Punta Cana: almost 50 years of unstoppable growth!

December 5, 2018 8:32 pm

Punta Cana is Dominican Republic’s most recognizable tourism brand all around the world. But this wasn’t always like that. Like all good things, Punta Cana took time, effort and sacrifices to become what it is today: the most visited destination in all the Caribbean.


A little bit of history…

It was the year 1969 when American investors led by Ted Kheel – prominent, high-powered New York attorney and mediator- purchased 30 square miles of undeveloped land. This land was inaccessible, there were no roads and the nearest town, Higüey, was 6 hours away – the area was just miles and miles of palm trees and white sand.

Two years later, in 1971, Dominican businessman and hotelier Frank R. Rainieri, along with Kheel,  created a partnership to construct a resort and real estate community that respects the natural habitat of the area while offering a world-class vacation experience.[1]

Later that year, the Grupo Puntacana was formally in function and opened the doors of their first hotel: the Punta Cana Club, which only had “10 two-room villas, a club house, a small community for employees, an electricity power station, and a runway that was more like a road, cleaned, where small planes could land.”[2]

Still, the area was very isolated, so the Group made an agreement with french hotel chain, Club Med, and together built the first road.

At that time, the nearest airport was 4 hours, so it was understood that a new road was needed to connect the new area. The Colgate Palmolive company became involved in the project and helped build a new highway that made possible to reach Higüey in just 30 minutes and to connect Punta Cana to the rest of the island’s road network.[3]

Since then, Punta Cana has grown enormously.

Did you know the Punta Cana area was originally called Punta Borrachón (Drunken Point)?

Rainieri later changed it to Punta Cana in honor of the palm tree that grows freely in the area.

Almost 50 years since the first villas, Punta Cana has more than 60 resorts (this includes the Bávaro area); there are schools and roads; there is the first privately owned international airport, the Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ), which connects Punta Cana to the rest of the world; there is a foundation that looks after what the project is doing in the matters of sustainability; there are many things to do that are way more than fun in the sun.

But, what still remains is the beauty of the palm trees, the warm breeze, white sand, and turquoise waters.


The Punta Cana’s International Airport

Once a small dirt track, to land in a small plane, the Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) was officially inaugurated in 1984, while more infrastructures such as roads were developed. In that inaugural year, the airport received 2,976 passengers. Later, in 2009 it received just under 4 million.[4]

According to the  Central Bank of Dominican Republic, by September of this year, the country received 5,009,417 passengers, being the first time this number is reached by non-resident travelers in the first nine months of the year. Almost 300,000 new non resident travelers were reached, compared to 2017, equivalent to a growth of 6.3%.[5]

The Punta Cana International Airport is the country’s largest airport for passenger service and overall number of destinations, and the second with the highest air traffic volume in the entire Caribbean.[6]

The airport facility receives tourists from Europe, Canada, North, South, and Central America, as well as the Caribbean, and can accommodate small jets, helicopters and executive jets in its domestic terminal, and also has a cargo area for the import and export sectors.[7]


The hotels

 The growth of the Punta Cana area also reflects in its occupancy volume. In the first half of this year, the average hotel occupancy was 87.9%, according to Asonahores.[8]

As for the growth of its hotel plant, which already exceeds 40 thousand rooms[9], the destination enjoys an extraordinary dynamism for the opening of new projects, and most importantly, all the hotel chains and investors that want to have a presence in Punta Cana, confirming that this will continue to be a growing and fashionable destination.


The Real Estate

Did you know Punta Cana has the lower residential prices all over the Caribbean?

Punta Cana’s Real Estate has grown enormously over the last 10 years, but still, it maintains low taxation, with investors from all around the world looking for apartments, luxury homes and event vacant land.

Some of the reasons why it’s a good idea for you to invest in a place in Punta Cana:

  • High return on investment.
  • High percentage of rental income.
  • Resale prices are up every year.
  • Constructions prices are super competitive – you can find properties from USD $110,000.

Also, Dominican Republic has a stable economy right now.

In the first semester of 2018, the country has grown 6.5%, the highest economic growth in the Latin American region.[10], and the Punta Cana region is a mayor key player in this being the number one tourism destination in the country and in the Caribbean!

At Cana Blue we make real estate easy! Let us help you make the right decisions and show you not only the future projections of your investment, but all the things Punta Cana has to offer – from its lifestyle to its history this place -truly- has it all.


[1] Recovered from: Puntacana Resort & Club’s official website: http://www.puntacana.com/about

[2] Ídem.

[3] Recovered from: Living in Punta Cana official blog: https://www.livingpuntacana.com/punta-cana-history/

[4] Ídem.

[5] Recovered from the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic’s official website and publications: https://www.bancentral.gov.do/Publicaciones/Consulta

[6]  Recovered from: Puntacana Resort & Club’s official website: http://www.puntacana.com/about

[7] Ídem.

[8]Recovered from Arecoa’s official website: https://www.arecoa.com/destinos/2018/09/07/peso-punta-cana-12-anos-atrayendo-mas-del-50-turistas-rd/

[9]Recovered from Go Dominican Republic – the official website of the Ministry of Tourism of DR: http://www.godominicanrepublic.com/es/news-posts/actual/republica-dominicana-revela-cifras-solidas-de-turismo-y-planes-de-crecimiento-continuo/

[10] Recovered from the Dominican Republic’s Central Bank (2018): https://www.bancentral.gov.do/a/d/4043-economia-dominicana-crece-73-en-el-mes-de-junio-promediando-67-en-el-primer-semestre-de-2018