DR1 Travel News - 2 July 2019



Sergio Vargas at the National Theater
Environmental roadmap sets guidelines for sustainable tourism sector
The Second National Coconut Festival
Tourist numbers at the end of May 2019

Sergio Vargas at the National Theater
The melodious voice of merengue and bolero singer Sergio Vargas will be enchanting audiences at the National Theater on Saturday, 20 July 2091 at 8:30pm. Sergio Vargas will be accompanied by the Philarmonic Orchestra of Santo Domingo directed by Amaury Sánchez.

Environmental roadmap sets guidelines for sustainable tourism sector
The Dominican Republic seeks to show leadership in protecting the natural beauty that it relies on to be the leading Caribbean tourism destination. On 1 July 2019, the country together with the United Nations launched the Roadmap to the general public.

The Roadmap for Low Carbon and Resource Efficient Accommodation in the Dominican Republic was first presented in May 2019 during a meeting attended by 75 representatives from the tourism sector in Punta Cana. The country seeks to play its part to minimize the impacts of climate change and pollution.

The roadmap provides context, highlights key issues to be addressed, sets goals and targets, identifies a range of solutions and actions and maps the stakeholders that need to come together to help to deliver them.

The vision for the 18-month roadmap is for an environmentally sustainable, resilient and competitive accommodation subsector in the Dominican Republic that will become globally recognized as a guardian of the country's natural and cultural diversity, supported by the hospitality of its people.

The roadmap sets five targets for the accommodation sector in the Dominican Republic: to reduce by 25% greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (from a 2020 baseline), reduce food waste by half, a 25% of reduction in non-renewable energy use, the complete elimination of single-use plastics and the uptake of a sustainability certification for hotels.

"This roadmap would not have been possible without strong cooperation between the public and the private sector," says Olga Rosario, director of the Sustainable Production and Consumption Department in the Ministry of Environment. "It's the first time they have collaborated to establish clear targets to achieve sustainable development for the tourism sector."


The Second National Coconut Festival
A coconut festival will be held in the northeastern city of Nagua to highlight that coconuts are much more than the idyllic trees that spell tropics in destination photographs. Nagua will be hosting the Second National Coconut Festival on Wednesday, 24 July 2019.

Producers and processors from all around the country will concentrate in Nagua for the event. During the activity, processors will present over 60 by-products made from the coconut fruit, such as oil, flour, juice, water, shell arts and crafts, cosmetics, fertilizers, liqueurs, stimulants, medicines and more.

The event has the backing of the National Confederation of Agricultural Producers (Confenagro). This year it will be dedicated to businessman Pedro Brache, of the Rica Group.

The Dominican Republic is an important producer of coconuts. Over 300 million coconut nuts are produced every year.

Tourist numbers at the end of May 2019
The Central Bank released on schedule the data for May 2019. May data shows the usual increase in visitors. According to figures published by the Central Bank, the number of tourists arriving in the country from January to May 2019 was 2,988,155 non-resident visitors, which is 134,157 more than the same period last year, a 4.7% year on year increase.

Looking at the non-resident foreign visitors, which accounted for 87.2% of the total, there was an increase of 3.5%, 86,958 more than last year, while non-resident Dominican arrivals increased by 12.8%.

Looking at May alone, there were 527,732 non-resident visitors, which is a 4.3% increase over last year, and the foreign visitors within that figure increased by 2.4%, whereas non-resident Dominicans increased by 16.1%.

Total air passengers arriving in Dominican airports, including residents, was 3,245,147 from January to May, which is a 4.6% increase over the same period last year.

Looking at the same period, 64% of the tourist arrivals were from North America (US, Canada and Mexico), 21.2% from Europe, 11.4% from South America, 3.1% from Central America and the Caribbean, and the remaining 0.3% from Asia and the rest of the world.

The region with the highest increase in arrivals from January to May was North America, with 123,567 more visitors for an 8% growth. Most of the increase was due to entries from the United States (114,532), followed by Mexico (6,750) and Canada (2,285).

There was also an increase in passengers from Central America and the Caribbean at 7.0%. South America showed a decrease of 4.2%, with 13,074 fewer arrivals than the same period in 2018.

The countries responsible for the decrease were Argentina (-16,272), Venezuela (-7,917) and Uruguay (-1,014), but there were increases from Chile (4,702), Colombia (4,151), Bolivia (1,053), Brazil (925) and Peru (900).

Regarding tourists from Europe, these numbers also decreased by 28,972, representing a 5% decrease, mainly due to decreases from Germany (-11,366), England (-10,382), France (-7,072), Sweden (-4,617), Spain (-2,224), Portugal (-1,906) and Belgium (-1,585). These were partially compensated for by increase in arrivals from Poland (3,401), Italy (2,453), Ukraine (2,000), and Romania (1,350).

The majority of the foreign tourist arrivals landed at the Punta Cana airport at 67.2%, followed by Las Americas in Santo Domingo with 15.5% of the total, and Puerto Plata at 8.5%. The other airports of La Romana, Cibao, La Isabela and El Catey made up the remaining 8.8%.

The demographic profile of the tourist arrivals is of 58.7% aged between 21 and 49 years, and 53.9% female.