Santo Domingo Ciudad Colonial, Dominican Republic

Destination Management Organization Development Strategy for the Colonial City of Santo Domingo, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage site

  • Client: The Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Tourism Development Program - Colonial City of Santo Domingo
  • Partners: The Dominican Ministry of Tourism, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • Project Duration: June 2015 – August 2015

Project Overview

Solimar was contracted to develop a Sustainable Tourism Strategy and a Strategy for a Destination Management Organization (DMO) for the Colonial City of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The PFTCCSD is the result of an interagency partnership between the IDB and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the overall objective of which is to boost the competitiveness of the Dominican tourism sector through diversification of the traditional “sun and sand” offer to attract higher-spending tourist segments, thus generating increased revenue for local people and reducing pressure on the coasts. A specific objective of the Program is to increase income and employment generated by tourism in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo, a World Heritage Site, through the sustainable development of tourism products of high competitive potential.

As tourism is a diverse and complex industry that involves a wide variety of stakeholders, a DMO for the Colonial City of Santo Domingo will help facilitate dialogue between the private sector, public sector and other local stakeholders, and will serve to help avoid duplication of efforts with regard to destination promotion, visitor services, training, business support and management, and will also help identify gaps that are not being addressed.

Solimar believes the key to destination management success is a strategic plan that is owned by those who will be implementing it. During this process, we focused our efforts on participatory planning, hosting a series of three interactive workshops to facilitate the conceptualization of a vision and specific goals among local stakeholders, and to define a set of detailed actions to achieve the objectives.

Major Activities

  • Review local legal and institutional frameworks and previous studies as well as global destination management models
  • Meet one-on-one with, and carry out surveys of, destination stakeholders to understand their priorities, challenges and objectives
  • Carry out three interactive workshops to develop consensus on the Sustainable Tourism Strategy and the DMO Strategy for the Colonial City of Santo Domingo
  • Based on these inputs, Solimar drafted the Sustainable Tourism Strategy and the DMO Strategy for the Colonial City of Santo Domingo
  • Finally, Solimar prepared a One-Year Action Plan to prioritize critical tasks, define roles and responsibilities, and identify synergies and public-private partnerships as the Strategies are implemented


  • Increased understanding of the potential of, and structure for, a Destination Management Organization by local stakeholders
  • Agreed-upon governance structure and policies and procedures for the creation and management of the DMO
  • Comprehensive Sustainable Tourism Strategy developed for the Colonial City of Santo Domingo
  • Detailed DMO Strategy developed for the Colonial City of Santo Domingo
  • Creation of an Action Plan as the basis for the strategic implementation of the DMO and the Sustainable Tourism Strategy
  • Enhanced sustainable management of the Colonial City’s cultural tourism assets


Related Stories

Solimar Kicks Off Destination Management Planning Initiative for the Colonial City of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

By on August 7th, 2015

Tourism contributes significantly to the inflow of people and to the infrastructure development at cultural heritages. It is both a duty and an act of self-interest for the tourism industry to be invested in the conservation of these heritage sites. This cannot be handled by an external force; rather, the local stakeholders need to embrace […]

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“We rely confidently on Solimar's deep technical experience and professionalism as tourism consultants. You always are exceeding our expectations.”
Leila Calnan, Senior Manager, Tourism Services Cardno Emerging Markets

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