Tourist Zones In The Dominican Republic: An Investment Opportunity

Originally published on 17 June, 2002

Located in the heart of the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is well known on a worldwide basis as a major tourist destination. Now, following the enactment of a new law last Fall intended to promote and develop tourist zones within the country, the Dominican Republic is moving to further expand the growth of its tourist industry, especially in regions with great potential and locales attractive to tourists.

The Law

The objective of the new law is to focus investments in Tourist Zones, which are areas the country considers to be a priority for tourist development. The law specifically refers to eight particular zones, including zones in Jarabacoa and Constanza and in the province of Santiago and its vicinity.

The regional scope of the law includes areas from all parts of the Dominican Republic that have natural attractions such as white sandy beaches, desert zones with impressive dunes and sea winds for aquatic sports, fertile valleys and mountains and parks that are wonderful for ecological tourism and mountaineering. In addition to these natural resources, the areas have appropriate infrastructure including highways, privately-owned and managed airports, and seaports that have been recently constructed or that are under construction, so that easy air, land and sea access to the Tourist Zones is assured.

Tourism Incentives

Under the new law, persons or entities domiciled in the Dominican Republic that promote or invest capital in a "new project" in any of the specific tourism-related activities within the regional scope established by the law are eligible to benefit from the incentives it provides. The law defines "new project" to include specific tourism-related projects the construction of which has begun after the law was enacted.

Moreover, Specific Tourism-Related Activities (STRAs) are specified in the law as those to which the Dominican Republic has a special interest and that are undertaken by entities domiciled in the Dominican Republic. These activities are:

hotel installations, resort or tourist complexes;

construction of infrastructure for conventions, fairs, international congresses, festivals, spectacles or concerts;

enterprises that organize cruise activities, if the ports of origin and final destination are included under the regional scope of the law;

construction and operation of amusement parks, ecological parks or theme parks;

construction or operation of tourist...

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