PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic -- ALG Vacations closed its first reward trip since the onset of the pandemic over the weekend with a visit from Dominican president Luis Abinader, who told advisors the country expects to have 80% of its population vaccinated against Covid-19 within the next few months.
Abinader also touted the country's safety record throughout the pandemic and assured the group he is committed to rebuilding the country's tourism sector.
"You can trust us as a second home," Abinader told the more 300 people at Friday night's gala dinner for ALG Vacations' 500 Club Silver at the Secrets and Dreams Royal Beach Resort.
He noted the country's infection rate is just 5%. And, he said, "we have the happiest people in all of the Americas."
Abinader's short address to the group Friday night came just two days after he had also been in Punta Cana to observe the rollout of a public-private campaign to get tourism workers vaccinated.
Luis Nunez, regional commercial director of AMResorts, said he expects all of AMResorts employees to have the first of the two-dose vaccine within a week. The country is using the Chinese-made Sinovac shots.
ALG Vacations president Ray Snisky said he also had lunch with the president last week, where they talked about working together to get more airlift to the destination, which he said is still about 18% below prepandemic levels.
Rebuilding tourism to the Dominican Republic, which before the pandemic was hit hard by the Zika virus and unsubstantiated news reports of tourists dying from tainted alcohol, is one of ALG Vacations' top priorities.
"This is our first top customer event, and there was no place in the world we were going to have it other than the Dominican Republic," Snisky said.