February 24, 2004
  • Puerto Plata revisited
  • January tourism statistics
  • Airport of entry statistics
  • A 2005 Baseball World Cup?
  • 84 baseball players in Major Leagues
Puerto Plata revisited
Puerto Plata is enjoying a record winter. For the month of February it has become difficult to find a room on the North Coast if not secured in advance. Puerto Plata Village marketing director Carolina Berges attributed this to the thousands of US tourists who have been booking their trips to the pioneer of Dominican tourist destinations. "The US again is eyeing Puerto Plata in a serious way. And the product has responded well," she explained. According to Berges, the attitude of the staff of Puerto Plata hotels has a lot to do with this. Puerto Plata suffered when newer destinations such as Punta Cana conquered the travelers coming to the Dominican Republic. But, she says, lots of guests are returning and new ones are coming for the first time. "It's the attitude of the people," she said, explaining that most Puerto Plata workers live with their families in the same city, compared to East Coast staffs that usually reside in staff quarters on the hotel premises. She also attributed the best occupancy rates in the past 10 years to the arrival of the French tourists. The same vacationers who for years visited Martinique and Guadaloupe and are now coming to the Spanish Caribbean. The French are known for their mobility when travelling, and Puerto Plata is ideal for those who want to get around, visit the stores in town and enjoy the city parks, all within an hour's distance. Berges mentioned that the Ocean World Park is furthermore contributing to the Puerto Plata'image of Puerto Plata.
January travel to Puerto Plata was up from 56,229 visitors in 2003 to 70,840 foreign arrivals in January 2004.
January tourism statistics
Travel was up to the Dominican Republic in January 2004, according to just released statistics from the Central Bank. Some 21,780 non-resident air arrivals represented a 6.9% increase over the same period last year. Statistics for January are the best in the past four years and foreign air arrivals were up 7.6% for the year as a whole. Central Bank data indicates that hotel occupancy for January was 86%, which is 5.6 percentage points more than was registered in 2003. The East Coast continues to be a magnet for foreign tourism, with an occupancy of 93.3% for Punta Cana/Bavaro and 95.8% for La Romana/Bayahibe.
The Central Bank credits the positive effects on local tourism to the increasing value of the Euro compared to the US dollar, and the US dollar when compared to the Dominican peso, making the Dominican destinations the most competitively priced in the Caribbean region.
Airport of entry statistics
Central Bank reports that 46.8% of all foreign arrivals entered via the Punta Cana International Airport on the East Coast, with 129.348 arrivals. Puerto Plata's Gregorio Luperon International Airport, with 70,840 arrivals, ranked second, accounting for 25.6% of all national arrivals. Las Americas, with 43,773 arrivals, received 15.9%, and La Romana, with 27,515 arrivals, received 10%. Cibao International Airport in Santiago, with 4,202 arrivals, catered mainly to Dominican travelers and received only 1% of foreign arrivals.
A 2005 Baseball World Cup?
Paul Beeston, former president of Major League Baseball, believes a 2005 Baseball World Cup could mirror the success of the Soccer World Cup. According to Toronto Sun reporter George Gross, Beeston told him that while Major League Baseball will never participate in the Olympic Games (because of the summer schedule of the season), owners and players are thinking about a Baseball World Cup.
"The time has come to give a Baseball World Cup consideration," Beeston said. "The players want it and the owners want it. There is high-level baseball played not only in the United States and Canada, but also in South America, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic."
Beeston suggested that an eight-team tournament be held for starters, which could gradually be increased to 12 teams now that the sport is being played in Europe.
Beeston forecast that the US would win such a tournament for the first three years and said the key to the Cup is negotiating a good television contract.
"It would be really interesting to see the clashes between Americans, Canadians, Dominicans, Cubans and Puerto Ricans. And because baseball is being played every day, the teams would have to have several good pitchers, not only one."
84 baseball players in Major Leagues
Some 84 Dominican ballplayers are listed on the rosters of the Major League championship that starts 30 March. The American League has 44, while the National League has 40.

National League:

Cincinnati: D'Angelo Jimenez, Jose Acevedo, Wily Mo Pena.
Houston: Octavio Dotel, Jose Vizcaino, Willy Taveras.
Milwaukee Brewers: Luis Martinez, Luis Vizcaino, Leo Estrella.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Salomon Torres, Abraham Nunez.

San Luis
Julian Tavarez (pitcher)
Alberto Pujols (in-of)

Atlanta Braves
Antonio Alfonseca (pitcher)
Rafael Furcal (inf)

Armando Benitez
Luis Castillo

Montreal Expos
Claudio Vargas (pitcher)
Tony Batista (inf)
Henry Mateo (inf)

New York Mets
Jose Reyes (inf)
Timoniel Perez (of)

Amaury Telemaco (pitcher)
Placido Polanco (inf)

Juan Cruz (pitcher)
Felix Sanchez (pitcher)
Aramis Ramirez, (inf)
Sammy Sosa (of)
Moises Alou (of)

Arizona Diamondback
Jose Valverde (pitcher)
Danny Bautista (of)

No hay

Odalis Perez (pitcher)
Guillermo Mota (pitcher)
Adrian Beltre (infield)
Juan Encarnacion (of)
Wilkin Ruan (of)

No hay

Felix Rodriguez (pitcher)
Alberto Castillo (ch)
Neifi Perez (inf)
Pedro Feliz (inf)

American League

Tampa Bay
Jesus Colome (pitcher)
Jorge Sosa (pitcher)
Julio Lugo (inf)
Antonio Perez (inf)

Miguel Batista (pitcher)
Valerio de los Santos (pitcher)
Aquilino Lopez (inf)

White Sox
Damaso Marte
Juan Uribe

Cleveland Indians
Jose Jimenez (pitcher)
Johnny Peralta (inf)

Detroit Tigers
Fernando Rodney (pitcher)
Franklyn German (pitcher)
Carlos Pena (inf)

Kansas City Royals
Runnelvys Hernandez (pitcher)
Angel Berroa (inf)
Miguel Asencio (pitcher)

Miguel Tejada (inf)
Jose Morban (inf)
Jose Bautista (inf-of)

Boston Red Sox
Pedro Martinez (pitcher)
Reynaldo Garcia (pitcher)
Edwin Almonte (pitcher)
David Ortiz (inf)
Manny Ramirez (of)

New York Yankees
Felix Heredia (pitcher)
Jorge de Paula (pitcher)
Enrique Wilson (inf)
Alfonso Soriano (inf)

Minnesota Twins
Cristian Guzman (inf)

Bartolo Colon (pitcher)
Ramon Ortiz (pitcher)
Vladimir Guerrero (of)
Jose Guillen (of)

Oakland Athleticcs
Esteban German

Seattle Mariners
Rafael Soriano (of)
Julio Mateo (pitcher)
Ramon Santiago (inf)

Texas Rangers
Ricardo Rodriguez
Francisco Cordero (pitcher)
Jose Dominguez (pitcher)
Joaquin Benoit (pitcher)
Carlos Almanzar (pitcher)
Alex Rodriguez (inf)

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