o The Dominican Tourism Sector Will Require More Than RD$22 Billion in Agro Food Products in 2015 Untitled Document
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    The Dominican Tourism Sector Will Require More Than RD$22 Billion in Agro Food Products in 2015
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    The Dominican Tourism Sector Will Require More Than RD$22 Billion in Agro Food Products in 2015
    Santo Domingo, 28 de Abril de 2015

    The demand for agro food products in the Dominican tourism sector will reach a record RD$22,400 million this year. This represents a growth of 6 percent, stated Simón Suárez, President of the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES).

    The hotel executive said that tourism is the main ally of the national agricultural sector. These remarks were offered by the executive during a lecture given at the International Fair of Food, Tobacco and Beverage, AGROALIMENTARIA - 2015, which takes place with the sponsorship of the Dominican Agribusiness Board.

    He warned, however, that although progress has been made in improving distribution channels, it is necessary to draw attention to the importance of product quality and the continuity of supplies.

    Suárez estimated that this year the country's hotels will consume 87.7 million pounds of fruit; 45.5 million pounds of food; 25.3 million pounds of fish and seafood; 61.7 million pounds of vegetables; 61.1 million pounds of meat; 67.2 million gallons of milk and pounds of dairy products; 59.6 million pounds of groceries; 19.8 million pounds of cold meats, and one million pounds of spices. A demand for 128 million units of eggs is also expected.

    He also explained that beverage consumption is estimated at more than RD$7 billion; tobacco products at RD$178 million; agricultural or agribusiness products at more than RD$14.5 billion, and eggs at RD$515 million, including quail eggs.

    “There is no doubt that hotel consumption is a formidable customer for our farmers and for the food, drinks and tobacco industries. There are item lines that currently are fulfilled with imports, and even though these are item lines of lower demand, they are nonetheless appealing to be fulfilled by local producers in the future,” he said.

    The President of ASONAHORES also valued that the Ministry of Agriculture reported that the value of the total agricultural production in the country was RD$30 billion and that hotel agricultural consumption was RD$13 billion in 2013, “which tells us that hotel consumption can represent more than 43 percent of the production recorded by the Ministry.”

    “It is equally significant that fruits exported in 2013 were worth RD$65 million, while hotel consumption accounted for RD$1,216 million, and exports of vegetables amounted to RD$2,154 million and hotel consumption was RD$1,055 million,” he said.

    The hotel executive was optimistic about the development and future of the tourism industry, and said that this is good news for the agro food sector, “because that means that consumption will continue to grow in the coming years.”

    “Our optimism is backed by the five years of growth we have had since 2011. In the years 2010-2014 foreign visitors’ arrivals by air grew by 30.7% as a result of an absolute increase of just over one million visits during that period. The average annual increase was 6.1%, a successful record achieved despite the tempestuous economic situation affecting Europe and the United States, which are our main markets,” he said.

    He added that “the trend of excellent performance has continued during the last winter in the Northern Hemisphere and is reflected in the good results obtained in the first quarter of 2015, when foreign visitors’ arrivals by air grew by 5.4% as a prediction that we will have our sixth straight year of positive results.”

    “As a sign of enthusiasm in the tourism sector, I am glad to report that we have put 998 rooms into service in nine hotels that opened last year and that we currently have another 2,070 rooms under construction. In addition, we have 2,714 rooms renovated or under renovation, and we will soon announce other projects that will add another 2,000 rooms in 2016 and 2017,” he said.

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