Punta Cana, located on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, has become world-famous as a paradise for a beautiful tropical vacation, luxury, eco-friendly, value-for-money accommodation. In fact, Punta Cana has now become the tourist destination of the entire Caribbean – and this wonderful transformation has been over 28 years ago! This news appeared on many popular travel magazines and travel websites. I would like to know that this data is based on REAL data, not just marketing hype. The statistics are collected by the Caribbean Tourism Organization, a nonprofit organization that closely approximates 29 countries in the Caribbean.
Below is a detailed description of this information. My discussion is organized around 2010, as the Caribbean Tourism Organization has not yet published December statistics for 2011, so there is no complete data set available yet. However, if you look at available data for the first 11 months of 2011, general trends will remain the same.
The Dominican Republic received more foreign airport arrivals than any other Caribbean country, easily playing Cuba. the second most popular tourist destination. Below is a quick reference booklet to view the ten Caribbean targets and the number of non-resident airport arrivals:
1. Dominican Republic – 4 124 543
2. Cuba – 2,531,745
3. Cancun Mexico – 2 106 465
4. Jamaica – 1,921,678
5. Puerto Rico – 1,369,814
6. The Bahamas – 1.368.053
7. Aruba – 825451
8. US Virgin Islands – 691,194
9. Martinique – 476,492
10. St. Maartin – 443.136
Now let's stop these statistics even more about European travel, American American travel, and Canadian trips. Europeans predominantly choose the Dominican Republic as # 1 favorite Caribbean vacation spot. Their next favorite is Cuba. The United States has nearly four races between Cancun, Mexico, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The edges of the Cancun have the other 3, but the Dominican Republic won 6% over a year, and this trend continues. Punta Cana is the first destination in the Dominican Republic for US Americans, instead of Puerto Plata on the North Coast, which was # 1. The Canadians love the Dominican Republic, especially Punta Cana, and are the second favorite Caribbean vacation destination for Cuba. Please note that US residents can not stay in Cuba.
So, with this convincing data, let me ask:
How did Punta Cana live popular? With many popular tourist destinations, it would be difficult to map a specific thing that is popular in the region. This is not the case with Punta Caná. On the coast of Punta Cana, about 39 miles north of Cap Cana, to the south of Bavaro, there is an easily identifiable event in 1984 that literally changed everything and completely transformed this region into the mega-popular tourist destination today .
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Punta Cana is absolutely beautiful. It offers spacious, silky white sandy beaches that relax the warm, shiny, blue sea along its shore. He is so inviting you to call – some say he's still "tempting" you. If you add that the thick coconut palm waves in the tropical wind along the entire coast of the region, the Caribbean paradise can be seen on postcards that did not have enough luck to travel but who would surely want to have them.
Even before 1984, few knew about this tropical gem. Until the construction of Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ), most of the world's most unlucky ones have not been discovered. In Spanish, the official language of the Dominican Republic, this international airport is called "Aeropuerto Internacional de Punta Cana".
You see, however spectacular a place is, if you do not have the right and affordable way to reach the area, many people will not see it. Before the construction of the Punta Cana International Airport, the tiny duct built in 1971 was unable to handle large-scale jet aircraft. In addition, to get to another country, you had to go to the Dominican Republic, Santa Domingo, and then have to take a 4-hour bumpy bus or taxi to Punta Cana. The paved road was narrow and full of enormous pits. The road went off with heavy rains, and motorized vehicles sometimes had horsepower, and the miserable situation was to get tired travelers to their hotel.
PUJ air traffic has jumped dramatically this year (2012) serving more than 4 million people! Now it has much more traffic than the next busiest airport in Santo Domingo's capital. There is no other privately-funded airport in the world that is still close to business success.
People are coming from all over the world to Punta Cana. International airlines serving Punta Cana airport: Air Canada, AirTran, American Airlines, British Airways, Continental, Delta, JetBlue, KLM, Spirit, United, US Airways and Westjet. The USA 300, recently abolished (as of January 30, 2012), has been established by Apple Vacations and has long served for PUJ. Canadian charter airlines include Punta Cana Air Transat, Sunwig, Skyservice and Canjet. They are running in the cold, tiny Canadian winter.
So an area that began with very humble beginnings 4 decades ago now provides beds for more than 70,000 people. Punta Cana definitely decides as one of the best places for world travelers thinking of thinking. And … there is no end to this area's growth. The approximately 39-mile Punta Cana shore meant essentially "gold medal" for larger hotel companies, especially for Spanish owners, as the area was opened by the international airport. The classic, high-rise resorts, which are perfectly located to take advantage of the views, have grown almost overnight. Infrastructure has also improved considerably since it has been spent as a major project.
The Europeans and the Canadians seemed to have "discovered" Punta Cana before American Americans. However, in the last 10 to 15 years, American Americans have quickly caught up. In fact, it was at such a rapid pace that resorts were built to serve US Americans, as the habits of Europeans and Americans sometimes collide a bit in resorts, though some American Americans prefer the European mood.
US and Canadian citizens of the Eastern Standard Time Zone may depart on a direct flight in the morning and may arrive in Punta Cana during the daytime as there are no jet lags, as time zones are the same except for only one hour during the summer time. Even a trip from the United States or Canada's west coast is a relatively simple journey if it resembles other similarly exotic destinations.
Punta Cana Airport is well suited to the Dominican landscape and gives a good impression when tourists enter the country. The outdoor design is made of picturesque cane and palm trees. All materials used to build the airport were imported from local sources, including palm, local tree and native coral. This was a very intentional effort by Frank Rainieri and the other investors of Grupo Punta Cana who were funded privately at the airport. Since these orders of magnitude were underfinanced, Frank Rainieri turned to the Dominican architect of the Prat University. He agreed to call that name. He has since become famous and has paid off for other projects in the Dominican Republic.
Originally, the Grupo Punta Cana tried to get the government of the Dominican Republic or at least partly funded the construction of the international airport, but after 8 years it was found that they themselves had to finance it. They need to get them because of their vision and persistence, since they had never built such a private, privately-funded aircraft before. The Government of the Dominican Republic needed the necessary approval and cooperation, or the project would never have snagged it.
So you're there. The success of the Punta Cana beach was one thing: building an international airport that makes tourists easy and affordable in the beautiful paradise. It took incredible sight and persistence.