DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, Feb. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dominican Republic (DR) Ministry of Tourism is pleased to announce that the country welcomed over four million visitors in 2010, a new record for the DR and a 3.3 percent increase over 2009. The U.S. is the DR's largest market for tourism with over one million U.S. visitors choosing the second largest Caribbean island nation as a vacation destination for six consecutive years. Overall, there was an increase of 83,022 visitors (54 percent) from North America to the DR compared to the previous year.
"We are delighted with ever increasing growth of visitors who seek our sunny country's magnificent beauty, gracious Dominican hospitality and captivating culture and history. Our consistently innovative and strategic marketing programs continue to engage potential visitors and increase travel to the DR, whether it be for a first visit or one of many return visits," said Magaly Toribio, the DR Ministry of Tourism's Vice Minister of International Promotion.
South America also increased leisure visits to the DR with 67,463 more visitors in 2010 including from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Central America and the Caribbean, according to a recent report from Dominican Republic's Central Bank.
The most popular destination in the DR for visitors continues to be Punta Cana on the East Coast, as its international airport received 57 percent of all arrivals in 2010. The second most visited airport is Las Americas International Airport in the capital city of Santo Domingo with 22 percent of arrivals, followed by Puerto Plata International Airport on the ecotourism-rich North Coast with 11 percent. The DR Central Bank reported that 91 percent of tourists came for leisure travel and stayed in the DR's world-class hotel and resorts.
The Dominican Republic's first tourist was Christopher Columbus in 1492. Rich in history, the DR has developed into a diverse destination offering both Dominican and European flavors to more than one million U.S. visitors each year. Named #1 Golf Destination in Caribbean & Latin America by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, the DR boasts 25 plus designer golf courses, upscale resorts, pristine nature, and sophisticated cities and quaint villages filled with warm Dominican people. The DR features the best beaches, fascinating history and culture, and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families alike. Visit the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism's official Web site at: www.GoDominicanRepublic.com.
SOURCE Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism