Covid easy entry rules help boost tourism in the Dominican Republic.

Some came for the beach, some came for the sun, some chose it because, at the time, the Covid numbers seemed reasonable. Many had chose...


Some came for the beach, some came for the sun, some chose it because, at the time, the Covid numbers seemed reasonable. Many had chosen it over resort destinations because getting there seemed easy. Still others liked the idea of ​​not having to pass a test to enter the country.

Together they made up about 25 of the mostly American, Canadian and British guests enjoying the adult-only “Preferred Club” pool at Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana a recent weekend, even as the Omicron variant drove coronavirus cases to record highs in the Dominican Republic.

Along with all the other visitors who filled the majority of Punta Cana’s roughly 42,000 hotel rooms this January weekend, they were part of what many consider a rare pandemic tourism success story. In December, the Dominican Republic attracted 700,000 foreign visitors, more than it had not only attracted before the pandemic, but in a single month, according to the Ministry of Tourism. This brought the 2021 total to nearly five million visitors, more than any other country in the Caribbean. In December, some financial analysts have calculated that the country was having its best economic year in 30 years.

And Punta Cana isn’t the only booming getaway in the Dominican Republic. Las Terrenas, a small beach town that tends to draw a crowd that scorns all-inclusives, has exploded in popularity during the pandemic.

The Dominican Republic’s visitor numbers have to do, in part, with its unconventional strategy to gain a competitive advantage. Unlike most Caribbean beach destinations, the country does not require proof of vaccination, Covid testing or quarantine for most incoming travellers. Instead, authorities have opted to manage Covid by pushing vaccinations and mask-wearing among those who interact with tourists. Nearly 100% of the 174,000 people who work in the tourism sector are vaccinated, according to the Ministry of Tourism. And while all-inclusive resorts only require a reservation to enter, many banks, government institutions, and some shopping malls require proof of vaccination or a recent PCR test.

Hogla Enecia PĂ©rez contributed research from Santo Domingo.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Covid easy entry rules help boost tourism in the Dominican Republic.
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