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Central Bank data shows tourism decline; assesses measures taken to rebound

According to the Central Bank, the Dominican Republic has received over one million non-resident passengers less than in January-August of 2019, as reported preliminary data on the behavior of economic activity as of August 2020.

The entity explained that the contraction in the activity of hotels, bars, and restaurants affects the National Monthly Economic Activity Indicator (IMAE).

The IMAE corresponding to August 2020 registered a year-on-year variation of -7.2%, a percentage that reflects an improvement compared to the -8.8% observed in July and the -8.5% corresponding to the January period -July. With this result, it is observed that there is a slight upward trend towards the recovery of the Dominican economy continues.

Tourism data

Two-thirds of the IMAE result in August (4.9% points of the variation of -7.2%) is explained by the contraction in the activity of hotels, bars, and restaurants, as a consequence of the slowdown in this sector, which has been severely affected by COVID-19, which indicates that without the damage to tourism the fall would be virtually 2.3%.

The interannual growth rate of hotels, bars, and restaurants was -46.9%, in the period January-August 2020.

On July 1st tourist activities were resumed in the country after national air and maritime borders formally opened, in line with a reduction in the limitations on international air traffic in the countries of origin of tourists.

As of the aforementioned date, the Dominican Republic has received 245,447 non-resident passengers during the months of July and August, totaling a cumulative arrival of 1,639,538 in the first eight months of 2020 for a cumulative variation of -64.8% in this period.

In general, and in view of the foreseeable effects of the health crisis on the national economy, the Central Bank since the end of March has been intensifying the expansionary stance of monetary policy with the reduction of its reference rate by 150 basis points (from 4.50% to 3.0%) and making available some 190,000 million pesos (more than 4% of GDP). This includes a liquidity window for tourism, construction, manufacturing, and exports (20,000 million pesos).

“It is important to note that the prospects for the recovery of tourism and the arrival of non-resident passengers will be conditioned mainly by the global evolution of the pandemic and the eventual availability of an effective vaccine against the coronavirus, as well as the performance of the economies in the emitting countries ”, he referred in his report.


The BCRD praised in its report the measures taken “thanks to the comparative advantage that the country has in terms of the low density of its tourist buildings, together with the prevention measures implemented that have generated minimal levels of contagion in tourist areas, a sustained path towards recovery is maintained”, explains the monetary institution.

He also said that in the face of the challenges that persist in the tourism sector and due to its high direct impact on the Dominican productive apparatus, internationally-certified health protocols have been implemented at the national level for the entire industry and for travelers entering the country.

These measures are complemented with monetary and fiscal incentives for companies in the sector, among other provisions to promote the country as a safe tourist destination and boost the Country Brand, as well as the liquidity window for tourism, construction, manufacturing, and exports (20,000 million pesos).

All these measures are conceived within the Responsible Tourism Recovery Plan announced by the Dominican Government.


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