March 25, 2003 - 12,900+ subscribers and growing!
  • Royal wedding anniversary celebration
  • War may not hurt DR travel
  • Look who’s coming for DATE
  • New restaurant association
  • Egberto Gismonti at the National Theater
Royal wedding anniversary celebration
Princess Elena, the first-born daughter of King Juan Carlos de Borbón and Queen Sofia of Spain and the second in line to the Spanish throne, spent her eighth wedding anniversary vacationing in the DR. The princess was married on 18 March 1995 to Jaime de Marichalar, son of Amalio de Marichalar, Count of Ripalda and Concepción Saenz de Tejada. Hoy newspaper reports the couple stayed at the Villa de Punta Minita in Casa de Campo, La Romana.
News reports also indicate that one of the sons of José Maria Aznar, president of the Spanish government, also vacationed in La Romana over the weekend. Aznar has three children with Ana Botella – José Maria, Alonso and Ana. He vacationed at a villa in La Romana.
Click here for more details
War may not hurt DR travel
Tourism Minister Rafael Suberví Bonilla feels the war in Iraq has not affected nor will it affect travel to the Dominican Republic. He said that present occupancy rates for the end of the winter season are very good. Indeed, over the weekend, hotels in Playa Dorada had overbookings and a steady stream of arrivals. Suberví told Hoy newspaper that there had not been any cancellations.
Visiting tourism consultant Manolo Figuerola of Spain said that the DR could even benefit by receiving those sun-seeking travelers who will opt for the Caribbean instead of Florida. Visiting professor Bruno Pujol, director of the tourism department at the Universidad Antonio de Nebrija, also feels the country could gain. He said that travel has become a right, an essential part of everyday living and people would rather change destination plans than cancel their vacations abroad all together.
Look who’s coming for DATE
US and Canadian tour operators lead the list of early registrants for the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE), the event that provides a professionally organized business exchange where international wholesalers, tour operators, incentive groups, airlines and charter operators can meet and conduct business with the DR’s leading tourism suppliers. As of 21 March, 27 tour operators from the US and 10 from Canada had signed on. The first to confirm they will be here to buy US travel packages are:

For the United States: American Airlines Vacations, Atlas Vacations Corp., Certified Vacations, Classic Custom Vacations, Escala Tourism Wholesalers USA, Expedia, Inc., Festa Holidays, GWV International, Gogo Worldwide Vacations, Happy Vacations, Hotel Distribution Network, Inter-Island Tours, Interline Vacations, Kingsway Tours, MK Tours, MLT Inc., National Leisure Group, Soilar Tours, Sunburst Holidays, Swift Golf Vacations, The Mark Travel Corporation, TNT Vacations, Travel Associates, Travel Impressions, Travelocity, Travelspan Vacations, and Vacation Store of Miami.

For Canada: Air Canada Vacations, Conquest Vacations, My Travel North America, Nolitour World of Vacations, Prego Tours, Signature Vacations, Sunwing by Red Seal Vacations, Vacances Air Transat, Vacances Tours Mont Royal, and Voyages Gendron/Flextour.

The event opens on 10 April at the Barceló Bávaro Convention Center in Punta Cana. Click here for more details

New restaurant association
With the purpose of strengthening restaurant operations, owners of Dominican restaurants have united to form the Asociación Nacional de Restaurantes (Asonares). The nationwide organization’s board is presided over by Elizabeth Schecker (Restaurante Scherezade), Giancarlo Bonarelli (Vesuvio II), Catalina Henriquez (Reina de España), Titina Bonarelli (Vesuvio), Felipe Lopez (Casa de las Paellas), Marino Díaz (Bucanero), Virginia Gomez (Palmito Gourmet), and Rafael Caamaño (Maniquí). A consulting committee will also be part of the new organization, comprised of veteran restaurant owners Otto Ricart (Meson de la Cava) and Adolfo San Francisco (Cantabrico). The association has the support of the National Hotel & Restaurant Association and estimates that there are 500 restaurants in Santo Domingo alone.
Egberto Gismonti at the National Theater
Brazilian guitarist-pianist, Egberto Gismonti will perform at the National Theater this Wednesday, 26 March. Anthony Ocaña and maestro percussionist Guarionex Aquino will appear at the Santo Domingo main stage to accompany the famous instrumentalist and composer. For those vacationing in Santo Domingo, this is an opportunity to see one of the best Brazilian contemporary musicians of all times. Click here for more details

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