August 5, 2003
  • Viva is now a Wyndham
  • Clarion Hotel Santo Domingo
  • Angel Sánchez Collection at Casa de Campo
  • Foreign travel up 20% in first half year
  • Where the tourists come from
  • Punta Cana is most popular destination
  • DR attracts young tourists
Viva is now a Wyndham
Wyndham International announced that an agreement with Viva Resorts has been reached to rename seven properties in Mexico and the Caribbean. These properties will now bear the name of Viva Wyndham Resorts as of 1 December. Financial terms of the 10-year agreement were not disclosed. Based in Santo Domingo, Viva Resorts also owns and operates resorts in other areas of the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Bahamas. The agreement gives Wyndham a total of 16 properties in the Caribbean and four in Mexico.
http://www.wyndham.com/corporate/pressreleases/
Clarion Hotel Santo Domingo
The Hotel Plaza in the Naco commercial and residential neighborhood of Santo Domingo will now be known as the Clarion Hotel Santo Domingo. Clarion Hotels market themselves as “Upscale hotels at affordable rates.”
Johnny Bernal, president of Hotelera Naco, S.A., made the announcement. Bernal is also the president of the National Hotel & Restaurant Association. Choice Hotels operates in Santo Domingo via the El Salvador Grupo Real, which holds the rights to the franchise for Central America and the Dominican Republic.
See http://www4.choicehotels.com/
Angel Sánchez Collection at Casa de Campo
Casa de Campo is promoting its weekend for charity with stellar designer Angel Sánchez' Four Seasons collection, including his latest bridal ensembles, brought to La Romana by Saks Fifth Avenue, Dadeland. Named Designer of the Year in 1999, Sánchez is considered the most promising Latin American contribution to the international fashion season. The benefit event is scheduled for the weekend of 8 August at the Casa de Campo Marina & Yacht Club. The beautiful yachts anchored in the harbor will provide the backdrop for the collection, with ambiance and sound taken care of by Emilio Estefan. There will be a wine-tasting and cocktail reception put on by Jimmy Cefalo, of Cefaloís Wine Cellar. Proceeds of the event will be go to scholarships for high school graduates of the MIR Foundation to attend Johnson & Wales University in La Romana.
In between the fashion shows, avid golfers may take part in a charity golf tournament at Pete Dye’s newest course, Dye Fore. A boutique will be open at the resort’s Cacique Salon at the Conference Center from Thursday, 8 August through Sunday, 11 August, from 10 am to 5 pm, featuring fine home accessories and much more.
To make reservations at Casa de Campo, the number to call in the US is 1-800-877-3643 or in the DR 809-523-3333. Tickets to the events on the Friday and Saturday nights may be reserved in advance, but must be purchased at the offices of the Mir Foundation at Casa de Campo.
Foreign travel up 20% in first half year
Foreign tourists traveling to the Dominican Republic during the first half of this year increased 20.3%, compared to the same period last year, according to Central Bank statistics. This means that 237,296 foreign travelers arrived at Dominican airports. For January - June 2002, some 1,167,430 foreign arrivals were tabulated, compared to 1,404,726 this year. The January-June 2002 period, however, was regarded as a bad year, as it followed the September 2001 terrorist attack. Nevertheless, statistics for January-June 2001 say that foreign visitors numbered 1,351,812, thus the nearly 1.5 million visitors this year represent a recovery for the travel market.
The Central Bank report on travel says that the attractive hotel prices and the depreciation of the peso have had a positive effect on travel flows. Likewise, the report credits the work carried out by the Ministry of Tourism regarding negotiations with leading tour operators during major travel fairs.
The report also says that hotel occupancy was up 9.7 points this year, going from 64.1% in January-June 2002 to 73.8% for the same period this year. The boom area of the country is Punta Cana/Bavaro, which grew almost 13% over last year.
For more statistical information, see http://www.bancentral.gov.do
Where the tourists come from
According to Central Bank statistics for the first half of the year, the United States (31.6%) and Canada (20.2%) are the leading source countries for tourists to the Dominican Republic. European tourists accounted for 41.4% of the total flow. This is a turn-around from earlier trends. In the past, the majority of tourists came from Europe. Today, European tourists are broken down amongst those from France (12.1%), Germany (8.6%), Spain and Italy (5%) and the UK (4.6%).
South American travelers made up 3.4% of the total.
Punta Cana is most popular destination
Punta Cana is by far the most popular tourist destination in the Dominican Republic, with 47% of all arrivals to the Dominican Republic choosing the East Coast hotels. This compares to the 19% who chose Puerto Plata on the North Coast and 10% who opted for the La Romana/Bayahibe airports en route to the La Romana, Bayahibe or Juan Dolio hotels. Santo Domingo’s Las Americas International Airport received 21% of the traffic, with those arriving there most usually bound for Santo Domingo, Boca Chica or Juan Dolio destinations.
According to the Central Bank statistics, traffic to the Punta Cana International Airport (659,447 tourist arrivals) was up 36% this year, La Romana (142,684 tourist arrivals) saw a 31% gain, and Puerto Plata (268,943 tourist arrivals) increased 6%.
DR attracts young tourists
Central Bank statistics for the first half of the year show that tourists aged 21-35 years make up the largest segment of travelers to the Dominican Republic, numbering 381,622. Many of these brought their children with them, as 96,119 children under 12 visited during the first half of the year.
Other age segments were 13-20 years, 77,215 travelers; 36-49 years with 354,491 travelers; and those 50 years and over, 251,009 travelers.

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