PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - During a partner presentation at DATE 2022, Freddy Dominguez, vice president of Latin American at Expedia Group, revealed that search demand for Latin America is up across the board and showing a market rebound for the second quarter of the year.
During the first three months of 2022, travel searches for Dominican Republic grew +40% versus prior year for travel in the summer, with nearly all the demand coming from international travelers, according to Expedia Group data. While, year-over-year comparison of Caribbean searches shows a rebound in the second quarter with +150% growth in Punta Cana (+150%), followed by Cancun with +45%.
The United States remains the top market (80%) looking to travel to the Caribbean nation with an increasing demand from other countries, especially an outstanding growth from Canada due to the ease of its travel restrictions. Most of these travelers (90%) are looking for 4-5 stars accommodations, the same trend seen in 2021. In general, the average of the length of stay remains to be seven nights.
During the presentation, Dominguez pointed out that, today, people value travel and personal time more than ever, while flexible travel is considered the top priority. Expedia Group’s Traveler Value Index, conducted in November 2021 among 5,500 adults in eight countries, also showed that travelers are focused on "wellness travel".
The following are some key data points from the Traveler Value Index:
- Most people (81%) will travel over the next six months with frequent, short trips gaining popularity (78%)
- 56% of respondents who usually work remotely, will make a bleisure trip, that is, they will prolong a work trip for leisure or vice versa.
- More than half (54%) of respondents will invest more in travel than before the pandemic.
- 40% of travelers will use the loyalty points accumulated during the pandemic to help finance such trips so great deals and flexibility will remain the top priorities.
“The industry disruption the pandemic has caused stops here. Expedia Group has emerged into this new world with new ways to tackle our industry’s most common challenges with data and technology that helps our partners drive growth and efficiency,” says Freddy Dominguez, vice president of market management in Latin America. “Reuniting with the travel partners in the Caribbean is key to driving our tourism recovery. We are thrilled to provide insights, inspiration and celebration at DATE and solidify our commitment to this important region.”
That said, Dominguez pointed out that travel companies must constantly adapt and renew themselves to remain competitive. In this new recovery environment, it is very important for partners to differentiate themselves from the competition and earn the loyalty of travelers. Dominguez recommended making sure travelers can get a refund or credit if plans change as flexibility remains a top priority for travelers. He also mentioned the importance of offering a variety of options and prices, introducing new offers for short trips, and integrating loyalty programs.
By sharing data and markets insights with its partners in this important Caribbean market, Expedia Group reinforce its support with the Dominican tourism industry by using data powered technology to make its travel partners more effective, efficient and resilient.