Dominican Republic is at WTM London to highlight new product developments as it looks to build on an impressive increase in visitor numbers from Europe in the first half of 2017.
Between January and June, the number of European tourists travelling to the Dominican Republic jumped by 21.7%.
During this period, 713,212 European visitors arrived in the country, an increase of 123,703.
Russia saw the biggest increase, followed by England, Germany, France, Switzerland and Spain. Punta Cana receives 66.9% of all tourists visiting the Dominican Republic.
A key focus for the destination is food, with Santo Domingo being named Capital of the Gastronomic Culture of the Caribbean 2017-2018 and the Hispaniola chocolate bar, made with organic Dom Rep cocoa beans, recently winning the coveted Golden Bean Award at a competition in London.
More than 580 chocolates from all over the world participated in the event, evaluated by over 40 world-class experts.
The award is sponsored by the Chocolate Academy in London, where the Hispaniola chocolate bar – which won its first award in 2016 – beat 14 other participants.
In other news, Puntacana Resorts & Club will host the Professional Golf Association Tour 2018 Championship, while popular accommodation Eden Roc at Cap Cana Hotel will add 26 new suites.
In terms of what’s on in the Dom Rep, January to March is humpback whales observation season while March 2018 celebrates Taste Santo Domingo – the most complete gastronomic event in the country where the audience can enjoy multiple activities such as wine tasting, dinners, private events and award ceremonies.
June, meanwhile, sees Dominican Republic host the Kiteboarding World Cup in Cabarete, the ‘kite-boarding capital of the world’, which provides the perfect wind and water conditions for competitors.