No Russian flights “hard blow” for tourism in Puerto Plata
Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine negatively impacts tourism in the province of Puerto Plata, whose demarcation received 6,252 visitors from both nations during the year 2021.
Of this total, 5,471 are Russians, and the remaining 781 are Ukrainians, according to a Central Bank report.
However, Katy Morillo, executive director of the Northern Hotel Association ( Ashonorte ), reported that with the cancellation of direct flights between Russia and Puerto Plata, they were forced to cancel about four thousand reservations.
He described these cancellations as a “hard blow” for the tourism industry in the DR.
Morillo stated that Russian visitors were fundamental support for tourism in Puerto Plata during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He explained that in the case of Russia, in recent years, it has been one of the main tourist issuing markets that the DR has; in addition, citizens of this nation have essential investments in the real estate sector in the municipality of Sosúa and the municipal district of Cabarete.
On his side, Julio Almonte, former Minister of Tourism for the North, highlighted the importance of the Russian market for the sector in the area.
“Referring to official data, he recalled that a foreign tourist spends an average of 140 dollars per day per capita,” he said.
He said that the Russians are not a market that comes and stays in hotels. “They are mobilized in marine excursions and for the different attractions that we have,” according to Diario Libre.
He added that foreigners pay good rates and regularly stay for three or four weeks, leaving benefits in the economy.
“To date, nearly a thousand Russians staying at the Iberostar, Senator, Be Live Marien and other hotels are waiting for the resumption of flights to leave the country,” he added.
He reported that visitors from countries in conflict are attracted by the warm climate, natural attractions, and the beautiful beaches of the Amber Coast.
Meanwhile, David Antonio Ferreira Jiménez, president of the Council of the Association for Sustainable Development of Sosúa, reported that about two thousand Ukrainians and Russians reside on the north coast, who they say live in total harmony.
He argued that both communities have exemplary behavior without anyone being able to link them to criminal acts.