President Luis Abinader affirmed that the Dominican Republic's tourism industry is already recovering, and assured that in the first months since being reactivated it has created 60,000 direct jobs and 200,000 indirect jobs, with an emphasis on enhancing the attractions of that sector of the economy.
He explained that the main objective is the creation of job sources and said that, in a conservative projection, some 10,000 direct and indirect jobs will be recovered in the sector each month.
"Apart from this recovery, we have 18,000 new jobs created, from people who did not work before in this area, and announcements of projects in the cruise tourism sector, in thematic areas and new mega-projects such as that of the Pedernales province and others yet to be announced," Abinader stated.
He said that this is the first economic sector in the country in terms of foreign exchange generation and in terms of employment and foreign investment. The statements were offered by the president during a press conference where he referred to the projection of that line in the Dominican Republic.
The Minister of Tourism, David Collado, appreciated the efforts in this sector of the national economy.
He argued that the projection for March is to end with 230,000 to 260,000 tourists. Regarding the occupation for this third month of the year, he said that it ranges between 60 and 70 percent.
Moreover, Tourism Vice Minister Jacqueline Mora reported that, in August, the country was connected with only 82 cities and that now it has been possible to reach the number of 103 different cities.
Regarding the airlines that traveled to the Dominican Republic, she indicated that in August there were 55 and now, 90. She added that at the beginning of the administration there were 124 routes that traveled to the country and that there are currently 180.
"So there are totally new markets, like Poland, Ukraine, and Turkey," the official said.
She revealed that 50,000 non-resident visitors arrived in August, while now 226,000 arrived. Mora also said that they found about 15,000 open rooms and that today the figure is 42,000.
As for domestic tourism, she indicated that it used to fluctuate by 5 percent, while now it is between 16 and 32 percent of all visits to hotels. "Currencies have increased from approximately 117 million to more than 300 million in the first quarter," Mora said.
Meanwhile, Abinader spearheaded several activities in the La Altagracia province (East region), including the inauguration of the Macao beach comprehensive reorganization project, located in the Punta Cana area, with an investment of more than RD$56 million ($982,381).
He stressed that with investments like these "a great impact will be achieved for a sustained economic reactivation, which will generate quality jobs."
The plan includes a series of actions on various fronts, such as the construction of restaurant modules, public bathrooms, walkways, pergolas, pedestrian access roads, vehicle access closures, installation of drinking water service, and lighting of areas with Solar LED luminaires.
"With this project, the real impact will not only affect the beach, but it will also positively affect the entire province and its more than 400,000 citizens. Change has to be felt in every corner of the country. That it be a tangible reality and that all Dominicans can enjoy and see it," the president said.
Abinader added that the initiative seeks to enhance the attractiveness of this important tourist area, as Macao has become one of the favorite beaches for surfers and practitioners of sports such as boating, fishing and diving.
"Macao is one of the five most impressive beaches in the country, of extraordinary beauty, with white sands and turquoise waters with an annual average of visits of over 200,000 tourists," he stated.