After a whirlwind of bad press, due to various reported deaths in the Dominican Republic, travel numbers dropped for the destination as travelers were being extra cautious. But, it looks like things have taken a turn for the better.
According to Allianz Global Assistance’s “Top 10 Thanksgiving Destination Index,” which analyzed more than 2.4 million flight itineraries, the number of Americans traveling internationally to the Dominican Republic for Thanksgiving has nearly quadrupled in size since last year.
Allianz Global Assistance reviewed Americans’ travel plans around Thanksgiving, with outbound travel scheduled between Saturday, Nov. 23 and Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019. Since the survey began in 2015, Cancun dominated as the number one international destination for Thanksgiving travelers. While the Mexican hotspot remains on this year’s international list, the destination has been replaced by Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, which climbed seven positions to the top of the international index.
Americans’ return to the Dominican Republic comes at a critical time for the country’s tourism industry, a vital sector for the local economy. The island nation, which suffered a decline in tourism numbers earlier this year due to swirling suspicion over a string of vacationer deaths, was recently buoyed by Federal Bureau of Investigation toxicology report findings that the deaths were unrelated and resulted from natural causes. The Dominican Republic boasts the largest economy in the Caribbean, drawing visitors from around the world to experience its rich culture and beautiful beaches.
“Our survey shows that Americans are returning to the Dominican Republic, now more than ever, to enjoy the island nation’s exquisite beaches, world-class resorts, hotels and vacation experiences,” said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications for Allianz Global Assistance USA. “No matter where you’re headed this Thanksgiving, it is incredibly important to purchase trip protection when you book your travel. It will certainly provide peace of mind, especially throughout this busy travel period.”
The other Top 10 international destinations in order of popularity are London, Paris, San Juan, San Jose Del Cabo, Nassau, Puerto Vallarta, Montego Bay, and Mexico City. For the fifth consecutive year, New York City is the preferred domestic Thanksgiving destination among American travelers. After New York City, the top U.S. destinations include Atlanta, Orlando, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Seattle, Detroit, Chicago and Phoenix. Chicago rejoins the list this year, knocking out Minneapolis as a top 10 destination.