All businesses in the Dominican Republic are required to charge an 18% sales tax (ITBIS) for the sale of their products and/or services, it is important to check if prices advertised are including this tax as it can make a significant difference to the final bill.
Some businesses, like hotels and restaurants will also add a 10% service tax to your bill. In many cases this gratuity is not divided between the staff members that provided you the service, therefore it is always recommended to leave a direct tip when pleased with the service received.
Tipping in many cases is not expected but greatly appreciated, don’t forget to leave tips for people that help you throughout your vacation, Dominican wages are low, a dollar to them means a lot. Just remember if tipping in foreign currency, coins cannot be exchanged, so only tip with paper bills or Dominican pesos.
The employees that do expect tips are baggage handlers at the airport, bell boys in the hotels, the housekeeping staff that clean your room and taxi drivers.
Use your own discretion on the amount you tip depending on the service you receive and always recognize those who go the extra mile to enhance your vacation experience.
Gestures of kindness and gifts are always well received, just be sure if leaving a gift for a staff member in a hotel, usually a note is required for the staff member to take it out of the resort, for security reasons.