Dominican Republic records 8% increase in visitor arrivals

The Dominican Republic is quite possibly the perfect embodiment of a Caribbean paradise nation – with its palm-fringed, white sandy beaches which are lapped by warm azure seas and caressed by almost endless summer days, this holiday hotspot is booming on the back of intelligent government policy designed to maintain macroeconomic balance and enable and encourage investment.

The government and private sector are united in nurturing the tourism and real estate industries in the Dominican Republic as these are fundamental drivers of the overall economy, which is why the destination is becoming a more and more enticing place for a holiday or even a holiday home investment. With consistent effort and policy planning in place to promote the delights and undeniable appeal of the nation, combined with significant investment into everything from road infrastructure to the enhancement of amenities and facilities for lifestyle tourism, the overall attraction of the Dominican Republic is improving annually.

This level of sustained and focused investment has already led to a significant rise in tourism numbers and it is also supporting far greater investment interest in the Dominican Republic’s affordable yet high-end property market. According to the nation’s Tourism Minister there has been an 8% increase in tourism arrivals in 2008 already, this is backed up by statistics from the Central Bank released earlier this year suggesting that in the first four months of 2008 alone, 1.6 million visitors arrived to soak up the Dom Rep’s stunning sunshine, an increase of almost 6% year on year from 2007.

To further enhance the appeal of the nation, its accessibility and economic success, Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez has just announced the details of the Dominican Republic’s 2008 – 2012 Tourism Plan. The plan is an outline for investment and it is designed to enable an increase in international arrivals of around 170,000 visitors per year, generating 200 million dollars in annual revenue and reaching 5 million annual arrivals by 2012. Supporting this plan is significant dual 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.

According to Steve Worboys, MD of Experience International, the overseas property investment experts: “for those seeking the ultimate property investment opportunity now could be the perfect 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. 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.”

The increase in demand for properties for rent from the growing tourism base is allowing developers of the best resorts in the nation to offer fantastic 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 Caribbean paradise vacation. One such development, Swaying Palms, offers investors 7% annual rental guarantees, and currently the gated and private luxurious community of apartments and penthouses is for sale at 30% below market value with 20% capital growth per annum predicted and overall the ‘Projected Capital Growth’ for the next 5 years is 220%. The properties are within a resort offering the best range of high-grade amenity – from tennis clubs to beach clubs and with owners benefitting from membership facilities to 5 of the areas top golf courses including the new Jack Nicklaus course at Cap Cana for example. Properties are available for sale with 50% mortgages from just $140,000.

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