|Punta Cana // Photo by Joe Pike|
As part of Travel Agent's ongoing coverage of the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE), Simon Suarez, president of the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES), announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection will add pre-clearance operations in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic by 2017.
According to the U.S Customs and Border Protection's website, this will be the fourth Caribbean destination to have pre-clearance operations including Bermuda. The other two are The Bahamas and Aruba.
Suarez told media in attendance that this was a plan ASONAHORES has been working on for some time. Radhames Martinez Aponte, the country's vice minister of tourism, says Punta Cana welcomes 66 percent of all travelers coming to the Dominican Republic.
Punta Cana is also the leader in hotel rooms in the Dominican Republic with roughly 37,000 rooms, says Aponte.
"If Punta Cana does well, the Dominican Republic does well," says Aponte.