“2016 was a banner year, our best year ever in the Caribbean,” declared Karen Kammer, Delta Vacations’ director of product development for the Caribbean, at the DATE (Dominican Annual Tourism Exposition) meeting in early May. That’s even more impressive when you consider that 2015 had been a record year for Delta Vacations in the D.R., too. She added, “The Dominican Republic is now the most popular destination for Delta Vacations in the Caribbean, and it’s tracking well ahead of other islands for 2017, too.”
Kammer chalked that up to several factors:
- “There’s been substantial growth in recognizable brands and brand new product.”
- “The quality [of resorts] is extremely high in the D.R. It’s very good value here.”
- “Group business to the Dominican Republic has increased by more than 50 percent,” she added.
- “Delta Vacations has also enhanced and expanded its romance and adults-only product.”
- Delta Air Lines’ Boston-Punta Cana connection, added in 2016, has boosted business, too. The Northeast, of course, is Delta Vacations’ greatest market for Punta Cana, but arrivals are up for travelers coming via Atlanta, Detroit, and Minneapolis as well.
What about the world beyond Punta Cana? “We started a program to Cuba in December,” said Kammer, “and we’re very happy with it.” As for Santo Domingo, right now Delta Vacations offers two hotels, the Sheraton and a Barcelo, and after the press conference, Kammer indicated that her company is interested in expanding those offerings. Makes sense, given the spectacular growth of tourism in the capital city’s colonial zone, not to mention other parts of the country. Get the big picture on the Dominican Republic’s record setting year—from visitor arrivals to hotel openings—here.
Finally, Kammer reminded the press of one other salient fact: “Most of our business is from travel agents.”
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