By Marion V. Ali, Staff Reporter
With a 3.6 percent tourism growth in 2013, the Dominican Republic has outpaced the entire Caribbean region, which recorded an overall one percent increase.
Francisco Javier Garcia, that country’s tourism minister called the performance “an extraordinary year”. With 4.7 million tourists visiting its shores last year, the Dominican Republic outshone its clostest rival, Cuba, which had 2.8 million visitors. Jamaica was third with two million tourists.
The Spanish-speaking country’s year-round hotel occupancy averaged 87.3 percent, “one of the highest rates in recent years,” according to Garcia. Garcia attributed the high occupancy partly to the recovery of the European economy, particularly the German market, which registered a 16 percent growth in arrivals in 2013.
For 2014 the Dominican Republic embarked on an aggressive marketing campaign dubbed “Dominican Republic Has it All”, highlighting the oldest cathedral in the Americas and the only subway system in the Caribbean. In addition, the country boasts seven international airports, awesome scenery, and 1,000 miles of beaches.