July 27, 2004
  • Repositioning Sosua and Cabarete
  • Ocean World sale for residents
  • Half year travel airport stats
  • Travel up 7.5% first half year
  • Where tourists are coming from
Repositioning Sosua and Cabarete
Luis Abinader, president of the recently elected board of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Sosua and Cabarete (Ashoresoca) says the association will be taking a more active role in the promotion and marketing of the north coast hotels. He wants the association to be more proactive. He said one of their goals is to attract more sports, cultural and recreational events. He also said they want to host the 2006 Dominican Annual Travel Exchange (DATE), the leading locally-held hotel bookings event. DATE will take place in Santo Domingo in 2005. Abinader is the owner of the SuperClubs Breezes Puerto Plata Resort.
He said the new board hopes to work closely with the hotel associations of Puerto Plata, to the East and Rio San Juan, to the West to consolidate participation in international trade shows, fairs and tourism promotion events.
Abinader announced the association’s full support to the Counterpart International pilot project to build the country’s first coral gardens in the Bay of Sosua (see details at http://www.counterpart.org/programs/environment/coral.gardens.asp).
Other priorities for the Sosua and Cabarete association is to certify area hotels as Green Globe and Blue Flag hotels, maximize resources of the Caribbean Hotel Association for their members, and increase their presence on the Internet.
Other members of the board are Ian Schembri-Sant of Starz Resorts, Herman Strauss of Casa Marina Reef and Association Pro-Development of Sosua, Luis Lopez of Casa Marina Beach and Diego Garibaldi of Viva Wyndham Tangerine. Also Rafael Martinez of Association Pro-Development Cabarete; Lorenzo Bernardi, Hotel Garden Keti; Eddy Rodriguez, Caribe Campo; Guillermo Kirkman, Sea Horse Ranch; and Roberto Dono, Camino & Paraiso del Sol. Also Joseph Neurater, Hotel Sosua by the Sea; Rafael Diaz Fana, Morua Mai Restaurant; Quentin Liotard of Tropical Clubs; and Roch Labelle of Hotel Caracol.
Ocean World sale for residents
Ocean World Adventure Park in Cofresi, Puerto Plata is luring Dominican-based vacationers to Puerto Plata with a reduced admission fee this summer. Those who have a Dominican cedula (regardless of being a foreigner or a Dominican) for the sales period will only pay US$28 (down from US$55) admission fee. Accompanying children pay a reduced fee of US$20. The admission price includes pick up (for those staying at a participating Puerto Plata area hotel), lunch (no drinks), swimming in the tropical reef aquarium, admission to the sea lions show, interaction with tropical birds, visit to the tropical forest area, observation of dolphin and sea lion programs, interacting with the tigers in the tiger grotto, and use of the dolphins’ beach area. Those booking in advance can also buy packages that include dolphin encounter, dolphin swim, encounter with sharks and sting rays or encounter with the sea lions. For more information and how to contact them, check out their directory page on dr1 at http://dr1.com/directories/tourism/oceanworld.shtml
Half year travel airport stats
Central Bank tourist statistics for the first half of the year continue to show that Punta Cana is the most used airport in the Dominican Republic. From January to June, 718,331 passengers arrived by that terminal, with a peak number of arrivals in February – 136,864. Punta Cana caters to leisure tourists that fly in primarily to stay at the Punta Cana-Bavaro area hotels. Only 938 residents used that terminal during the first half of the year.
Las Americas, which is the local airport with the largest number of regular flights, and primarily serves arrivals to Santo Domingo, is the second most used airport, with 553,253 arrivals. Puerto Plata is next with 356,244 arrivals, followed by La Romana with 133,918 and Cibao with 125,082. Puerto Plata arrivals increased 26%, reflecting the start of new charter flights into the destination.
Charter flight operations dominated at the Punta Cana (91% of arrivals), Puerto Plata (85% of arrivals) and La Romana (79% of arrivals) terminals. Las Americas in Santo Domingo and Cibao in Santiago were primarily served by regular flights. Regular flights increased 3.6% at Las Americas and 59.9% at Punta Cana, while declining 7% in Puerto Plata and 22% in La Romana. Charter flights were up 50.6% to Las Americas, 33% to Puerto Plata and 5.3% to Punta Cana.
Travel up 7.5% first half year
131,919 more air arrivals traveled to the Dominican Republic during the first half of the year, according to Central Bank statistics. This is 7.5% more than last year. Of the total, 80% are foreign arrivals, evidence of continuing strong demand for Dominican holidays. Non-resident Dominicans traveled to the DR in good numbers, for a 8.3% increase. The Central Bank statistical analysis attributes the increase to attractive hotel rates and more airline seats. It points out the start of operation of seven airlines.
Where tourists are coming from
For the first half of the year, tourists from the United States and Canada continued to dominate. US travelers accounted for 31.9% of the total non-resident foreign arrivals, and Canadians were 20% of the total. Some 482,148 tourists came from the United States, up 8.9% over the previous year. From Canada, some 302,159 visited, up 7% over the previous year.
Some 42% of the visiting tourists were from Europe. Among the Europeans, the strongest inbound markets are those from France (176,840), Germany (110,133), Spain (97,688), the UK (90,861) and Italy (65,445). Spain showed a vigorous 40.7% growth, reflecting the addition of two discounter airlines – Air Madrid and Air Plus. The UK market was also up, with a 41.5% increase. France increased 4.1%. But Germany and Belgium showed a 8.3% and 33.4% declines, reflecting lack of availability of attractively priced airfares for those routes.
Some 2.5% of total visitors came from Central America and the Caribbean.

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