DOMINICAN REPUBLIC/CARIBBEAN. The latest air ticket data shows the Dominican Republic emerging out of the pandemic with a better performance than its Caribbean neighbours, according to travel analytics firm ForwardKeys.
While tourism to the island fell by -13.9% year-on-year across January and February in 2020, the rest of the Caribbean fell just -4.1%. But fast forward to the end of 2020 (November and December), and a very different picture emerges. Although the Dominican Republic was down -36.3% in this period, its nearby Caribbean rivals sunk -48.9% year-on-year.
ForwardKeys VP of Insights Olivier Ponti explained: “The Dominican Republic is a really good example of how governments should be handling this current COVID-19 crisis as you can see through this chart [see above] the peaks and troughs of international arrivals pending on government announcements and the safety measures put in place.”
He added: “The other important point worth mentioning is keeping your borders open. Just like Mexico and other destinations in the Caribbean, intra-regional travel greatly benefited from travellers keen to escape the US.”
Mining further into the data, ForwardKeys pulled out two notable trends, regarding key US cities for tourism to the Dominican Republic and, in the analyst’s words, “more surprisingly”, the growth of a new passenger profile.
ForwardKeys observed that the Dominican Republic has an advantage over some of its neighbours in the Caribbean, holding a strong market share in the US, not just in Europe (where tougher travel conditions have been put into place). As such it was what the analyst describes as “sun-seeking travellers” from the US West Coast that held the most market share. The top three cities for tickets travelling to the Dominican were New York, Miami and Boston.
Analysing these findings, ForwardKeys said it wasn’t just the VFR (visiting friends and relations) segment propping up the travel trade to and from the US. According to its latest air ticket data, in the second half of 2020, VFR accounted for 17.8% while Leisure took up 73% of the market share. Groups, meanwhile, accounted for 7.7% and Business Travel 1.5%.
ForwardKeys noted that the passenger type per ticket has changed substantially. Previously, the Dominican Republic attracted a high proportion of couples – in 2019 they made up 30% of the market. However, in 2020 – using ForwardKeys’ phrase – it was “singles ready to mingle” or those simply looking to escape the stress of COVID-19 in the US.
Backing this up, by the second half of 2020, the analyst’s ticket figures show that singles or solo travellers took up over 35% of the market share, an increase of +10% year-on-year.
Global Recovery Dashboard
The Moodie Davitt Report has partnered with ForwardKeys to bring the travel analytics company’s Global Recovery Dashboard and other services to an expanded audience via our market-leading website.
Through the initiative, we will provide regular data and insight on travel patterns in domestic and international markets during and post the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Global Recovery Dashboard is ForwardKeys’ latest travel analytics solution, powered by proprietary forward travel bookings data and updated in real time. The latest highlights are available below and will feature regularly in our online content.
Enquiries about the Global Recovery Dashboard are welcome via the form below.
Information on the ForwardKeys Travellers Statistics Dashboard and Chinese Shopper Statistics are also available through The Moodie Davitt Report. The Traveller Statistics Dashboard pools data from a network of 552 airports to provide passenger traffic figures and nationality mix. The Chinese Shopper Statistics tool provides details on the Chinese duty free shopper in Hainan with rich details on their spend and profile. More below.
- The Global Recovery Dashboard provides weekly updates on flight bookings and seat capacity at one click. Learn more at this link.
- Traveller Statistics: Monitor the nationality mixes and traveller profiles at over 500 airports worldwide with Traveller Statistics. Learn more here.
- Chinese Shopper Tracker: Observe the evolution of the Chinese consumer and their shopping habits at duty free stores in China and beyond using China spend data exclusive to ForwardKeys. Learn more here.
For more information about ForwardKeys and its travel analytics tools, please contact The Moodie Davitt Report Senior Retail and Commercial Analyst Min Yong Jung at MinYong@MoodieDavittReport.com