The Dominican Republic is coming off a record-breaking year for tourism, thanks in large part to Canadians, reports assistant editor, Ann Ruppenstein in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.

Speaking at the recent 20th Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE) in Punta Cana, Paola Rainieri de Díaz, president of the Dominican Republic Association for Hotels and Tourism (ASONAHORES), announced a 6.2% increase in overall tourism to the country 2018, with 6.5 million tourists.

Not only does the growth represent 380,000 additional arrivals compared to 2017, but the figures exceed the world average growth rate and represent 20 percent of all travel to the Caribbean in 2018. Overall, growth from North America – the top market for the D.R. – exceeded 8%.

“Travel agents are vital to the continuous growth of the Dominican Republic and the increase in Canadian visitors,” Cosette Garcia, director, of the Dominican Republic Tourism Office Montreal tells Canadian Travel Press. “The D.R. remains a top sun destination for Canadians, with 904,460 Canadians visiting the country in 2018, an increase of 67,356 from 2017.”

On hand for a grand opening ceremony and inauguration event at the newly opened The Grand Reserve at Paradisus by Meliá, which also featured the president of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina, Francisco Javier García, minister of tourism of the Dominican Republic, credited the growth in large part to the maturity and authenticity of the country as a tourist destination.

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.