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Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism Reports Visitor Increase in First Quarter 2008

Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism Reports Visitor Increase in First Quarter 2008 (Forimmediaterelease.net) Visitors increase 8 percent over same period in 2007
According to a recent report issued by the Dominican Republic (DR) Ministry of Tourism, non-resident arrivals for the first quarter of 2008 (January through March) increased by 8 percent compared to the first quarter of 2007.* Approximately 1.3 million guests selected the DR as their vacation spot of choice.
In addition, the number of visitors to the DR from the U.S. increased 9 percent and Canadian visitors increased by 7.4 percent over the same period in 2007. DR Minister of Tourism Felix Jimenez forecasted that by 2012 the DR will receive five million annual visitors, a one million increase over expected 2008 visitor totals.
Other growing origin markets with increased visitors to the DR in the first quarter of 2008 include the United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain with arrivals up 9.2 percent, 15.1 percent and 2.13 percent respectively. Russian and Mexican arrivals both increased by 12.6 percent while Peruvian arrivals increased 10.3 percent and Ecuadorian arrivals increased 27 percent.
The most popular destination in the DR for visitors remains Punta Cana on the East Coast. The region's international airport received approximately 44 percent of 2008 first quarter arrivals. The second most visited airport was Las Americas in Santo Domingo with approximately 24.5 percent of the arrivals, followed by Puerto Plata on the North Coast with 15 percent. El Cibao in the Central region received 8 percent of arrivals. La Romana in the Southeast, El Catey in Samana on the Northeast Coast and La Isabela in Santo Domingo had a combined 8.5 percent.
Rich in history, the Dominican Republic's first tourist was Christopher Columbus in 1492. Since then, it has developed into a diverse and luxurious destination offering both Dominican and European flavors to more than one million U.S. visitors each year. At 10,000 feet, the Dominican Republic is home to the highest point in the Caribbean. It also features some of the best golf courses and beaches in the world, the largest marina in the Caribbean and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families. For more information, visit the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism's official Web site at: www.godominicanrepublic.com/ or call 1-888-374-6361.

Vanessa Welter, +1-414-247-3803, vwelter@bvk.com, or Sonja Loges, +1-414-247-2121, sloges@bvk.com, both of BVK Public Relations for Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

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