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4 Reasons Why This Tropical Destination Is Breaking All-Time Tourism Records

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The Caribbean is surging in popularity with tourists now that winter is upon us, and vast swathes of the United States and Europe are battling freezing temperatures.

However, few countries have gone as far as smashing all-time records as the Dominican Republic has.

Deserted Caribbean Beach In An Unspecified Location, Potentially Dominican Republic

Occupying the Eastern half of Hispaniola island, which it shares with Haiti, the DR (as it is commonly shortened to) is close to reaching its milestone 10-millionth-tourist ahead of the New Year, which would mark the country's biggest year in tourism since tracking began.

Why is it so popular with vacationers, though, and why do numbers keep mounting up in spite of the fierce competition across the region?

Here are 4 factors to consider:

It Is Home To Punta Cana, And That Speaks For Itself

A Young Woman Sunbathing By The Caribbean Sea In Punta Cana, The Dominican Republic, Latin America

First and foremost, the DR is home to Punta Cana, only the second most-popular Caribbean getaway, and second-best equipped resort city in the subgroup after the mighty Cancun, in Mexico, and they have not shied away from using it in their favor.

Investment in Punta Cana as a destination has exceeded expectations, and there's truly never been a more exciting time to visit, with a series of hotel openings expected throughout 2024, including a new luxurious entertainment complex a short 25-minute drive from the airport.

Palm Trees On Punta Cana Beach, Dominican Republic, Caribbean Sea

The soon-to-be-launched Larimar City & Resort will encompass two luxurious listings by Sonesta, a retail mall, numerous dining options, a country club equipped with an 18-hole golf course, and state-of-the-art wellness facilities.

In every sense, it is a destination on its own.

Also coming in spring 2024, a new St. Regis will completely redefine the landscape of the rapidly-growing resort strip of Cap Cana, with 200 rooms, an 800-foot private beachfront, and a golf course to top it off. These are only two of Punta Cana's ever-expanding list of future properties.

Female Tourist In A Cabana Style Resort In A Tropical Location, Caribbean, Beach Vacation

In fact, Punta Cana may have the second highest concentration of all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean after – once again, Cancun – with as many as 28 such listings currently available on, a majority of which straddle the pristine Caribean coast.

Gorgeous White Sand Beaches

Speaking of which, the long miles of coast are a huge reason why tourists can't seem to get enough of the country, particularly those heading straight to Punta Cana directly from the States: yes, it may get crowded, and yes, it's not the cheapest holiday spot, but there's no denying it's simply gorgeous.

A Sandy Beach With White Sand And Green Palms

Most resorts and tourist accommodations in Punta Cana, as well as the wider DR, have their own private beach, and sands are typically white, thin, and soft to the touch in nature, contrasted by waters of the shiniest blue.

Elsewhere in the DR, popular beach towns include Puerto Plata, a historic port home to a long golden-sand strip, La Romana, an up-and-coming, alternative resort strip hugged by a teal-colored ocean, and the largely unknown, unspoiled Las Terrenas.

La Romana Beach In The Dominican Republic

The point is, no matter where you land in the the DR, you're never far from a beautiful, paradisaical swimming spot.

The DR Is More Diverse Than You Might Think

The DR may be best known for its pristine beaches and abundant nature, but this is far from its only noteworthy aspect.

This year, local authorities have truly gone above and beyond to highlight some of the country's lesser-known gems.

Vibrant Houses In Samana, Dominican Republic, Caribbean Sea

From the Samana Peninsula, dotted with traditional fishing villages, to the mountainous island, dominated by forested reserves, to the historic ancient capital of Santo Domingo, the earliest European settlement of the Americas, there is a world of wonders to discover around Eastern Hispaniola.

Santo Domingo is one of the most popular cultural destinations in the Global South, owing it to a well-preserved colonial Old Town and its centuries-old traditions, and soon enough, it will be linked to the resort zone of Punta Cana by train.

Columbus Statue and Cathedral, Parque Colon, Santo Domingo, Caribbean

The DR's first-ever scenic railway is set to be constructed in the near future, and though a launch date is yet to be set, it is expected to revolutionize travel in Eastern Hispaniola, and help diversify and boost country-wide tourism further.

It comes on the heels of Mexico's new Maya Train, which debuted only this month on the Yucatan Peninsula, and if the latter's predicted success can be somehow replicated in Dominican territory, then the country could be in for a truly historical decade.

Square Of Spain And Calle Las Damas Street In The Colonial Center Of Santo Domingo

It Is Well-Connected To The U.S.

Finally, the DR is well-connected to most major international hubs in the States and Canada, two of the country's primary markets for tourism, and there's nothing North Americans appreciate more in winter than a wide availability of nonstop flights to their favorite holiday islands.

There are as many as 27 departure points across North America offering low-cost, nonstop service to Punta Cana, the busiest for flights in the DR, which means regardless of where they are based in the U.S., American travelers are likely to be living a short one-hour drive, or less, from one of these hubs.

People sitting in an airplane

Cities like Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital, and the seaside resort of La Romana host U.S. flights as well.

In other words, not only is the DR warm year-round, with award-winning resorts and stunning scenery, but it is also a convenient destination for Americans to fly to.

According to Expedia, airfares to Punta Cana range from $165 to $208, though ultra-cheap fares can go as low as $78 on certain airlines, making it a no-brainer decision for U.S. citizens looking for a relaxing, tropical getaway in 2024.

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