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February 3, 2015
  • Street art in Rio San Juan
  • 12% more tourists in 2014
  • Travel to DR peaks in January, March and August
  • Travel from Spain and Portugal expected to increase
  • Colombian tourism expected to increase
Street art in Rio San Juan
Visitors to Puerto Plata and Samana should take the opportunity to stop at Playa Grande beach and Dudu cave and check out the street and mural art in Rio San Juan, Espaillat (Moca) province, east of Puerto Plata.
In December, an arts festival "ArteSano Project" brought together 25 local and international artists who painted house walls and public spaces with decorative and storytelling images. Familiar themes and motifs were used, but there are also many surprises.
12% more tourists in 2014
According to the Central Bank, 5,249,774 non-resident travelers visited the Dominican Republic in 2014, including 4,441,232 foreigners. This is up from 4,689,770 in 2013, for 560,004 additional tourists, a 12% increase.
Of the total, 48% came from the United States, Canada or Mexico. Travelers from the United States make up 34% of non-resident travelers in 2014. Next in numbers were tourists from Canada, with 699,202.
Travelers from Europe made up 22% of total non-resident travelers, or 1,166,400 Europeans. Of the European source markets, France was the greatest with 233,948 (4.5%). Germany was the second largest European source market with 226,434 (4%), followed by Spain 151,027 (2.9%) and the United Kingdom with 123,937 (2.4%).
South American travel was especially strong from Brazil with 115,686 travelers (2.2%), Argentina with 114,479 (2.2%) and Venezuela with 110,553 (2.1%).
Travel to DR peaks in January, March and August
Year long travel statistics for non-resident travelers, including Dominicans, show that January (535,863), March (529,897), August (516,907) are the three peak months for travel to the Dominican Republic. The low-season months with the smallest number of non-resident travelers are October (322,122), September (331,956) and November (362,994).
Travel from Spain and Portugal expected to increase
Given the 27% increase in bookings during Spain's Fitur trade show held in Madrid last month, travel to the Dominican Republic from Spain and Portugal is expected to rise significantly in 2015, the Dominican tourism promotion office director in Spain, Isabel Vasquez told Listin Diario. Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier Garcia, who headed the Dominican delegation to Spain's leading travel trade show, was pleased to announce that Spanish airline Iberia has committed to restoring the number of direct flights to Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) in Santo Domingo to one per day.
Colombian tourism expected to increase
President Danilo Medina recently announced that Colombian tourists will no longer need visas to travel to the Dominican Republic and may do so with the purchase of a tourist card. At the Fitur travel show in Madrid, it was announced that the Colombian travel company, ON Vacation would purchase half of the shares in the 411-room Celuisma resort in Playa Dorada for US$15 million. Company representative Carlos Londono forecast a major increase in Colombian tourism to the Dominican Republic in 2015. A total of 61,421 Colombians visited in 2014.
ON Vacation is reported to move around 2,000 charter flights a year. With the purchase, the company will be adding Puerto Plata to its portfolio of destinations that already includes Cancun, Mexico and Panama.

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