Spanish Businessmen Discuss Dominican Tourism at Chamber of Spain Panel

Santo Domingo.- Four of the main Spanish investors in the tourism sector with a presence in the Dominican Republic participated in a panel organized by the Tourism Committee of the Official Chamber of Commerce of Spain in the Dominican Republic and which was titled “Dominican tourism: vision of Spanish businessmen”. It had the notable presence of Biviana Riveiro Disla, Director of the Export and Investment Center of the Dominican Republic – Prodominicana; of the Ambassador of Spain in the country, Antonio Pérez Hernández, David Llibre, President of the Hotel and Tourism Association of the Dominican Republic (Asonahores), as well as directors and partners of the organization, as well as other representatives of the sector.

Encarna Piñero, CEO of Grupo Piñero and President of Inverotel, the association that brings together the main Spanish hotel chains in the Caribbean; Gabriel Escarrer, co-president of Meliá Hoteles Internacional and president of Exceltur, a Spanish think tank on the sector; Sabina Fluxá, Vice President & CEO of Grupo Iberostar; and Abel Matutes Prats, Development Director of the Caribbean area of ​​Fiesta Hotel Group with the Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts brand and Founding Partner of Mabel Capital, spoke during the event about the moment that the Dominican Republic is experiencing in terms of tourism, the origins and evolution of Spanish investment in the country and the challenges and opportunities to continue growing in the country.

Moderated by Simón Suárez, director of Grupo Punta Cana and former president of the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA), in their participation the directors agreed that things have been done well after the pandemic thanks to public-private synergy and that this has allowed an exemplary recovery at a global level. They also highlighted that these new times demand an evolution of all the actors involved in the industry to understand the new keys to how tourists make decisions when choosing their destinations and vacation spaces, among other topics of conversation.

The Chamber, growing

The opening words of the event were given by Paco Pérez, president of the Official Chamber of Commerce of Spain and Regional Director of the Caribbean Area of ​​Globalia. At the time of presenting it, using different information sources, he explained that Spain is the first trading partner of the country belonging to the European Union, the fifth worldwide and the third investor, with a volume of 3.5 billion distributed among 400 companies. “And one of the main sectors that reflect this reality is tourism, for decades one of the most important economic and social development engines for the country.”

In fact, Spanish hotel investment is the most relevant in the Dominican Republic in terms of number of hotel rooms. “56% of tourism investment in the Dominican Republic is Spanish, distributed among 24 hotel chains with 98 hotels for a total of about 47,000 rooms,” explained the president of the Chamber. He also stated that, from 2010 to 2021, 22% of total investments in tourism have come from Spanish groups. “And not just investments, because Spain has remained for years within the top ten countries that send tourists to the Dominican Republic and today represents around 3% of total non-resident arrivals,” Pérez reported.

For that and other reasons, Pérez valued the event. “That personalities like those who join us, who have experienced this Spanish influence in this sector since they were young and saw how their parents were drivers of an important part of the transformation of the Dominican Republic, is a luxury. “It should serve to document, for future generations, the origin and journey of the country’s tourism industry through its main investors,” said the businessman.

Finally, the President of the Chamber highlighted the importance of the event as a catalyst for strengthening the presence of the organization in the Dominican Republic, highlighting a sector that is key in bilateral trade and investment relations. “This initiative represents an example of what we have been doing for a few months to strengthen the influence and representation capacity of our organization in the country. “We are developing an organizational growth project that helps promote more and better business between Spain and the Dominican Republic and that allows our partners to increase their business opportunities while contributing to a better investment climate,” said Pérez. before giving way to the panel.

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