US Presidency may open up tourism in Cuba
The election of President Elect Barack Obama could mark the start of a new international relations strategy for the United States, with many observers mentioning that the new Commander-in-Chief could return Guantanamo Bay to Cuban authority and lift the US embargo on the Caribbean nation. According to IMF economist Rafael Romeu, this could have seismic repercussions on tourism-based economies in the Caribbean, including the DR. By lifting the embargo, Americans, who make up the largest tourism demographic to the DR, could be tempted to visit a closer and cheaper destination like Cuba. Also, the curiosity factor posed by the isolated nation could attract many potential tourists. Accordingly, the blockade has hurt Cuba, but has benefited neighboring countries as a result.
However, the Dominican Republic's major advantages over Cuba include its cost-effectiveness and the fact that it is not as vulnerable to hurricanes as Cuba. The DR has always competed successfully with Cuba for the European and Canadian tourist market. In recent years, the DR has begun to cater more to the Russian tourist market, a stronghold for Cuba for many years. The DR has also begun to increasingly diversify its source markets, with a push to encourage more regional travel by increasing flights between the DR and Central and South America.
To see what the Dominican Republic has to offer, click here.