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January 22, 2013
  • Whale-watching in Samana
  • 4,562,606 tourists visit in 2012
  • Hurricane Sandy affects travel statistics
  • Where the tourists come from
Whale-watching in Samana
The whale-watching season has begun in Samana. The season began 15 January and will continue with observation trips offered through the end of March. Trips run primarily in the morning, but as the season runs its course, more trips in the afternoon are added. Most trips leave from the main dock in Samana city, but others depart from the docks on the southern side of Samana Bay in Cano Hondo. Some trips include a stop at Cayo Levantado island.
For more information on Samana and companies that offer the excursion, see the whale-watching section of the DR1 Samana Guide at http://dr1.com/travel/samanaguide.pdf
4,562,606 tourists visit in 2012
The Central Bank Economic Statistics Department reports that at year's end, in 2012 some 4,562,606 tourists had visited by air arriving to the country's seven international airports. This is 256,175 more non-resident arrivals compared to 2011 for a 5.95% increase.
Both foreign and non-resident Dominican arrival numbers were up, 5.96% and 5.88%, respectively. Some 638,913 non-resident Dominicans visited, and 3,923,693 foreign tourists.
The Central Bank says numbers are thanks to promotional efforts by the government and private sector and new flights and frequencies, despite the difficult economic conditions in many traditional source markets. There were new flights from the United States, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela and France.
The Central Bank reports that 5,047,021 passengers arrived by Dominican airports, including resident passengers. The number of travelers is 5.66% more compared to 2011, or 270,548 more travelers.
See http://www.bancentral.gov.do/publicaciones_economicas2.asp?docu=informe_turistico-Informe%20del%20Flujo%20Tur%EDstico&fecha=2012
Hurricane Sandy affects travel statistics
The effects of Hurricane Sandy are apparent in the travel statistics for 2012, just published by the Central Bank. Country statistics shows increases in travel of more than 5% in all months, with the exception of October (up 1.14%), November (up 4.09%) and December (up 0.14%).
Sandy hit the northeastern coast of the United States in late October, affecting travel plans due to the shut down of regional airports and major damages to businesses, homes and the economy in the region.
Travel to the Dominican Republic had consistently grown more than 6.5% in 2012, but a final quarter growth of 1.61% considerably affected the end of year total numbers that closed with a 5.66% increase. In the first quarter, travel had grown 7.88%, in the second quarter growth was 7.38%, in the third 6.51% and in the fourth, 1.61%.
Where the tourists come from
Most tourists flying to the Dominican Republic come from the Americas. Of the 256,175 more tourists that came in 2012, United States travelers were 181,737 more, 21,253 more came from Canada and 3,143 more came from Mexico.
46,328 more travelers came from South America, an emerging destination becoming popular with families attracted by the all-inclusive beach resorts. The breakdown by the main source countries is Venezuela (19,601), Chile (10,942), Peru (8,307), Colombia (3,973), Argentina (3,859) and Brazil (3,312).
Travel from Europe continues to suffer from the economic restrictions. There were significant declines in travel from the United Kingdom (39,452), Spain (14,001) and Italy (10,055). Nevertheless, travel from Russia was up 42,405.
The Central Bank Economic Statistics Department reports that at year's end, in 2012 some 4,562,606 tourists had visited by air arriving to the country's seven international airports.

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