DR1 Travel News - March 02, 2004

March 2, 2004
  • Cruise ship tourists change La Romana
  • Carnival in Santo Domingo
  • Ecotourism Fair in Salinas
  • Public hearing for Delta flight
  • Casanova's boleros and merengues
Cruise ship tourists change La Romana
From a city whose life previously revolved around the Casa de Campo resort and its residential community, La Romana has taken a new turn. With the success of the port built by Central Romana at the Romana River, thousands of tourists are now flocking to the city, spawning new livelihoods and increasing business. While La Romana recently opened its charming Casa de Campo Marina, a replica of an Italian fishing town, for dining and shopping, the Listin Diario reports this week that the cruise ship passengers have prompted a trickledown effect, with stores and restaurants that had only catered to locals now finding ways to attract the visiting pedestrian crowds as well. Florentino Duran of the Listin reports that La Romana now clearly sees itself as a tourist city and is constantly offering new things for tourists to do.
Carnival in Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo's annual carnival parade will take place Sunday, 7 March along the city's malecon. The festivities will assemble all the carnival characters of earlier performances around the country, including the outstanding entrants of the La Vega and Santiago carnivals that take place every Sundays in February.
Carnival in Santo Domingo begins a day earlier, with the first of several free merengue band performances going on stage at the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Park on Saturday, 6 March. This is the first of several performances of top Dominican merengue artists at the malecon's Caribbean Sea-fronting park. Also on the program for weekend performances are:
Saturday, 6 March: Jossie Esteban, Ricarena, Marcos Caminero
Sunday, 7 March: Coco Band y Pochy Familia, Parada Joven Pablo Martinez, Jacubanda
Saturday, 13 March: Wilfrido Vargas, Los Potros, Darling, Los Herederos
Sunday, 14 March: Diomedes, Grupo Mio, Silvio y la Mezcla, Top 4
Friday, 19 March: Tulile, Kinito Mendez, Kike Mangu
Sunday, 21 March: Sergio Vargas, Pochy Familia y Coco Band, Los Reyes del Mambo
Ecotourism Fair in Salinas
The southwestern province of Peravia, best known for its capital city of Bani, will host the annual International Ecotourism Fair this coming 24-29 March. The event, which will focus on the Punta Salinas and Bahia de las Calderas areas of Peravia, will this year be held in memory of journalist Rafael Herrera Cabral, former director of the Listin Diario. Organizers say the fair seeks to highlight the Bani sand dunes, unique in the Caribbean for their size; to show off the bay of Las Salinas, a natural enclave with seagrapes, coconut vegetation; and the historic Bahia de las Calderas, where Christopher Columbus sought refuge during one of the storms that hit during his return trip in 1493. On the program for presentations and special visits for those participating in the event include visits to the Generalisimo Maximo Gomez Museum, which honors the Dominican-born liberator of Cuba from Spanish rule.
Public hearing for Delta flight
The Civil Aviation Board is holding a public inquiry into Delta Airlines' request to fly the New York/Santo Domingo/New York route. The public hearing for the governmental authorization is scheduled for Wednesday, 3 March at the conference room of the CAB department located at Avenida Mexico, corner 30 de Marzo.
Delta Airlines recently announced it would start direct flights to the DR from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Delta would begin the route flying twice a day to Las Americas as of 1 June.
Casanova's boleros and merengues
Dominican tenor Francisco Casanova took time off from his busy schedule of operatic performances to sing to his Caribbean compatriots, as reported in El Caribe. Under the direction of Manuel Tejada, he has recorded "Reflejos del alma," in which poems of two Dominican sisters were arranged to the traditional merengue and mangulina rhythms. Also participating in the production was composer Hector Martinez, Maestro Rafael Solano and the late Bienvenido Bustamante. The CD lists 11 unpublished poems by Lidia Leon and one by her sister, Maria Amable. Casanova has performed at the Scala de Milan, has been a substitute for Luciano Pavarrotti and has performed in leading opera productions around the world. He lives in New York City, where he performs regularly.

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