PUNTA CANA , La Altagracia, DR- The tourism industry will recover “faster than expected and will be much more solid, but it must prepare for the great changes left by Covid-19,” said tourism entrepreneur Frank Rainieri in his participation in the meeting of Ministers of Tourism of the Americas, convened by the World Tourism Organization.
Rainieri assured that within these changes the industry has to guarantee security, resources and accessibility, which “will allow us a much faster recovery and growth of tourism with nearby countries, the United States and Europe.” He spoke at the session dedicated to listening to the private sector approach.
“The rapid recovery of the industry requires changes in procedures because tourists will seek more individual activities, such as sports, bicycles and activities in contact with nature,” he said.
For the president of the Puntacana Group (GPC), the industry will have to make changes because the tourist will look for hotels and low-density places, and he recalled that the positioning of Punta Cana today is possible, because at the time the hoteliers of the destination agreed to maintain a low density, build facilities with many green areas and keep the height at the level of a palm tree, or no more than 18 meters high.
We must put aside the congestion of visitors and look for physical spaces in which they can carry out activities without a significant degree of overcrowding, Rainieri said.
Now –he said- everything will be electronic, there will be no keys and “if we do not prepare for the changes we will not be able to insert ourselves correctly in the industry, because the tourist will look for a place where social inclusion is important. He suggested that “to be 20th century entrepreneurs, we have to work with the communities, the tourist now wants to participate with them.”
Puntacana is alive
Rainieri explained that the joint work of the private tourism sector and the government to establish and comply with the protocols allowed a quick opening and we can tell the world that Punta Cana “is alive, come and we welcome you with open arms!”
He said that businessmen of the destination contributed millions of dollars to assist the community of the destination, and resources were dedicated to distribute food, masks, antiviral gel, improve health centers, acquire necessary medical equipment and other contributions.
In addition, he participated in the purchase of vaccines to collaborate in the solution of the health crisis created by Covid-19, “and with the help of MITUR, we can say that all personnel of the tourism industry in the area are fully vaccinated or have the first dose ”.
The coordinated action of the hoteliers – he said – and the public-private collaboration allowed achieving a low impact of COVID19, an achievement that allowed the opening of tourism in the area and projecting the image of a destination in a position to receive tourism. Important events contributed to this, such as the holding in Punta Cana of a round of the PGA, a golf competition with a worldwide projection and especially in the United States, which was the only open market at that time.
The idea – he said – is to say that this is an area in which a majority of its inhabitants and all hotel employees are vaccinated, and we are open to tourism; and we already have the opening of the German market and soon the same will happen with the English.
He assured that the work with the authorities in the application of the protocols prevented that there were no major outbreaks of contamination in that area, achieving the lowest rates of internment “and we avoided a major social crisis from occurring.
The meeting was attended by President Luis Abinader who welcomed the participants. Also speaking were Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Dominican Minister of Tourism, David Collado, and for the Dominican private sector Frank Rainieri, president of the Puntacana Group.
The tourism ministers of Morocco, Mexico; and the vice ministers of Panama; Colombia, and Argentina among other experts linked to the world tourism industry.