The Ministry of Tourism (Mitur) reports March 2021 statistics show 263,857 non-resident foreign air arrivals. This is a 56% increase over February 2021 arrivals and 3.4% over March 2020. Air traffic was shot down in March 2020.
The Ministry is optimistic that the numbers in April 2021 will surpass those in this March.
US citizens make up more than 70% of the arrivals in March. Of these, more than 40% arrived via the Punta Cana International Airport, the gateway used by those coming to vacation at the Punta Cana resorts.
The Ministry of Tourism indicates that statistics show there is a change in age of arrivals. The data is that most arrivals in March were 21 to 49 years old and female.
In the third month of the year, the median stay of tourists was 7 nights, driven mainly by US tourists’ shorter stay. Europeans and South Americans usually stay longer, but the pandemic has reduced arrival of people from Europe and South America considerably.
As of 28 March 2021, a total of 3,142 flights had been received at Dominican airports. This is up 39% compared to February 2021. The visitors came from 40 countries and 120 different airports and on board 100 different airlines.
There is also good news for hotel occupancy. The Ministry says that hotel activity in March was characterized by an upward trend in hotel reopenings, rates and room occupancy.
In the last week of March, the start of Easter Week, the hotel availability percentage rebounded to its highest since March 2020 by reaching 70.6%. Overall, five of the eight most frequented destinations enjoyed occupancy rates above 68% for the entire month.
It is noteworthy that local demand was such for Easter Week 2021 that hotels reported levels of occupancy similar to or even higher than in December 2020. Several hotels reopened property to accommodate the Dominican vacationers.
The better news is that airline ticket bookings to arrive in the second quarter are promising. Beach and golf area reservations are driving the bookings. Punta Cana airport accounts for more than half of the bookings made to date to arrive in the second quarter of the year. In addition to the positive performance of airline ticket bookings, there has been a favorable performance in the rate of short- and long-term room reservations per night in all areas of the country.
For all booking windows, the April 1, 2021 room bookings per night index is above January 2018 levels. The volume of room sales per night for stays in the next 30 days has reached historical maximums for Punta Cana and nearby beach area of La Romana – Bayahibe (Dominicus).
The Ministry is now forecasting the year could end with total visitors reaching between 2.4 million and 3.4 million by the end of the year, or about 50% of in 2019, the year before the pandemic.
The announcements were made during a press conference with the participation of Tourism Minister David Collado, the technical director of the Ministry of Tourism Jacqueline Mora, the president of the Hotels & Tourism Association (Asonahores), Rafael Blanco Tejera.
Read more in Spanish:
7 April 2021