Dominicana On Line - El Portal de la República Dominicana
The Dominican Republic maintains its position as the principal tourist destination in the Central American region and the Caribbean. Tourism is one of the principal activities generating employment and income for the country, and for improving it infrastructure and promoting the investment of millions of dollars each year.
According to the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic, tourism is top of the national economy in terms of foreign investment received. Within the Tourism Industry between 1995 and 2005, foreign investors invested a total of US$1,835 million.
The growth in the tourism industry in the country has been, on average, greater than the growth of the economy in general terms.
The quality of the Dominican beaches, the tropical climate, the good prices and hospitality of the people are just a few of the reasons why tourists decide to visit.
COMPETITIVEBESS OF TURISMO IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009 (RCVT - initials in Spanish) done by the World Economic Forum (WEF) reflects the situation this industry has experienced in these recent years having been affected by terrorism, rising fuel prices and the global economic crisis.
The analysis took into account 133 countries with the goal of raising their level of tourism competitiveness and providing information and comparisons for decision makers around the world as well as government agencies and private companies.
The RCVT measures factors and policies that make development in the tourism sector attractive in the countries around the world. It is composed of 14 pillars:
1. Policy rules and regulations
2. Environmental sustainability
3. Safety and security
4. Health and hygiene
5. Prioritization of travel and tourism
6. Air transport infrastructure
7. Ground transport infrastructure
8. Tourism infrastructure
9. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure
10. Price competitiveness
11. Human resources
12. Affinity for travel and tourism
13. Natural resources
14. Cultural resources
The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009 (RCVT - initials in Spanish) 2009, with a maximum of 7 points, showed the first ten countries in the ranking to be: Switzerland (5.68), Austria (5.46), Germany (5.41), France (5.34), Canada (5.32), Spain (5.30), Sweden (5.28), United States (5.28), Australia (5.24) and Singapore (5.24).
The RCVT does not evaluate the economic dynamism of tourism but rather the conditions for attracting investment. This takes into account three sub-indexes made up of: regulatory and business environment, infrastructure and human cultural and natural resources.
Latin American and Caribbean countries are not among the top 25 spots in the ranking. Barbados is in 30th place with a score of 4.77, Costa Rica is in 42nd place (4.42), Panama 55th (4.23), Chile 57th (4.18), Jamaica 60th (4.13), Uruguay 63rd (4.09), Argentina 65th (4.08), Dominican Republic is in the 67th place (4.03), Colombia 72nd (3.89), Peru 74th (3.88), Honduras 83rd (3.77), El Salvador 94th (3.49), Ecuador 96th (3.62), Nicaragua 103rd (3.49), Venezuela 104th (3.46) and Paraguay 122nd (3.16) *1
In the case of the Dominican Republic, its most favorable point evaluated was the priority placed on regulatory trips and tourism, where it ranked 13th among 133 countries. In the sub-index of the regulatory framework, the DR was in 54th place which was the best ranking it received.
In terms of the sub-index of Business Environment and Infrastructure, the Dominican Republic was in 71st place. In this area, the analysis showed a need for more and better infrastructure in the country in such areas as roads, potable water and electricity, among other things, which would assist in the development of tourism as well as the accomplishment of more efficient productive activities.
Finally, in the sub-index of Human, Cultural and Natural Resources, the DR ranks 68th. The report indicates the need to strengthen these factors through incentive so as to encourage the development of the intellectual and cultural capital as well as to take better advantage of the country’s natural and historic resources.
In conclusion, it is important to mention which of the pillars were most fulfilled in the Dominican Republic and it how it ranked: prioritization of travel and tourism (14) and availability of qualified labor power (19). The areas that require more attention include: environmental sustainability (108), education and training (108), safety (101) and transportation infrastructure (99).