- Miguelina Ortiz named Minister of
- Punta Cana to Moscow
- Wyndham opens 1 December in DR
- French tourists left stranded
|Miguelina Ortiz named Minister of
After over 25 years in the field, Miguelina Ortiz was appointed last week
Minister of Tourism. The nomination was made public when she was abroad heading
the Dominican delegation that was attending the London World Travel Market.
In 1979, Ortiz first joined the Dominican government tourism department working
under Victor Cabral. She held posts as events assistant, assistant to the
administrative director and director of international relations. She continued
in the ministry working under several other incumbents, including Ellis Pérez,
Andrés Vanderhorst, Luis Taveras and her predecessor at the Ministry, Rafael
Suberví Bonilla (1982-86). In 1994, Suberví and Ortiz married. When Suberví was
appointed Minister of Tourism for the second time in 2000, Ortiz continued to be
his closest collaborator.
Suberví Bonilla has taken a leave to seek the presidential nomination for the
ruling PRD political party.
|Punta Cana to Moscow
Transaero (http://www.transaero.ru/) will begin non-stop service from Moscow
(MOW) to Punta Cana (PUJ) effective 30 December. The flight will take 12 hours
and 10 minutes, with a shorter return trip of 11 hours and 10 minutes. The
airline will reportedly fly over Scandinavia, then to Iceland, entering over
Canada and finally across the Atlantic Ocean to arrive at Punta Cana. As
reported in the DR1 Airline Forum, and pending confirmation by the airline, the
Russian carrier will fly the following schedule:
- UN 9197 MOW PUJ 763 0900 1400 *2*****
- UN 9198 PUJ MOW 763 1530 1030+*2*****
Hans Dannenberg, the marketing
consultant to the Ministry of Tourism, confirmed DR1 Airline Forum advance
reports that VIM Avia and Aviaenergo Airlines will operate flights to La Romana.
The schedules are Moscow-Shannon-La Romana and Moscow-Gander (Newfoundland,
Talks are ongoing to include Russian flights to Puerto Plata, also.
The WTO rates Russia as the 10th top world travel source market.
The flights are the result of negotiations made by Ministry of Tourism officials
during the Moscow travel fair. Dannenberg believes the DR is about to be
discovered in full force by the Russian travel market.
|Wyndham opens 1 December in DR
Wyndham International, the fifth largest US hotel chain and the largest hotel
brand in the Caribbean, will become a major player in Dominican travel as of 1
December. Under a 10-year strategic alliance agreement, the seven Viva Resorts
properties in the Bahamas, Mexico and the three in the Dominican Republic are
being re-branded as Viva Wyndham Resorts and incorporated into the Wyndham
Fred Kleisner, chairman and CEO of Windham, announced that the marketing
partnership will allow them to expand both into new Caribbean and Mexican
markets, with guests who seek all-inclusive resort experiences. In an interview
with El Caribe newspaper, Kleisner said the DR has all it needs to become a
leading destination with US travelers. “The people are perfect, the beaches are
perfect, the resorts are perfect, the destination is perfect, but you can’t keep
it all a secret,” he said. He feels more marketing muscle is needed. He said the
US traveler has the perception that the DR is a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. In his
own opinion, after traveling the country, he said the DR deserves a 9.
"Building a strong partnership with a brand like Wyndham is the key component to
ensuring our guests enjoy a consistent, upscale hotel product," said Viva
Resorts president, Ettore Colussi. The Dominican partners expect Wyndham's
highly-regarded industry reputation will help them fast-track the chain’s
awareness in the US, pulling in more US travelers.
Rafael Blanco Canto, executive vice-president of Viva Resorts, said the alliance
is a big step forward towards delivering what appeals most to the US market.
Viva Wyndham properties in the DR as of 1 December are:
- The 500-room Viva Wyndham Dominicus
Beach – La Romana-Bayahibe
- The 330-room Viva Wyndham Dominicus
Palace – La Romana-Bayahibe
- The soon-to-open, 223-room Viva
Wyndham Tangerine – Cabarete
The Viva Wyndham resorts in the
Dominican Republic and Bahamas bring Wyndham's Caribbean portfolio to 16
properties on eight islands, including Aruba, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Dominican
Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Dutch Antilles and US Virgin Islands.
Founded in 1997, Viva Resorts built a reputation on selling value-packed,
all-inclusive vacations that provided a culturally-inspired ambience,
high-energy atmosphere with international accents on food and service.
Wyndham operates 200 hotels in the US, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom and the
Dominican Republic, for a global inventory of 42,000 rooms.
|French tourists left stranded
One hundred and forty French and Swiss tourists were left in the lurch in Puerto
Plata when the tour operator that had brought them to the North Shore closed up
shop. The Swiss company, Avione Travel, did not pay the hotel where the tourists
were staying and apparently ceased operations while the tourists were
vacationing in Cabarete. The French Press Agency (AFP) carried the story.
According to spokespeople from the French Embassy in Santo Domingo, the Swiss
company was negotiating with French diplomats and the local agency that
represents the foreign travel broker. Employees of the Hotel Camino del Sol
reported that conversations were still ongoing as late as 10:30pm yesterday. The
Dominican company Go Dominicana Travel confirmed that diplomats and
representatives of Avione Travel were working on a solution. At present time,
there is a marked increase in French tourists in the Puerto Plata–Cabarete area,
and other companies such as Nouvelle Frontier have a long history of satisfied