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Economy & Business - October 2020

ECONOMIC HIGHLIGHTS

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC | Straining to resurrect tourism sector. David Collado, the tourism minister for the Dominican Republic (DR), has warned the country’s tourism sector is in a “critical” state. Collado made his comments while outlining a government scheme to incentivise domestic tourism. The initiative, which among other things offers discounted stays in hotels to DR residents, was announced by President Luis Abinader on 24 September. During his briefing, Collado specified that 19 hotels from eight international chains will offer discounts to DR residents of 20%-50%. Figures released last month by the DR’s central bank (BCRD) show 1.6m tourists (foreign nationals and non-resident Dominicans) visited the DR via air travel in the first eight months of 2020, down 64.8% on the same period in 2019. In August the number of tourists totalled 110,284, a 77.8% drop on August 2019. The BCRD attributes the slump to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, particularly in the second quarter of 2020, when borders were closed, and non-essential travel limited in the DR as well as its main source countries for tourists. The DR’s tourism sector, which reopened as of 15 September, accounts for around 8% of GDP.

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