Russian Tourist Arrivals to Dominican Republic On the Rise

Russia and Ukraine are major sources of tourist arrivals to the Dominican Republic, and continue to be despite Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February

Russia and Ukraine are major sources of tourist arrivals to the Dominican Republic, and continue to be despite Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February
July 05, 2022 | 05:25 PM
Reading time: 3 min.

Santo Domingo — The number of Russian tourists to the Dominican Republic grew by almost 1,500% year-on-year during the first five months of this year, given that only 6,430 Russian tourists visited in the first five months of 2021, due to the restrictions in place at the time to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The number of Russians that have visited so far this year is a 5.65% increase compared to the same period of 2019, prior to the outbreak of the pandemic.

Between January and May, 99,043 tourists visited from Russia, while 30,086 arrived from Ukraine.

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The number of Ukrainian tourists has dropped 26.8% this year in relation to 2021, but which is still a 148.82% increase compared to January-May 2019.

Latin Americans spearhead tourism recovery

Tourist numbers to the Dominican Republic so far this year have been dominated by visitors from Latin American countries however, following the fall in numbers during the pandemic.

The number of tourists to the country during the first five months of the year was 3,547,142.

Traditionally, the three main countries of origin of tourists to the Dominican Republic are the United States, Canada and Russia, but Latin Americans are now the dominant presence.

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According to Central Bank data, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru and Mexico are the five countries from which the largest number of tourists traveled to the Dominican Republic between January and May of this year.

Those five countries contributed 271,993 tourists in the first five months of the year, 9.37% of total tourist arrivals, while tourists from South America, Central America and the Caribbean represented 18.03% of total arrivals, some 523,419 tourists.

The lifting and relaxation of restrictive measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the countries of the region, resulted in the Dominican Republic registering more tourist arrivals in the first five months of 2022 than in the same period of the previous year.

In some cases, the number of arrivals exceeded 2019 figures, prior to the pandemic.

From Colombia, arrivals increased 155.37% between January and May 2022, with 94,269 tourists, compared to the same period last year, while the increase on January-May 2019 figures was 74.69%.

Meanwhile, the number of tourists from Argentina increased by 450.9% over the same period of 2021, but were down 28.78% compared with the same period of 2019.

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The number of Venezuelan tourists increased by 18.18% during the period, in comparison with the same period of 2021, and by 9.92% compared to 2019, while Peruvian tourist numbers swelled by 309.98% between the first five months of 2021 and those of this year, and by 55.67% compared to 2019.

Mexican tourism also increased, by 99.2% compared with 2021, but which was a decrease of 5.12% compared to 2019.

June tourism

During the month of June, the Dominican Republic received 644,861 tourists, up 9.9% on the same month of 2018, and 9.8% higher than in June 2019.

According to data from the Ministry of Tourism, the growth of tourists in June was due to the rebound of markets such as the United States, with 32% of total arrivals, Colombia, with 23%, the United Kingdom with 3%, and Peru with 3% of total arrivals during the month.

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Vice Minister of Tourism Jacqueline Mora said Peru is still awaiting the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, and which will be a contributor to visitor numbers once again once they are lifted.

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Tourism sector diversification

Rafael Blanco Tejeda, president of the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (Asonahores), said during the presentation of the tourism results for June that the country is working on diversifying its tourism offering.

And for his part, Rafael Blanco, executive vice-president of hotel chain Viva Wyndham Resorts, said that, in addition to beach tourism, which is the most in-demand, the country offers adventure tourism, health tourism and convention tourism.