flight and pay for it, book a hotel and pay for that, book transfers and pay for that, then try to find restaurants that you hope are safe and good...or just buy a package that handles all that at a cheaper price?
Great idea, BUT, for the average Joe Tourist, he gets fed all this misinformation from the resort that it's dangerous outside the resort and don't go out unless you are accompanied by someone in the resort.....its the only way the resort makes money $$$$ because of all those , as you call, great deals to come down here......
The main hurdle the dr has is the language barrier. Im sure if english was more widely spoken, tourist will be more adventurous.
Some vacationers dont know or have patience to plan out an itinerary on their own . Las terrenas cabarete and bayahibe areas will allow a visitor to just get a room and eat out n explore. These town should create a simpler way to get around on bus.
Places like aruba , where all inclusive isnt big, there is a city bus route, that takes coin fare, and an organized route like in a modern country. Aruba offers the visitor the oppurtunity to dine on property, or off. Resturauants are located on a strip with a strip mall offering shows and live music, restaurants offer many types of dinning and seafood is a big deal.
The DR could easily convert their all inclusive properties and convert miles of beach front into a strip of sorts . There could be a solid city bus system to go hotel or bar hoping. I understand a system is in place, but its all in spanish and not formal/regulated city bus style. Tourist are scared to get lost and not being able to fend for themselves.