The Dominican Republic has announced a string of new initiatives to help aid the recovery of tourism to the country, one of which is a travel assistance programme for visitors that will be paid for by the government. Available free of charge to all tourists staying in hotels, the new scheme will run until December 2020, and will cover Covid-19-related predicaments, including medical assistance (as well as telemedicine services), accommodation and transportation costs.
No cover for cruise passengers
The Dominican Republic Government added that, as the initiatives so far were focused on international tourists visiting hotels and resorts, the travel assistance cover did not yet extend to cruise ships.
"Our goal is to minimise the effects of the pandemic and facilitate a responsible recovery that prioritises health, maximises the potential for job creation and economic growth, and promotes the further sustainable development of the sector," reasoned Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader Corona.
Travel insurance replaces the need for mass testing
Convenience for travellers will increase exponentially with the Dominican Republic's plan to rollout travel assistance in place of tourists presenting negative Covid-19 tests upon arrival. The new initiative will no increase visitor numbers, who will feel far more at ease with the idea of free-of-charge travel assistance options should they contract Covid-19.
A recovery plan for the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean
The economic hardships bought about by Covid-19 have disrupted tourism across the world, battering economies, especially those heavily reliant on international travellers. The most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean according to the World Tourism Organization, the Dominican Republic has taken quite a hit from the travel restrictions.
Health safety is the central focus of the Dominican Republic’s new initiative, titled The Plan for the Responsible Recovery of Tourism. Alongside the travel assistance package, social distancing and face masks will be mandated for the duration of a visitor’s stay, as will ‘sanitary bubbles’ to ensure that hotel employees stay as long as possible within the facilities.
David Collado, Minister of Tourism, noted that these initiatives have been brought about in response to tourists’ concerns and the industry’s needs. "We are focused on driving continuous growth for the sector, along with our country’s image,” he said. “We are confident that together we will overcome the challenges of the pandemic and ensure that the Dominican Republic remains the number one destination in the region for international travellers, who visit either for vacation, business, investment opportunities or returning to their preferred second home."