Ten million tourist target for Dominican Republic

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The Dominican Republic's tourism department has set its sights high and is looking towards the new found consumer class in China to help it reach its visitor targets.

The holiday hotspot is already outpacing the average global tourism growth of 4%, and the Caribbean rise of 4.8% for the second year running, by posting figures for 2012 that show an increase of 6.6% in visitor numbers for the country.

Now the tourism department is keen to target the estimated 80 million Chinese who travel outside of their home country today due to increasing levels of disposable income and lifting of restrictions on overseas travel arrangements.

With an average annual temperature of 25 degrees, the Dominican Republic has long been a favourite for American and European holidaymakers looking to experience the gorgeous beaches and mountainous landscapes.

Recent years have seen an increase in interest from Asian visitors who have been investing in the country’s property market in significant numbers.

The island's rental market is buoyant and yields represent attractive returns for overseas investors looking for a safe haven for their funds in a continuing global economic downturn.

In the course of the current China-focused campaign, President Danilo Medina personally welcomed to the National Palace two high profile Chinese families who were holidaying on the island.

There has also been the production of an Asian orientated infomercial as well as other initiatives such as fashion magazine spreads.

In stark contrast to Haiti, which covers one third of the island land mass of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic (which is the second largest Caribbean nation after Cuba) is managing to buck the trends and attract investment from overseas in a way that has substantial positive effects on the domestic economy.

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