This Caribbean Hotspot Is Seeing Double Tourism Growth Compared To Cancun

This Caribbean Hotspot Is Seeing Double Tourism Growth Compared To Cancun

The Dominican Republic has just broken a historic record with more than 4 million arrivals in the first 4 months of the year. If the trend continues, the country could follow in the footsteps of Cancun, Mexico.

According to the Minister of Tourism, David Collado, the country is on track to exceed 11 million tourists in 2024. A number never seen before. 

From January to April, the island received 3,039,302 air travelers, 10% more compared to the same period in 2023, and 1,139,381 cruise passengers, 15% more compared to last year.

In April alone, the destination saw over 700,000 stopover arrivals, a 3 percent increase over 2023. 

“Combining all these figures, we have 4,178,683 visitors in the first four months of the year, which represents another record,” Collado said.

Most travelers come from the United States (53%), Canada (18%) and Colombia (3%).

For its part, Mexico welcomed 3.6 million tourists in January alone, 124,000 more than in 2023, a growth of 3.6 percent, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).

Cancun, the city that enchants international travelers with its sugar-sand beaches and stunning sunsets, holds the distinction of being the most preferred destination in the country.

From January to April, the city welcomed 8.21 million passengers, according to data presented by Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR).

This number represents a 6 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

In 2023 alone, 32.7 million holidaymakers passed through customs at Cancun International Airport; 63 percent of them were international visitors.

Does the annual sargassum seaweed invasion play a roll?

Although Cancun tourist figures may look more promising, the huge problem Mexico has with sargassum could be a game changer.

Following the discovery of 7,400 tons of sargassum floating on its way to Quintana Roo, hundreds of tons of seaweed will start arriving at Cancun beaches in the weeks to come, according to the latest report by the state’s Sargassum Monitoring Network (RDMS).

The Navy Secretariat even had to raise its sargassum alert for Cancun from Level 2 to Level 3 on May 11.

In contrast, the Dominican Republic doesn’t seem to be so affected.

Punta Cana Sargassum Seaweed,” a Facebook group where beachgoers share their experiences with algae, has been reporting clean or almost clean beaches for weeks.

Of course sargassum is washing up on the beaches of the Dominican Republic, but the amounts are so small that it’s easy for authorities and hoteliers to rapidly remove it from the sand.

For instance, popular beaches serving the Riu República, Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort and Arena Blanca Punta Cana hotel are as pristine as usual.