April 20, 2004
  • First quarter travel stats
  • Tourism Bourse
  • Abraham Pizam’s Funglode talk
  • Kohler explores Playa Grande
  • DR1 Hotel Directory Pages
First quarter travel stats
Travel to the DR increased 8.3% in the first quarter of the year, propelled primarily by local and international currency fluctuations, according to a release from the Central Bank tourism statistics division. Foreign arrivals from January to March represented 851,337 travelers, hitting a new record for the Dominican Republic and bettering arrivals for the same time last year, which stood at 786,164. DR travel benefitted by the depreciation of the peso at a time when the European and Canadian currencies appreciated.
Punta Cana on the East Cost continues to lead the way in tourist arrivals, with 46.8% of total air arrivals. Puerto Plata was next with 25.2%, followed by Las Americas (Santo Domingo), which held a 16.8% market share. La Romana received 9.2% of total tourist arrivals.
Nevertheless, the Central Bank says that the most vigorous recovery was that of Puerto Plata, where traffic was up from 170,101 travelers in 2003 to 214,053 in 2004 – a 25.8% increase. Punta Cana’s traffic was up 7.1%, from 372,283 foreign arrivals in the first quarter of 2003 to 398,747 arrivals in 2004.
Tourism Bourse
The VIII Tourism Bourse of the Caribbean is taking place at the Renaissance Jaragua Hotel from 19-21 April. As one of the highlights of the event, the president of the Caribbean Hotel Association, Simon Suarez of Coral by Hilton, will speak on Wednesday, 21 April at 9:15am. He will touch on the outlook and trends of the hotel sector within the framework of sustainable tourism in the Caribbean. On Wednesday at 10:15am, the former tourism minister of Ecuador, Armando Espinal, will speak on modern-day global tourism.
Abraham Pizam’s Funglode talk
Abraham Pizam, the dean of the Rosen School of Hospitality and a professor of tourism management at the University of Central Florida, will speak on Tuesday, 20 April at 7pm at the Fundacion Global Democracia y Desarrollo. The think-tank and educational center presided over by former President Leonel Fernandez is located at Calle Eugenio de Marchena 26, La Esperilla. The Rosen School is the fastest growing hospitality school in the US. Pizam, a PhD from the University of Cornell, has been a tourism consultant for over 30 years.
Pizam will discuss the development of tourism and those considerations of importance to the Dominican Republic.
Kohler explores Playa Grande
Kohler Co, the resort company owner of Whistling Straits, where the 9-15 August 2004 PGA Championship Golf will be held, is considering the purchase of Playa Grande, a golf and beach development 80 kilometers east from Puerto Plata’s International Airport.
Company CEO Herbert Kohler told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, nevertheless, that initial reports of the purchase being transacted were premature. He did say that they are “exploring” the idea, but that they are also looking at other sites in the DR and elsewhere to expand their hotel business.
El Caribe reported last week that the Monetary Board had authorized the sale of the property on 25 March to Kohler and that the sale had been transacted for US$43 million. Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Felix Calvo confirmed the amounts and said that Kohler would be in the DR this week to continue talks. Kohler, however, said he is currently here on vacation. He told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The bank has put up Playa Grande for an auction process, and we had to write a letter of interest. We wrote an attractive letter presenting ourselves. It's the very beginning of the process. I haven't talked to anyone down here."
DR1 Hotel Directory Pages
Coral by Hilton Resorts, Viva Wyndham Resorts, Sol Melia and many other resorts/hotels are among the first to sign up to the DR1 Hotels & Resorts Directory.
The directories provide information and a contact details for DR1 readers and tourists when they're planning a vacation or traveling to the Dominican Republic. The DR1 Directory Page section is handled by Evelyn Paiewonsky, former international director at the National Hotel & Restaurant Association. For more information, contact Evelyn at [email protected] or take a look at http://dr1.com/directories/

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