Tourism is, without doubt, one of the fastest growing industries globally. In the Dominican Republic, specifically, it has been for many years the most important sector of our economy.
Taking advantage of the new paradigms of luxury would add a stronger economic incentive to act as a trendsetter for the development of tourism and tourism experiences in general.
In 2016, the National Association of Hotels and Restaurants ( ASONAHORES ) and the business school Barna launched a study that indicated the multiple benefits of this type of tourism for competitiveness, the National Development Strategy and the positioning of the country brand; presenting itself as an opportunity to reconvert the destination into an exclusive product, within the essence “it has everything”.
According to data from the same report, luxury tourism was valued in 2014 at US $ 148.62 billion and it is predicted that by 2021 this figure would reach US $ 195.27 billion, growing at a rate of 4% since 2015 globally. Some well-known brands have already been able to identify this opportunity, such as the InterContinental, Amanera, and soon Four Seasons Tropicalia.
There is also a new tourism trend, which is the all-inclusive luxury; a novel modality that changes the paradigm of the all-inclusive classic and renews it, with luxurious and exclusive elements that offer maximum relaxation. This segment does not yet exist in the Dominican Republic, and will come with projects such as Moon Palace Punta Cana , attracting a new type of tourist, and therefore a greater contribution to the economy of our country.
Differentiation, authenticity and exclusivity are some of the adjectives that characterize luxury tourism . This modality, where leisure and luxury merge, offers a unique and personalized service, accompanied by genuine experiences and a high degree of quality.
Luxury travelers value the authenticity and uniqueness of the people and the place. This means that they want to experience local culture, food, crafts and traditions, presenting opportunities for members of the local community to become managers, receptionists, guides, drivers, vendors, artists; within the tourism industry. The luxury tourism will not only support directly to local beneficiaries, but also create a multiplier effect by bringing more economic and demands for services and supplies to the community where it operates.
Despite having participated in the tourism market since antiquity, luxury tourism is an increasingly competitive and innovative trend, due to the demands of the new consumer and the advances that technology offers. In this context, we speak of a concept that will not disappear in any way; on the contrary, it is a paradigm that emerges rapidly.
Dubai, Paris and Singapore are three of the five cities that have managed to position themselves among the most popular for the luxury traveler, according to a survey by the digital luxury travel guide-Luxux Hotels Guide-based on data from more than 3 million of users in 2017. In this same list, the Maldives, Bahamas and Cancún islands stand out as the favorite tropical destinations for tourists of great purchasing power, due to the diversification of luxury offers that they have today.
This last data shows that there is a niche in the sector not only interested in finding luxury experiences in the largest cities, but that it is willing to invest in destinations like ours. If we hope to keep it that way for a long time, we must explore new horizons and make the necessary corrections to develop this promising concept.