Though it’s always been a well-known beach destination among Americans, and the fact it draws in millions of visitors every year is hardly a surprise, the Dominican Republic is taking the tourism industry by storm and posting a recovery rate that’s nothing short of incredible.
The country may yet to fully recover economically from the COVID slump, but when it comes to tourism, it is just smashing records, having recorded as many as 6.2 million visitors through July, a 34% growth over what had already been a historical pre-pandemic 2019.
With arrival figures set to increase even further now that the high season is approaching, it leaves us wondering: how did the DR become so massively popular, perhaps even more so than it already was?
We were able to identify 4 main reasons:
It Is Well-Connected
One of the reasons why the DR is reaching such an unprecedented popularity peak is the wide availability of nonstop flights offered from all of its most valuable markets. Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ), which accounts for over 60% of all air arrivals, serves 90 hubs in 26 countries.
A majority of flights, however, originate from the United States and Canada, with the United States occupying seven out of ten busiest international routes from PUJ, and New York taking the lead, with flights offered by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and JetBlue.
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Irrespective of the season, it is incredibly easy to travel to the Dominican Republic, as travelers are rarely required to transit in third countries, particularly U.S. nationals. Due to this accessibility, Americans comprised 54% of all air arrivals in July.
Additionally, flying to the Dominican Republic, specifically Punta Cana, from several departure points in the U.S. and Canada can be incredibly cheap, with several low-cost and budget airlines operating on the busy route and offering excellent flight deals year-round.
According to Expedia, one of the leading booking platforms in America, roundtrip fares average $145 – $213, often cheaper than flying internally within the States, while one-way tickets can start as low as $68 when booked early enough.
In the midst of this ongoing economic crisis, Americans are strongly favoring destinations that are easier and less expensive to get to, and with its abundance of cheap fares, irresistible getaway packages, and great connectivity with mainland America, this Caribbean gem is the perfect pick.
Three years of a harrowing health crisis have left many in desperate need of inner healing and a slow-paced, relaxing trip, or even a ‘do-nothing‘ vacation, as opposed to action-heavy, sightseeing-packed itineraries.
With its luxurious resort zones, quaint seaside communities, and highly-developed wellness scene, the DR is the ideal place to unwind, and somewhere you go for bathing in the sun, booking rejuvenating spa treatments, and being pampered in a five-star hotel as you set aside your mundane concerns.
In fact, this Punta Cana beachfront all-inclusive resort is maybe one of the best of its kind not only in the DR but the entire Caribbean, with guests experiencing a high level of comfort and having their every need catered to without worrying a single second about planning.
Safe Resort Zones
Finally, there is the high level of safety tourists enjoy when vacationing in the DR, in spite of the recent travel warnings issued by U.S. authorities encompassing suburban zones of Punta Cana and the capital, Santo Domingo.
Crime can still occur, including pickpocketing in touristy areas, but as reported by InSight Crime, the incidence is ‘much lower’ than in other Caribbean countries, and compared to Haiti, which shares the Western third of the same island, the DR is a safety oasis.
It is certainly no Iceland, but tourists truly have nothing to be concerned about vacationing in well-guarded all-inclusive resorts, where access is limited to guests, staff, and club members, or resort towns, where there is a strong police presence.
In sum, the DR is safe, easy to reach, and well-equipped, not to mention it houses some of the best-preserved Spanish-era monuments in all of Latin America and some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful white-sand beaches: again, what’s not to like?
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com