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The Recipe to Reactivate Its Hotel Industry

After Puerto Plata presented a drop in tourist arrivals by air that has caused concern in the hotel sector and incoming operators, what remains is to take measures to ensure the reactivation of the destination in every sense of the word.

The factors affecting the increase in tourist arrivals are causing the “catch 22 situation”; that is to say, more hotels are not being built due to the deficit of flights, and more flight programs are not being produced due to the reduction of the inventory of hotel rooms.

Oscar Lora indicated this, an experienced hotelier in the northern zone, has made a series of recommendations to be considered and to create synergies between the public and private sectors to attract investment back to Puerto Plata.

In a document to which arecoa.com had access, the executive details that to be able to receive a more significant number of international tourists, it is necessary to:

1. Establish a daily flight from Panama. With these connections with the Central American country, Puerto Plata would be connected to South America.

2. Two weekly flights from the United Kingdom. This will resume the England – Puerto Plata route, which has been paralyzed for over four years. Traditionally, the British market was of utmost importance for Puerto Plata.
Puerto Plata destination.

3. A daily flight from San Juan (Puerto Rico). This way, Puerto Plata would be connected to all the Caribbean islands.

4. To also open new routes from the United States to Puerto Plata to compete and, thus, eliminate the monopoly that American Airlines (with its routes from Miami and Charlotte) and JetBlue (from Boston and New York) have.

He added that “the creation of new routes and the arrival of more flights will motivate the owners to open the currently closed rooms, as well as attract investors interested in building new hotels.”

“Private investment is needed to develop more hotels and tourism infrastructure in the destination,” he said.

For the above, Lora said that to achieve the goal: -the Government should be the driving force. President Luis Abinader, who is very involved in tourism and in the development of the North Coast, should become the “Chief Negotiator Officer” to attract investors; and he should also transmit this task to his Minister of Tourism, his foreign ministers and ambassadors, and to all the tourism offices abroad (OPT). Apart from their promotional role, these should also be responsible for “attracting” new investors in Spain, Germany, the United States, Canada, etc.

He indicated that, in addition, -the Government must create the necessary conditions to encourage the investment of new world-class hotels through the enactment of new incentive and attraction laws to attract the interest of new investors, airlines, and tour operators to the tourist pole, declaring this initiative a national necessity that all the main actors and citizens support and motivate.

Also, -modify the distribution of tourism promotion resources. The Ministry of Tourism should implement a new form that assigns a more significant percentage of promotion to emerging destinations and those still struggling for survival, as is the case of Puerto Plata and Samaná.

And finally, -provide equal exposure to all the defined poles and destinations. Following up on the previous topic, it is required that, in the participation as a country in international fairs, the Ministry of Tourism highlight with images each tourist destination equally, with a description of the benefits of each one. Thus, avoiding a particular zone obtains greater prominence in images and publicity.

“The duty of the Ministry of Tourism is to highlight the whole country with all the benefits offered by each of the destinations that are part of the great destination of the Dominican Republic,” said Lora.