Hotel in the Dominican Republic. | Ultima Hora

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Covid vaccination has begun at Mallorcan and Ibizan owned hotels in the Dominican Republic, as part of a strategy to promote the country as a safe destination for international tourism.

More than 10,000 workers at the Meliá, Riu, Be Live, Iberostar, Barceló, Bahía Príncipe, Excellence, Viva, HM Hotels and Ibizan chains Palladium and Sirenis, have already been immunised in the Dominican Republic tourist area of Punta Cana-Bávaro.

The Dominican Epidemiological Service and medical teams at each hotel chain are actively collaborating in the vaccination process and all chains are applying the Chinese vaccine, Sinovac.

The Dominican Government has reached an agreement with the Inverotel Group, which represents hotel chains and Mallorcan groups in the Caribbean, to maximise the vaccination process in order to capture Canadian and American tourism during the summer season, the two main emitting markets for the Caribbean island.

"The vaccination of all our employees at a key destination such as Punta Cana is satisfying for the company and represents a crucial step forward in the health and safety of our customers and employees,” said Meliá, Executive Vice President and CEO, Gabriel Escarrer Jaume. “It will definitely contribute to the recovery of International travel to Punta Cana and intensify tourism demand for the Dominican Republic which is a key destination in the Caribbean."

Meliá’s vaccination of 2,200 workers in Punta Cana began on Tuesday and will last until May 25.

“Vaccination at the Iberostar Selection Hacienda Dominicus started on Monday and workers at the Iberostar Bávaro complex and in Iberostar Costa Dorada will also get underway this week,” according to an Iberostar spokesperson.

The Riu also began vaccinating staff in Punta Cana on Sunday:

"The goal is to vaccinate all 2,500 workers with Sinovac so that they’re immunised before the summer season,” said a Riu spokesperson. Barceló and Bahía Príncipe groups (Piñero Group) said immunising all workers is a priority.

“It is the only way to have a summer in the Caribbean, in the Dominican Republic, and be able to capture the American market and our chain is involved in this vaccination process,” said the President of Globalia which includes the Be Live Chain.

American and European Tour Operators agree that the strategy adopted in the Dominican Republic is the only option in holiday destinations.

"We would like to reiterate our request to the Spanish Government to prioritise vaccination of Tourism Sector workers,” said Meliá CEO, Gabriel Escarrer who revealed that "workers in Indonesia have already been vaccinated."

“Our employees in the Maldives are being vaccinate with AstraZeneca and Sinovac,” said a Riu source and we will continue with this strategy because it is the only way to have safe hotels and immunised workers."