Dominican Republic’s Tourism Recovery Plan on the Right Track
Enrique De Marchena Kaluche attended a meeting held yesterday with the Dominican Republic Minister of Tourism, David Collado, along with ASONAHORES President Paola Rainieri de Diaz, Executive Vice President Andrés Marranzini Grullon and the Board of Directors and past Presidents of the National Association of Hotels and Tourism (ASONAHORES).
During the meeting, the details and breakthroughs of the Responsible Tourism Recovery Plan were analyzed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan seeks to minimize the effects of the pandemic and promote a responsible recovery that gives top priority to health, maximizes the potential for job creation and economic growth, and touts the sector's continued sustainable development.
Tourism Minister David Collado made a presentation of the statistics of the tourism sector in the country, seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which he indicated that the tourism sector accounts for 22% of the GDP of the Dominican Republic and that the economic burden left by the pandemic has meant the loss of income to date in the amount of $2.5 billion, the loss of 150,000 jobs as only 54,000 tourists have arrived in the country in July 2020, stacked up against 450,000 that visited the island nation in July 2019. He also pointed out that the occupation rate in the country is hovering 5%.
Minister Collado said that in the future, the Council for the Promotion of Tourism (CONFOTUR) will only approve tourism projects that qualify under the framework of the law and its modifications.
Mr. De Marchena Kaluche took the floor to congratulate the Minister and the new government for the comprehensive measures it has adopted to relaunch the country's tourism sector. He also indicated that he congratulated him for what he understands will be a correct application of the spirit and body of the law.
He said that in the past he had opposed the approval of tax incentives for real estate projects that do not have a hotel component or complementary offer, such as a golf course or a marina.
"Granting tax incentives for 15 years to projects that simply acquire real estate and then sell it, is a loss for the State that ceases to receive the real estate transfer tax and the property tax. This is simply nonsense, as it is to approve tourism projects that are not contemplated within the framework of the law," said Mr. De Marchena.
Finally, De Marchena Kaluche requested that any intervention that the Government will make in the Province of Puerto Plata should be comprehensive and must be carried out from Maimón to Cabarete.
He expressed concern about the situation of the beaches of Sosúa and Cabarete, where there has been no adequate and sustainable management or preservation of the foreshores.