Tourism industry executives at this year's Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange conference announced several developments to the future of the country and expressed great enthusiasm for the projects to come.

Radhamés Martínez-Aponte, Technical Vice Minister of Tourism, opened the event with a number of updates pertaining to Dominican Republic's overall tourism health and news in each major sector within the country.

The Dominican Republic announced growth of 5.8 percent in overall tourism to Dominican Republic, compared to the Caribbean's overall rate of 3.7 percent.

Simón Suarez, President of the National Hotel & Tourism Association (ASONAHORES), added that growth rates in the country are double the world average, tracking at a median growth of 5.1 percent over the last five years.

The country is projected to reach 6 million total visitors in 2016 – based on numbers thus far, the country is on track to meet the targeted 7 percent growth needed to achieve this. Both speakers also noted that the United States remains the largest source market for Dominican tourism with 2 million visitors in 2015, and Canada following with 780,000.

With Amber Cove in Puerto Plata opening in 2015, cruise arrivals increased by 64 percent, coming in at 550,000 visitors. Since Amber Cove's inauguration, an average of 5,000 cruise visitors arrive weekly to the area, shifting by season. The country plans to expand its cruise market beginning in December 2016 in Cap Cana, signing contracts with 11 providers and continuing discussion with six others.