More than 10 million tourists visit in 2023

More than 10 million  tourists visit in 2023

The 10 millionth arrival to the Dominican Republic, Ariana Guilak is flanked by Tourism Minister David Collado (left) and Frank Rainieri of the Puntacana Group as she accepts her token of appreciation.

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic--The Dominican Republic is celebrating the arrival of ten million tourists in a year. The Ministry of Tourism announced that Ariana Guilak, a systems engineer from California, was the symbolic ten millionth arrival.

She flew in on American Airlines from Miami, Florida, to Punta Cana.

Tourism Minister David Collado explained that the American Airlines flight brought 128 passengers for a yearly total of 10,031,000 visitors, on December 26. He highlighted that the record in arrivals is the result of the public and private sector taking decisions for the sector together. “The country is celebrating,” said Collado.

The flight was received with a water salute and Minister Collado and Frank Rainieri of the Puntacana Group bestowed the honour on Ariana Guilak once she touched ground at the Punta Cana International Airport.

The honour of the 10 millionth tourist could have gone to any of the 128 passengers who travelled on flight AA2638 that morning. Guilak was chosen after a random selection was made and she accepted the honour commemorating the record arrival.

As reported, reacting to the surprising situation, the American tourist was all smiles as she walked off the plane onto a red carpet, to the tune of typical merengue in the voice of El Prodigio.

The American Airlines flight had departed from Miami, Florida, and 90% were non-resident foreign passengers.

Guilak told reporters she had travelled from California and that this was her first visit to the Dominican Republic. She will spend six days on vacation with her boyfriend. She said she came to enjoy the climate and beach.

On the morning before the expected arrival of the 10 millionth tourist, President Luis Abinader had celebrated the record. “Today [Tuesday, December 26 – Ed.], the Dominican Republic celebrates the arrival of more than 10 million new, friendly tourists. “Today tourism is celebrating. With great joy we welcome everyone to our beautiful country!” wrote the President in his X account.

For the day, the Ministry of Tourism also organised celebrations for reaching the coveted milestone in tourism at two more of the country’s main airports, Las Americas in Santo Domingo, and Cibao, in Santiago, as well as in the two Cruise Terminals.

A record number of arrivals is expected for December 2023. Minister Collado says more than 850,000 visitors will be arriving this month.

Tourism is the sector that makes the most significant contribution to the Dominican Republic economy, with an estimated 20% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The Dominican Republic is third behind Mexico, which received 38 million tourists in 2022, and Canada, with 12.8 million in 2022, as the most visited country in the Americas.

The 10 million tourist goal was set in 2012 when President Danilo Medina initiated his presidency. At the time, former president of the National Hotel & Restaurant Association Asonahores and Caribbean Tourism Organization, Dominican Republic lawyer Enrique Eduardo de Marchena was vocal on the positive impacts of the goal.

Minister Collado says the country will now work towards the goal of 15 million tourists in 2030. ~ DR1 ~

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