Don’t let your travel agent give you the false information that the Dominican Republic is cheap. It is NOT TRUE! The prices are triple US prices for the basic necessities. Add insult to injury 85% of their people are poor!
The problem began when the last president drove the dollar to 56 to 1. Prices skyrocketed.
The elections rolled around and the voters sent President Mejia packing his bags. The new American raised president, Leonel Fernandez took on huge loans with the International Monetary Fund and he raised taxes American style to unbearable levels for their impoverished people.
This immediately plummeted the dollar back down to 28 to 1. After about 6 months the merchants lowered the prices on some items by approximately 10% and raised the prices on most items to a comparable price as if the dollar were at around 60 to 1. Everyone refuses to lower prices even though the peso revalued 50%! Prices continue to climb on everything. From a Coca Cola to a new car.
What that means to tourism is certain failure. Their Zona Franca that depends on a lower labor forces is crumbling with the devaluation of the dollar verses their worthless over valued peso.
The actual exchange rate is about 60 to 1, but the exchange rate is being falsely held down with Presidential hype, huge taxes and borrowed dollars. So in other words when a tourist exchanges dollars at 28 to 1 he is loosing 50% right from the get go. There are many poor people who have money sent from relatives who work for dollars in the US. When theses poor people receive their dollars from abroad they are forced to trade them at a 50% loss. When they go to the grocery store to buy foods the prices are based at 60 to 1.
Gasoline costs 103 pesos per gallon. Divide that by 28 and that gives you a price of $3.64 per gallon. Food and pharmaceuticals are so expensive that only the rich eat and have medicine available. The President lowered the dollar exchange rate but raised the prices. People are striking occasionally. Most people in the country are poor. They have a wealthy class. I don’t see how any rich person would want to live there with the mud roads and huge holes in the streets. And every where you look you see trash and poverty.
Simply put their poor just don’t eat.
The only solution is to let the peso free fall to its actual price of 60 to 1. But that looks like it is not going to happen because of the 50 million dollars a month their American raised President borrows every month from the IMF and the overbearing taxes the government forces their poor to pay as opposed to eating. There are plenty of IMF dollars in the street. Who knows where they are going other than in political pockets.
Long live poverty in the Dominican Republic.