Dominican Republic reaches record visitor numbers

Work by the government in the Dominican Republic to boost investment is working as the latest tourism figures show a record 8% increase in arrivals in 2008 so far.

The government and private sector of the Caribbean island have been working together to encourage investment and maintain a macroeconomic balance and a major part of that strategy has been to boost tourism.

Now they expect visitor numbers to reach 5 million by 2012. Marketing is aimed at encouraging visitors to an island with palm fringed white sand beaches and a near perfect climate while the government is investing in new roads, amenities and facilities.

The Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez said the record 8% increase was very encouraging. He announced that the island's 2008 – 2012 Tourism Plan is designed to increase the current 170,000 visitors to 5 million that will generate 200 million dollars in annual revenue.

Supporting this plan is significant investment into increasing hotel bed capacity and also increasing the amount of residential resort style real estate in the Dominican Republic. The World Travel and Tourism Council predicts that this period of intensive advancement in tourism will result in at least a 3.7% annual increase in real GDP growth for the nation's travel and tourism economy over the next decade.

'This could be a good time to invest into the undeniable potential that the Dominican Republic represents. Not only is the nation affordable and committed to maintaining its accessible status as one of the most reasonably priced Caribbean destinations, but millions of dollars of investment are going into everything from golf courses to marinas, from boutique style shopping malls to spas and sports facilities,' said Steve Worboys, MD of Experience International.

'It is already the Caribbean's Number One Destination according to the World Tourism Organization, the Dominican Republic could soon be the number one destination for luxurious yet affordable resort style real estate offering exceptional rental yields in the region too,' he added.

The increase in demand for properties for rent from the growing tourism base is allowing developers to offer rental guarantees to would-be purchasers, and to even offer these rental guarantees on top of allowing owners access to their properties for their own use.