This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 11/20/2019

Overview
One of the main pillars of the Dominican economy is the tourism sector. During the period January – December 2018 the number of tourists that entered the Dominican Republic via different international airports totaled 6,568,888; reflecting a 6.2 per cent increase when compared to the 6,187,542 tourists that visited during the same period in 2017.

The Economic Report produced by the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic indicates that the sector of Hotels, Bars, and Restaurants grew by 5.7 per cent in the year 2018.


 

 201720182019
(estimated)
Total Market Size495559
Total Local Production444
Total Exports---
Total Imports455155
Imports from the U.S.19.423.125
                                                                                                                    Unit: (Millions of U.S. Dollars)
                                                                                                                    Exchange rate: RD$50.30 – US$1
                                                                                                                    Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Economic Indicators Division

Moreover, it is important to note that there are over 80,000 available hotel rooms in the Dominican Republic and approximately 120 restaurant members of the association of hotels and restaurants.  CAFTA-DR creates a competitive advantage for U.S. products in this industry sector since hotel and restaurant equipment imports originated in other countries will continue to be assessed a 20 percent duty, while most US made products in this sector enter the Dominican Republic duty free.
 

Leading Sub-Sectors
Restaurant equipment and parts
Bed & table linen & towels
Table and kitchen glassware
Cookware, cutlery, tools
Kitchen appliances 

Opportunities
Tourism investment has experienced an increase in the past several years which is expected to continue in 2019-2020 with several projects at the construction and planning stages.  The construction of new hotels or the remodeling of existing facilities has traditionally focused in the resort areas in the eastern or the northern part of the country; more recently, investments are flowing into developing tourism within the capital city of Santo Domingo.  There are now 27 hotels offering services in the Santo Domingo area, which has been experiencing an increase in the MICE (Meetings, Incentive, Conventions and Events) sector after the opening of the Convention Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

The DR Ministry of Tourism informed via news reports from the tourism fair, FITUR, that there are several tourism projects planned with investments from:

 
Grupo Velutini/IEMCAProject in Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata with over 1,000 rooms (investment of approximately US$100 million)
GlobaliaSeveral projects in the DR including one in Bayahibe and one in Boca Chica.



Ownership in the tourism sector is somewhat diversified, with Spanish and French groups accounting for several well-known hotels and resorts, which cluster primarily in the Punta Cana area.  These groups include: The Meliá Hotels (Spanish); the Barceló Group (Spanish); Bahia Principe (Piñero Group, Spanish); Accor and ClubMed (both French).  In the Santo Domingo area there is a number of foreign-owned American franchise hotels such as the JW Marriott (Venezuelan investment); Intercontinental (Salvadoran investment); Radisson (Colombian); Sheraton (Dominican); Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn (Venezuelan); and the Embassy Suites.

These investments present a variety of opportunities for those US companies that support the development of tourism infrastructure and supply equipment and consumables for new or existing hotels and/or expansion projects.

Web Resources
Maria Elena Portorreal, Senior Commercial Specialist;
 maria.portorreal@trade.gov
Association of Hotels and Restaurants of the Dominican Republic: https://www.asonahores.com
Asonahores organizes an annual trade exposition for hotel suppliers.  The yearly held “Exposicion Comercial ASONAHORES” will take place on September 11-13, 2019 at the Blue Mall - Punta Cana, DR.
 Ministry of Tourism: https://mitur.gob.do

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Dominican Republic Hotel and Restaurant Equipment Trade Development and Promotion