October 2021 set a new record for tourism arrivals in the month. In October, the number of non-resident arrivals peaked at 443,018, bringing the total for this pandemic year to 3,669,761 tourists arriving by air.
The forecast for the end of 2021, is that non-resident arrivals reach close to 4.9 million people. This would be a 15% rebound in tourism compared to the last four months of 2019.
“The recovery of our tourism is steady and solid. Today I announce to you that October registered the highest growth for that month in history,” said Minister David Collado when presenting the data for October at a press conference on 1 November 2021.
He stated that arrivals in October exceeded pre-pandemic October 2019 by 19% and October 2018 by 7%.
Non-resident foreign arrivals came from North America (44%) and Europe (35%). Russian arrivals are third in influx of tourists to the country, reaching an all-time high of 49,521. This is 264% more than in 2019.
The numbers are positive even when countries such as Canada, France and the United Kingdom have been discouraging travel due to the pandemic.
The Ministry of Tourism reports that 29% of the tourists who arrived in October were US nationals. Of these 57% stayed in hotels, 48% entered by way of Punta Cana International Airport, and 57% were ages 21 to 49 years old. The average stay of the visitors is seven days.
Flights to the Dominican Republic are returning to normalcy. In October, there were 3,795 flight operations, with an average occupancy of 75%. Around 115 airlines flew in from 122 airports in 45 countries.
Cruise ship arrivals are also recovering. The Ministry of Tourism reports there were 18 cruise ship dockings in October made by 15 ships. Of these three touched two Dominican ports on the same voyage. 34,396 cruise ship passengers visited the Dominican Republic in October. This is 52% more than in September. Six cruise lines docked at the ports of La Romana and Amber Cove (Puerto Plata).
The Ministry reports that lodging and food and beverage establishments employed 181,078 in 7,970 companies in September. The growth in the number of jobs was recorded mainly in lodging establishments (+41,468) and in food and beverage establishments (+37,391).
In October 2021, 87% of hotel rooms were open for booking, and 61% were occupied (69% during weekends). Domestic tourism was 19%.
Bookings for this winter season are looking very good. In effect, bookings for November and December are 16% and 19%, respectively higher than those for travel in the pre-pandemic year of November and December 2019. This compares to the average of bookings of 4.7% below 2019 levels for the rest of the Caribbean region.
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Ministry of Tourism
2 November 2021