Upon their arrival in the region in 1969, then called Yauya or Punta Borrachón, a group of North Americans led by the New Yorker lawyer Theodore W. Kheel and young Dominican businessman Frank Rainieri, had the dream and vision of developing a tourism community that respects nature and promotes social responsibility, while offering visitors a unique experience.
They started with 20 rooms in the old Punta Cana Club, and in 1978, they signed a partnership with Club Mediterranée, opening the doors of a hotel of international dimension, in the same place where the Punta Cana Club had been.
Today, they operate the Four Points by Sheraton Puntacana Village, The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club, and Tortuga Bay Puntacana Resort & Club, the only AAA (American Automobile Association) 5-diamond hotel in the country.
Later, with its inauguration in 1983, Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) became the first private airport for international commercial use in the world, and today it’s the airport with more traffic in the Dominican Republic and the one with the greatest connectivity in the Caribbean, uniting 64 cities, 26 countries and 90 airports around the world, and mobilizing 8 million passengers a year.
In 2016, 127.1 million kilos of cargo were transported through the airport, with the purpose of furthering logistics so that Dominican and South American products can reach the entire world, thereby opening markets for exporters.
At the beginning of 2020, the Punta Cana International Airport in alliance with DP World Caucedo, signed a collaboration agreement for the development of the Punta Cana Free Trade Zone, the first air, sea, land logistics center and Free Trade Zone Park in America, with the purpose of developing a platform for the redistribution of goods for re-export, consequently affirming the Dominican Republic as the most important trade point and logistics HUB for air and sea cargo in the Caribbean.
Focused on staying true to their business philosophy and their passion for preserving the environment and nature, in 1988 they created Fundacion Ecologica Grupo Puntacana, the first nature preservation and research center in the country, today known as Fundacion Grupo Puntacana. Its innovative environmental and ecological initiatives, which include a Sustainability Center dedicated to research, coral restoration programs, preservation of marine species and protection of endangered animals, are recognized and extrapolated nationally and internationally.
Through Fundacion Grupo Puntacana, they also manage dozens of social projects, such as the Caracolí Educational Center; the Ann and Ted Kheel Polytechnic, the main provider of qualified human resources for the business sector in the tourist area; the Polyclinic of Verón, the Oscar de la Renta Pediatric Center, Children's Diversity Center (CEDI) and Centro de Lucha Contra La Ceguera Dr. Zato, offering first level medical assistance to more than 60,000 people per year and benefiting more than 3 thousand people through its medical missions.
The Foundation also has a sustainable development program for women of the community who make handbags and craft artistry pieces with recycled materials, a zero-discharge program, and a social housing program, benefiting more than 200,000 people in La Altagracia province.
The company also has the distinction of owning the only Six Senses Spa in America, the Oscar de la Renta Tennis Center, eight residential communities, more than 14 restaurants and bars, the Galerías Puntacana and BlueMall Puntacana shopping centers, and 45 holes of world-class golf courses.
For Grupo Puntacana, the future is a matter of great responsibility and, its commitment, since their beginnings, has been to grow in a sustainable manner, in harmony with the environment and the surrounding communities, while maintaining the family values and pillars that gave birth to the company.
Their purpose is to continue to be the host of the millions of visitors who arrive through the Punta Cana International Airport and enjoy their dream getaway in the tourist area and throughout the country; investing in the growth of the area, its integral development and the constant improvement of the living conditions of the communities where they operate, providing opportunities that allow access to housing, quality health, education and recreation.
As part of their mission, is essential to continue the development of assets, offer employment opportunities and business organization models that serve as reference and sustainable practices of innovation in the tourism industry national and internationally, that serve as a legacy for the next generations.
To Imagine has led Grupo Puntacana to turn the region into an economic engine for the country, generating the equivalent of 6.8% of the tourism sector's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and impulse La Altagracia to become the province with the highest per capita income in the country.
Together, we will continue to Imagine More.