DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Thanks to its efforts in the travel marketing space, Dominican Republic has secured its position as the Caribbean’s leading destination by a wide margin. The destination giant draws in visitors with both its broad all-inclusive appeal, as well as its boutique niche offerings in areas not yet thoroughly explored by tourists.
According to recent data, Dominican Republic alone saw a 9.6 percent increase in tourism in 2014, receiving 5.14 million tourists, while the Caribbean as a whole registered at just a 6.6 percent growth. With so much to offer in the country, Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism’s (MITUR) public relations and marketing efforts have worked to showcase the country’s diversity in locations, activities, amenities, gastronomy and much more. Recent US marketing efforts include:
• Event Partnerships: Most currently, Dominican Republic has announced it will once again be participating in the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, celebrating its 20th year Sept. 25 – Nov. 16 in Orlando, FL. The 53-day festival gives guests, their families and media the opportunity to awaken their senses through exploring a global selection of cuisine, drink and more, along with experiencing unparalleled Disney-style events. Past events have also included sponsorships of Dominican baseball player Pedro Martinez’s Hall of Fame induction, the Miami Heat’s “Dominican Night,” People in Espanol’s “50 Most Beautiful” event, the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders’ swimsuit calendar and an ongoing partnership with the New York Yankees, among others.
• Prime-time Integration: Partnerships with key high-exposure players in the prime-time television space have exposed key audience segments to Dominican Republic’s luxury getaway options as well as to accommodation options for those that may choose to own a piece of property in the Dominican sunshine. Features on The Bachelorette (Season 10), House Hunters International, Beachfront Bargain Hunt and more have been optimal spotlights on the island’s beauty.
• Niche In-country Media Experiences: MITUR is committed to giving media a first-hand experience in the country whenever possible. This includes MITUR-sponsored group press trips centered around a niche theme – such as adventure travel, family fun, ecotourism, weddings, wellness, girls’ getaways, “mancations,” historical escapes, haute cuisine and more – rather than general FAM trips – where media can explore the country alongside expert MITUR guides.
• Up-to-Date Media and Traveler Resources: Regular improvements to MITUR’s official GoDominicanRepublic.com website allow media and travelers alike to access the best and most current information about the country. A brand-new hotel directory was designed for streamlined searches of a visitor’s best fit among the country’s 70,000 hotel rooms and also included a revamped press section and the addition of multiple new languages. The release of the Dominican Republic Travel App made it easier than ever for visitors to plan their travel and access maps, information, guides and more both on- and off-line.
• In-country Event Spotlights: The country’s marketing team understands the importance of presenting information to media in a meaningful way. Leading industry media are regularly invited to in-country trade events to experience the island life and learn from industry leaders directly.
o This Oct. 7-9, Discover Puerto Plata Marketplace will show off all there is to experience in Dominican Republic’s next up-and-coming vacation area on the country’s north coast. Highlights include the new Amber Cove cruise port, revamped golf courses and new adventure sports.
o Highlighting world class designer golf courses easily accessible from many popular resorts, the DR Golf Travel Exchange brought together golf media and course operators Sept. 5 – 10 to experience first-hand why Dominican Republic remains the top golf destination in the Caribbean and holds its place as one of the best golf destinations in the world.
o This past April, the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE) gathered journalists, international wholesalers, tour operators, incentive groups, airlines, and charters operators to learn about one another and conduct business with the country’s tourism suppliers in a productive and organized business exchange setting.
“We are happy to see success in our tourism efforts over the previous year and have high expectations for our numbers in 2015,” said Magaly Toribio, marketing advisor for the Ministry of Tourism. “Our marketing teams work hard to focus our efforts on reaching diverse audience segments to showcase all that Dominican Republic has to offer in addition to the beautiful beaches and relaxing resorts it is so well known for.”
Leading tourism growth, the United States remains the country’s single-largest source market, with 1.78 million US arrivals – and a 12.4 percent growth rate – in 2014. The year’s high numbers likewise indicated an increase in summer travel, showing an 11.7 percent spike in tourist visits in the summer months, expected to trend into 2015.
As highlighted by Simon Suarez, president of hotel and tourism association ASONAHORES, tourist arrivals to Dominican Republic by air grew a whopping 30.7 percent between 2010 and 2014 – a very promising growth for the country’s tourism-heavy economy. Have you planned a visit yet?