The Dominican Republic stands out as a jewel in the Central American and Caribbean region, attracting investors with its vibrant economy and unparalleled growth. Prior to the pandemic, it held the position as one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America, Central America, and the Caribbean, trailing only behind Panama. With an average annual growth rate of 6.1% between 2015 and 2019, the country outpaced the regional average of 3.1%, maintaining a steady GDP growth of over 5% for more than 25 years.
Foreign Investment Landscape:
A key driver of the Dominican Republic’s economic success has been its openness to foreign investment and robust commercial integration with the global market. As a result, the country has emerged as the leading recipient of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Caribbean. According to the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic, FDI contributed significantly to the country’s foreign exchange reserves, averaging USD 2.53 billion annually between 2010 and 2020. Notably, the tourism sector accounted for 21.35% of the cumulative FDI inflows during this period.
Tourism as an Economic Engine:
The tourism and hospitality sector plays a pivotal role in the Dominican Republic’s economy, contributing substantially to its GDP. In 2022, the sector generated USD 8.671 billion, welcoming 7.1 million tourists, with an additional 5.3 million visitors in the first half of 2023. The services sector, primarily driven by tourism, represented nearly 56% of the country’s economic activity in 2022. Notably, the «Hotels, Bars, and Restaurants» segment experienced a remarkable 24% growth in the same year, fueled by foreign direct investment exceeding USD 1 billion.
Current Developments and Investments:
The Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic has unveiled ambitious plans for further development at Fitur 2023, confirming investments exceeding USD 3.445 billion (EUR 3.167 billion) in new hotel infrastructure and collaborations with Spanish entrepreneurs. According to Minister David Collado, the participation in the 2023 fair marks a highly fruitful year, with investments totaling USD 1.645 billion (EUR 1.512 billion) set to bring over 3,000 new rooms to the Caribbean nation. These developments are expected to create more than 10,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities, further boosting the country’s economic landscape.
Unprecedented Tourism Recovery:
The Dominican Republic has notably outpaced pre-pandemic tourism figures, as highlighted in the Top 20 list of cities and countries with the best performance in 2022. This resurgence underscores the sector’s immense potential, with the destination closing the year with «historical figures» in tourism investment, surpassing USD 1 billion in projects, according to the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (Asonahores), amounting to around EUR 970.7 million.
Investing in the Dominican Republic’s tourism sector presents a compelling opportunity for global investors. With a track record of sustained economic growth, a welcoming approach to foreign investment, and ongoing strategic developments in the tourism industry, the country stands as a beacon of stability and prosperity in the region. As the tourism sector continues to flourish, the Dominican Republic remains a hotspot for investors seeking lucrative opportunities in the dynamic Caribbean market