April 27, 2004
  • DATE in Puerto Plata
  • Provenance of DR travelers
  • Horseback riding in Juan Dolio
  • Business & incentive travel
  • Inaction costs more than action
DATE in Puerto Plata
The Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange, the premier event for booking Dominican hotels, is set for this week (28-30 April) in Puerto Plata. With the activities scheduled, tour operators will get an overview of some of the best Puerto Plata has to offer. For instance, on Wednesday 28 April, a morning golf tournament is scheduled for the Playa Dorada Golf Course. The trade show and bookings will take place on the second floor Convention Center of Playa Dorada Plaza. The evening’s dinner will be held at Ocean World Park in nearby Cofresi. On Thursday 29 April, the action shifts morning and afternoon to the Playa Dorada Convention Center. By early evening, formal work will stop and participants will be bused to the Victorian-era downtown central square of Puerto Plata. For those who arrive by 6:45pm, there will be a walking tour of the historic houses in the environs, to be followed shortly after by a Dominican Night with gastronomic samplings, entertainment and a finale of fireworks, all in the setting of the Puerto Plata’s Central Park. On Friday, delegates are invited to visit the Centro Leon cultural center in Santiago, or partake in an safari-style outdoor tours. Other delegates will be heading to Cabarete to participate in the formal opening of the Wyndham Tangerine resort on Saturday afternoon.
Provenance of DR travelers
The Dominican Republic’s Central Bank statistics show that the United States continues to lead in the number of foreign air arrivals. The numbers show US travel for the first quarter of the year accounting for 28.6% of the total 243,264 tourist arrivals – a slight increase over last year when US travelers accounted for 28.5% of the total. Canada as a source market declined slightly, from 27.8% in 2003 to 26.4% (224,145) this year from January through March.
Other countries representing 4% or more of total foreign tourist arrivals are: France with 12.7% (107,990), Germany with 7.1% (60,484), Spain with 5.2% (43,792) and UK and Italy with 4.6% each (39,334 and 38,720, respectively).
Of these arrivals, 96.8% declared their travel for vacation purposes and 2.2% came for business or convention activity.
The breakdown by gender was 50.6% men and 49.4% women. Of the total, 14.4% were under 20 years of age, 30.6% were between 21 and 35 years, 28.5% were 36 to 49 years old, and 26.5% were 50 years or older.
Horseback riding in Juan Dolio
Guavaberry Equestrian Center, belonging to the facilities of the Guavaberry Golf & Country Club, opened to the general public on Thursday, 22 April in the town of Juan Dolio. Horse loving guests who book from among 3,000 hotel rooms in the Juan Dolio-Guayacanes beach area can now book trail rides or horse riding lessons. One-hour trail rides are available seven days a week for adults and children 10 years and over, at 9, 10 and 11am and in the afternoons at 3, 4 and 5pm. Rates are US$25 per person, with discounts for Guavaberry Golf & Country Club members. The Guavaberry Equestrian Center also features polo grounds and new activities are to be added in the forthcoming months. For more information, contact Tomas Hungria, general manager at [email protected] or at (809) 333-GOLF. To read more about the golf course, see http://www.guavaberrygolf.com
Business & incentive travel
Reed Travel Exhibitions, the world’s leading trade show organizer, and ABAV (the Brazilian Travel Agents Association) have announced their plans for the first Latin American & Caribbean Incentive and Meetings Exhibition (LACIME) to be held in Sao Paolo, Brazil from 23-25 June 2004.
LACIME is an excellent platform for those tourism companies wishing to capitalize on the growing groups and incentive markets with the opportunity to promote their products and services to more than 3,000 corporate buyers from all over Latin America.
Moreover, 300 highly selective “hosted buyers”® are also invited to LACIME from North America and Europe, drawn from some of the worldwide exhibitions for worldwide incentive and meetings industry (like EIBTM, which will be held in Barcelona this November) organized by Reed Travel Exhibitions.
All exhibitors are given the opportunity to arrange Pre-Scheduled Appointments (PSAs) for one-to-one meetings with top-level buyers specifically interested in their destinations and products.
For further information and reservations please visit: http://www.lacimexpo.com or contact Jo Spalburg, Caribbean Representative, Reed Travel Exhibitions, Tel: (809) 916 2406, e-mail: [email protected]
Inaction costs more than action
Visiting Dean of the University of Central Florida hospitality school, Dr. Abraham Pizam, speaking at the Fundacion Global, urged Dominicans to act now to find a balance between economic interests and the sustainable environment and cultural and community interests. He referred Dominicans to the guidelines for sustainable tourism development as presented in Agenda 21 for the Travel & Tourism Industry. The Agenda 21 highlights that it is in the best interest of governments and the private tourism industry to protect the natural and cultural resources of each country’s surroundings as the core of their tourism business and key to long-term future development. “The cost of inaction will damage the tourism industry and result in regulatory or economic penalties in the future,” said Dr. Pizam. He highlighted that since the DR is on an island, it is more susceptible to negative environmental and socio-cultural impacts than large land masses. He said that the present model of attracting high numbers composed of low-spending tourists has a weighty impact on the country. He said it is obvious that the DR tourism industry grew at a rate that accelerated so rapidly, the authorities did not have time to appropriately plan and properly control development. He encouraged local industry to go after what he called the well-to-do European and North American market sectors that are willing to pay premiums for first-class eco-tourism vacations, for which the country has so much potential. He discouraged the simple offer of sun, sand and surf vacations, believing that too many destinations exist that can compete on price.
Pizam said from his visit he perceived the DR’s tourism industry as lacking cohesion and a unified voice – potential reasons for the sector’s inability to convince the government of its importance to the population in general.
When asked to comment on the importance of advertising, he said there was no other such industry where yield on money appropriately invested produced so much. He cited the case of Orlando, where the results have been US$4 yield to every US$1 invested, and he does not see why this should be any different in the DR. He said the industry must educate the population and the government on the importance of tourism and remind that it is in everyone’s best interest to preserve natural and cultural heritage.
Pizam said that with proper planning the tourism industry could decide on who their guests are by directing marketing and products to those targeted groups.

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