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Dominican real estate tourism boom: US$1.5 billion in 2007, US$3.0 billion in 3 years

SANTO DOMINGO.- Dominican Republic’s real estate tourism perspective’s are upbeat with US$1.5 billion invested in projects this year alone, and it’s expected to attract US$3.0 billion per year within three years.

The forecast is from Dominican Association of Real Estate Tourism Companies (ADETI) president Juan Bancalari; vice president Frank Rainieri; secretary Ricardo Hazoury, and the members Luis Jose Asilis and Nicholas Tawil.

Bancalari said the real estate tourism sector has a great growth and enormous future, with complementary offers such as marinas and golf courses, which makes tourism more attractive. He said the Dominican real estate tourism’s competitors are Central America and Mexico, and what the country needs is to project an image of security for investment.

Frank Rainieri, of the Punta Cana Group, said tourism is moving towards the real estate tourism industry. “Before hotels were simply pure hotels. All the large chains of the world (…) are already entering the tourism real estate component. I believe that that already creates the new dynamics of investment in the tourism sector.”

He said in the last five years there has been a tremendous boom in real estate tourism, and is among the country’s five most important currency generators, aside from the tourism as a segment. He said real estate tourism will be among the first places in the next five years.

He said the more than one million houses property of foreigners in southern Spain’s coast sparked the boom in the 1970s and 1980s, in one of that country’s most depressed zones.

Rainieri said ADETI aims to organize itself to “try to do things well and not begin in a much disorganized manner.”

Among ADETI’s members figure Cap Cana, Roco Ki, Metro Group, Guavaberry, Las Terrenas Beach Resort, Playa Grande Group, Casa de Campo and Rincon Bay.

Cap Cana president Ricardo Hazoury said real estate tourism doesn’t compete with hotel tourism, and instead benefits it. He said the two sectors’ goals are different, as real estate tourism attracts investors through the construction of a second home, whereas hotel tourists change destinations, though often repeat.

Real estate tourism’s advantage, Hazoury said, is the large amount of currencies it generates for the country.

Rainieri said the hotel component is needed to develop real estate tourism properly, since it’s a segment within the tourism industry.

The tourism business leaders made their statements in the Corripio Communications Group’s weekly luncheon.