PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic – Spanish hotel chain Lopesan celebrated on Friday the official start of construction of its new resort on Punta Cana’s Bavaro beach.
Dominican President Danilo Medina was given the honor of placing the symbolic cornerstone of the $180 million, 1,000-room structure, which is part of a plan that calls for the construction of a second hotel to provide a total of 2,500 rooms.
In a speech, Lopesan Hotel Group CEO Francisco Lopez thanked Medina for his government’s assistance to the project and described the Dominican people as the main beneficiaries.
“We have been welcomed magnificently,” he said. “Now we will reciprocate in kind by boosting our commitment to excellence, sustainable development and the quality deserved by this destination, which we consider to be the best in the Caribbean.”
The Lopesan Costa Bavaro Resort, Spa & Casino, expected to open its doors in the second half of 2019, will provide employment to some 1,000 Dominicans, not counting the jobs generated during construction, which will be done entirely by domestic firms.
Tourism Minister Francisco Garcia said that the Dominican Republic – a country that welcomed 6.3 million tourists last year – has become the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean.
He also said that the Dominican tourism industry, which generated $7.2 billion in revenue last year, has become the country’s largest recipient of foreign direct investment, which has grown 523 percent in the last five years.