October 14, 2003
  • BWIA to start T&T flights to DR
  • Air Santo Domingo in Park Avenue
  • Hotels continue to gain over last year
  • Vying the Japanese traveler
  • FTO Health & safety seminars
  • Lively classical music in the old city
BWIA to start T&T flights to DR
The Dominican Republic and Trinidad will soon have a direct air connection. British West Indies Airways announced flights starting 18 November. The airline will fly twice a week to Santo Domingo from Port of Spain. BWIA will be using a A319 jet with capacity for 154 passengers, as reported in Hoy newspaper.
The flight could continue on to San José, Costa Rica if fifth freedom is granted. Fifth freedom enables airlines to carry passengers from a home country to another intermediate country, and then fly on to a third country with the right to pick passengers in the intermediate country.
The Trinidad connection would give easy access to connect to Guyana, Suriname, St. Lucia, Granada and Barbados. It would also be an alternate route to be used by those flying to England and Canada.
Air Santo Domingo in Park Avenue
Air Santo Domingo has opened offices at the Satellite Airlines Terminal of 42 and 125 of Park Avenue. Air Santo Domingo today flies daily from JF Kennedy Airport to Las Americas International (AILA) in Santo Domingo. It also operates a daily flight from AILA to Luís Muñoz Marín Airport in San Juan, and two daily flights from Herrera in Santo Domingo to Isla Grande in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Air Santo Domingo was originally an Air Europa affiliate and intended regional feeder company for Air Europa flights to and from the Dominican Republic. When the US FAA placed DR aviation in Category 3 and impeded Dominican aircraft to fly to the US because of safety issues, the original major shareholder chose to sell the company to Servicios Aereos Profesionales, SAP, a Dominican local charter company. After continuing the domestic flights for several years, the company successfully developed the Herrera-San Juan route that offered commuters easy access by avoiding the half an hour trek to Las Americas International Airport. In 2002, the airline chose to close down the domestic regular flights and concentrate on its international routes, coinciding with the announcement that inter-city Herrera Airport would be relocated.
Hotels continue to gain over last year
El Caribe newspaper points out that hotel occupancy has continued to maintain itself way above last year’s levels, even in the slow month of September. Average occupancy at the larger hotels this year from January-September has been 74.1%, up from 63.9% last year.
Punta Cana/Bavaro continues to lead the way with an 85% occupancy rate, followed by La Romana-Bayahibe, 80.7%. Occupancy in other areas was: Puerto Plata 62%, Boca Chica-Juan Dolio 62%, Sosúa-Cabarete 61.8%, Santo Domingo 61.8%, Samaná 57.5%.
According to National Hotel & Restaurant Association statistics with the exception of Santo Domingo, all areas have seen significant occupancy increases. Samaná led the way with a 46% increase over September of 2002, Sosua was second with a 19% increase, followed by Punta Cana-Bávaro, Puerto Plata and La Romana.
Vying the Japanese traveler
Hans Dannenberg, Puerto Plata Hotel Association director, visited Japan to promote tourism in the Japanese Travel Agent (JATA) meeting. He mentioned that Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) consultants say that Puerto Plata is the Dominican destination that is the most attractive for Japanese travelers. The key issue is to put together attractive packages, getting around the high cost of the airfare. Connections are available via New York, Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam or Frankfurt. The Ministry of Tourism under Tourism Minister Rafael Suberví opened a tourism office in Tokyo to promote Japanese travel. Japanese government statistics show that approximately 15 million Japanese nationals travel abroad every year. In 2000, 147,000 Japanese tourists visited Miami.
FTO Health & safety seminars
The Federation of Tour Operators of Great Britain is inviting hoteliers and tourism industry suppliers to a seminar on fire, food, pool, beach and general safety to be held in both Puerto Plata and Bavaro. The Bavaro event commences at 12 noon on 23 October. The workshop will be repeated at the Gran Ventana in Puerto Plata commencing at 1 pm on 24 October. Angela Hills, health & safety coordinator for the FTO explains that the aim of the seminars is to actively promote the importance of adequate health & safety standards and to encourage hoteliers and suppliers to adopt the FTO preferred code of practice guidelines on safety. To participate, and for more information, contact her at [email protected]
Lively classical music in the old city
The lively music of Offenbach, Milhaud Borne and Prokofiev will be played within the lovely walls of the Royal Houses Museum (Museo de las Casas Reales) at Calle las Damas. The next National Symphony Concert is scheduled for the patio of the museum that is located at Calle Las Damas in the Colonial City. On Thursday, 16 October the program will surely amaze the audience. Alvaro Manzano will be conducting. The evening’s program:
Darius Milhaud's flippant Scaramouche Suite for alto saxophone and orchestra. Cuban saxophonist Miguel Villafruela, known as one of the leading Latin American contemporary classic music saxophone players, is the guest soloist for the evening.
Orpheus in the Underworld (Jacques Offenbach), which is remembered especially for its famous can-can.
Francois Borne’s brilliant piece, Fantasie Brillante Sur Carmen, arranged for bass clarinet solo.
The lively Lieutenant Kije Suite (Sergei Prokofiev).
For more information and tickets (RD$250-RD$350), call the Foundation of the National Symphony Orchestra at 532-6600 or 535-8587

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