September 9, 2003
  • Santo Domingo centers volleyball attention
  • Guavaberry golf packages
  • Report addresses impact of tourism on Caribbean
  • Punta Cana now has flights from Aguadilla
  • Spaniards invest heavily in DR tourism
  • Internet cafés on the rise
Santo Domingo centers volleyball attention
Cuba and the Dominican Republic will again match on occasion of the North America/ Central America/ Caribbean Championships set to open in Santo Domingo on 14 September. The DR defeated Cuba for the gold medal in the region during the 14th Panamerican Games held in Santo Domingo last month. The first game is scheduled for 8 pm – Puerto Rico vs. the Dominican Republic, following the inaugural event at 6 pm. Events will take place at the new Volleyball Palace, built for the Pan Am Games at the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center. Eight teams will be contending for the two spots to participate in the World Cup scheduled for next year in Japan. Teams are grouped as follows. Group A: Dominican Republic, Canada, Puerto Rico and Trinidad Tobago. Group B: Cuba, United States, Mexico and Costa Rica.
The matches will be televised on government stations – Channel 13, 27 and 4. Tickets are RD$40 and RD$60 for the finals.
According to a report in Hoy newspaper, the US is bringing its dream team, and Cuba is not taking any chances. The newspaper report, team management has called stellar players that have been playing in European leagues to make sure that this time they defeat the Dominican Pan Am champions.
Guavaberry golf packages
Guavaberry Golf & Country announces 3 Night/4 Day Golf Packages starting at $545 per person. The complete package includes three night/four day accommodations at the all-inclusive Costa Caribe Coral by Hilton, all airport transfers, welcome drinks at the golf course, three rounds of 18-hole championship golf with cart, one basket of golf balls for the practice range and golf club storage. Rates start at $465.00 per person, based on double occupancy and are valid until December 23, 2003. For more information please visit the official website at http://www.guavaberrygolf.com
Report addresses impact of tourism on Caribbean
Conservation International will be releasing the most comprehensive study to date of global tourism and its impact on the world’s most environmentally sensitive areas on 12 September during the World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa. In the report, “Tourism and Biodiversity: Mapping Tourism's Global Footprint,“ Conservation International advocates that given that global tourism numbers are expected to double by 2020 from the current level of over 700 million international travelers per year, actions need to be taken now to foster sustainable tourism.
“Now is the time to address the problems of poorly planned tourism that are literally killing the very things that attract tourists in the first place,” says CI spokesman Jason Anderson.
Anderson highlights that the world’s biodiversity hotspots saw tourism increase over 100 percent during the last decade. He says that tourism exploded by more than 2000 percent in both Laos and Cambodia, nearly 500 percent in South Africa, over 300 percent in Brazil, Nicaragua and El Salvador and 128 percent in the Dominican Republic.
The report acts as a real world manual to illustrate how tourism development, guided by the principles associated with ecotourism - environmental sustainability, protection of nature, and supporting local peoples - can have a positive impact on biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction. For example, in the Caribbean, tourism accounts for 15.5 percent of total employment, or one in 6.4 jobs.
Earlier this year, CI co-sponsored a workshop in the Dominican Republic to create an awareness of the importance of sustainable tourism. The event was held at the Punta Cana Resort & Club.
See http://cabs.kms.conservation.org/wombat/puntacana/index.htm
For an electronic copy of the Tourism and Biodiversity report,
write to Jason Anderson at [email protected]
Punta Cana now has flights from Aguadilla
Puerto Rican tourists can now fly to Punta Cana resorts from Aguadilla, on the northwestern coast of Puerto Rico. Pan American (all flights are operated by Boston Main Airways jets) has flights to Punta Cana (PUJ) on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The service is also available to Santo Domingo on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Pan Am also has flight connections to Orlando/Sanford in Florida from the Dominican Republic. For more information,
see http://www.flypanam.com
Spaniards invest heavily in DR tourism
On occasion of the upcoming visit of President Hipólito Mejía to Spain on Friday, 12 September, the Spanish Embassy has released data on Spanish investment in the Dominican Republic.
According to the Embassy, as reported in Hoy newspaper, total Spanish direct investment in the Dominican Republic is at US$3 bilion. Of the 57 large Spanish companies doing business in the Dominican Republic, many are tourism-related. The Spanish Commercial Office says Spanish investment makes up 55% of the rooms in hotels of more than 100 rooms. The investment is said to add up to more than US$1 billion invested in hotels located on the Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, Samana, Barahona and La Romana destinations, or about 22,000 hotel rooms. Spanish hotel chains operating in the Dominican Republic are: Iberostar, Riu, Barcelo, Occidental, Fiesta, Catalonia, Piñero, Hotetur, Cotursa, Renthotel, Grupo H10, Best Hotels, Blau, Princess, Vista Sol, Sirenis, Mac/Globalia, Sol Meliá, among others.
The Dominican Republic is Spain’s fourth largest trading partner in Latin America. Spain exports to the Dominican Republic about US$400 million a year, and imports about US$25 million, mainly tobacco, coffee and cacao products. The considerable difference in trade is compensated by the service industry with Spaniards making up 12% of tourists that visited the DR in 2002.
Internet cafés on the rise
El Caribe reported on Sunday that Internet cafés are now offering DSL service at very modest rates, and that the number of sites is increasing every month. Costs for access average between RD$30 and RD$40 per hour. According to Asun Egurza, writing for El Caribe, using the Internet at these locales can be very economical, with different packages that offer as many as four hours of access for as little as RD$130. Both of the major telecommunication companies service these cafés, which sometimes specialize their business by catering specifically to gamers, for example, while others are more Chat Room-oriented. The places operating in the capital city of Santo Domingo mentioned in the article are the Internet Express on Máximo Gómez, the Chatroom on 27 February, the Café Internet Herall on Conde and Chamakito on the Circumvalación.
Likewise, visitors to tourism destinations will find easy access at internet cafes in shopping districts or at their hotels.

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