March 11, 2003 - 12,900+ subscribers and growing!
  • Canadian PM to vacation for a week
  • Bayahibe accepts Blue Flag program challenge
  • Palatial villa offers discount on May rentals
  • Punta Cana airport gets the most arrivals
  • Kiteboarding in Cabarete, Puerto Plata
Canadian PM to vacation for a week
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien is scheduled to visit the Dominican Republic from 14 to 24 April. Following his official commitments during the first days of his visit, the Canadian head of government will take time off to play the tourist in the Dominican Republic for about a week. An advance team from the Prime Minister’s office arrived this week to make final arrangements for the visit. The Prime Minister is expected to tour different destinations within the country to find out first hand why Dominican vacations are so popular with Canadians. The Dominican Republic is ranked No. 1 travel destination for those traveling from the Canadian Atlantic provinces. Central Bank statistics show that 313,612 tourists visited last year from Canada. The cold winter months were the peak months for Canadian travel last year. 49,455 and 56,380 travelers respectively came in February and March. Canadian travel was only second to that from the United States that reached 710,000 foreign non-resident travelers last year.
Bayahibe accepts Blue Flag program challenge
Bayahibe in southeastern La Romana province is the first of two pilot sites
in the Caribbean (the other is located in Jamaica) to be tested for the prestigious Blue Flag labeling in the region. On Monday 10 March members of the National Hotel & Restaurant Association (Asonahores) and various governmental and non-governmental authorities met with representatives from the Foundation for Environmental Education, the sponsor of the eco-label program called “Blue Flag”. The Blue Flag Campaign is synonymous to clean, safe and well-managed beaches and marinas. The program was originally European-based but has now spread to four continents. The project brings together local authorities, tourism boards and resortadministrations to coordinate efforts to provide and promote clean, safe and
environmentally-friendly tourist destinations.
“In Europe the Blue Flag designation has a high recognition factor,” said Finn Bolding Thomsen, International Blue Flag Coordinator. “We are seeing tourists and tour operators requesting lists of Blue Flag approved destinations for use in vacation planning.”
The idea is that if the pilot site in Bayahibe is awarded Blue Flag status, this will lay the foundation for other destinations in DR to begin the process for approval as well. Click here for more details
Palatial villa offers discount on May rentals
Villa Castellamonte, one of the newest luxury villas along the north coast, recently celebrated its grand opening by throwing a night-long gala party drawing over 70 guests including some of the most notable individuals in the Puerto Plata and Maria Trinidad Sanchez provinces.
Located between Rio San Juan and Nagua in the quiet coastal town of Cabrera, Villa Castellamonte is a fully-equipped 13,000 square foot villa offered for exclusive private vacation rentals. The extravagant villa was hand-built over a 17-month period by skilled Dominican craftsman using many indigenous Dominican materials under the watchful eye of the famous American architect, Eric Urbahn.
The good news is that bookings at the Villa Castellamonte, that is located within Orchid Bay Estates, are available at special rental rates for May 2003. Rental rates for May are being offered at a 10% discount for bookings received before April 1st.
Interested parties should make their reservations from the Villa
Castellamonte website and note “May discount” in the coupon area.
Click here for more details
Punta Cana airport gets the most arrivals
According to statistics released by the Central Bank, the Punta Cana International Airport is now the leading port of entry for air arrivals to the Dominican Republic. Statistics for January of this year show that arrivals to Punta Cana at 120,159 (up from 75,465 in 2002) were the most for any airport in the Dominican Republic. Las Americas International Airport (main port of entry to Santo Domingo, the capital city), previously the country’s leading airport, is now second to Punta Cana. In January 2002, AILA had reported 82,579 arrivals. Travel there increased to 87,393 this January 2003.
In 2002, Las Americas International Airport was the country’s leading air terminal with 1,195,769 arrivals, compared to Punta Cana’s 960,463 arrivals. Punta Cana International, nevertheless, is benefiting from the boom in tourism headed for Punta Cana-Bavaro-Macao beach vacations. If this trend continues, Punta Cana will become the country’s leading leading airport this year.
Traffic to southeastern La Romana International was up to 30,025 in January 2003, compared to 21,942arrivals in January 2002. Arrivals by way of Puerto Plata’s Gregorio Luperon International Airport were 58,934 passengers, compared to 56,943 in 2002.
Click here for more details
Kiteboarding in Cabarete, Puerto Plata
Cabarete, the windsurfing capital of the north coast, was fast to become the world’s premier destination for the new sport of kiteboarding and the world press is following the progress. Canada’s Ottawa Citizen newspaper in February highlighted the attractions of Cabarete for this sport.
Come 18-June, the north coast beach will welcome the best kiteboarding competitors in the world looking to participate in the 4th stop on the Takoon Kiteboarding World Tour. This is organized by the Professional Kite Riders Association. Competitors will vie for grand prize of US$35,000.
Click here for more details

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