Dominican Republic

The governor of the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic, Héctor Valdez Albizu, said that the country's tourism industry will take until 2023 to fully recover from the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that the entity is working to prevent the dollar rate from dropping as well.

Valdez projected that this year, national tourism destinations will receive 1 million more visitors than in 2020, so 3.4 million to 3.5 million would be traveling to the Caribbean country.

The official affirmed that "nothing can stop" this industry, "neither the good nor the bad. I have faith that tourism will recover its standing that it lost over the pandemic." He opined that the Dominican Republic is the nation with the best organized financial system in the entire Latin American region.

Meanwhile, he indicated that the Central Bank will prevent the dollar rate from falling too low, after the U.S. dollar is in a process of reduction that has led it to reduce more than 1.34 Dominican pesos for every dollar.

Valdez, who spoke during an activity to present the preliminary results of the local economy, explained that the foreign exchange has been influencing the exchange rate. He said that an excessive fall in the currency would not be beneficial for the Caribbean nation.

He said that the monetary institution would apply some of the mechanisms "to prevent the peso from continuing to depreciate against the dollar and indicated that one of them would be buying the currency and giving the pesos."

In that sense, he announced that this month #900 million would reach the country in remittances and said that the economy will benefit from the aid that the U.S. Government is granting to its citizens, because a part of these resources will be reflected in investments and remittances in the national territory.

Moreover, the official pointed out that the Monthly Index of Economic Activity (MIEA) advanced 1.1 percent in February, thus ending 12 consecutive months of setbacks.

"The momentum has started in February, and that changes the whole expected picture," said Valdez, who noted that the expectation was for a recovery during the second quarter.

According to these data, the growth of February of this year is lower than that registered in the same month of 2020, when the MIEA rose 5.3 percent.

As reported, the activity of the hotel, bar and restaurant sector plummeted 50.8 percent, and tourism has been the sector most affected by the pandemic due to the temporary closure of the borders and the cessation of hotel activities, which continued until last July.

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