October 12, 2004
  • Dominicus is Blue Flag certified
  • Xiomara Desimone to promote Sosua & Cabarete
  • Luperon's turn
Dominicus is Blue Flag certified
La Laguna Beach (Dominicus) in Bayahibe, located in the province of La Altagracia, has been awarded the prestigious European Blue Flag International certification. Local hotels participating in the Blue Flag certification program are the Coral Canoa, Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus, Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach and Palace, and Venta Club Gran Dominicus.
The Blue Flag designation is honors high environmental management and safety standards. It will be displayed in the Caribbean as of November, a first for the region. The Blue Flag international jury also recognized eight other Caribbean beaches and three marinas that proved to adhere to key criteria for water quality, environmental education, environmental management and safety and services.
The Blue Flag panel furthermore approved the applications for Blue Flag certification from two marinas in The Bahamas (Old Bahama Bay and Port Lucaya Marina in Grand Bahama); one beach in the Dominican Republic (La Laguna Beach, Dominicus) in Bayahibe; four beaches and one marina in Jamaica (Doctor’s Cave Bathing Club in Montego Bay, Merrils Resort Beach and Norman Manley Sea Park in Negril, and the Port Antonio Marina and Beach) and four beaches in Puerto Rico (El Escambron and Carolina in the San Juan area, Monserrate in Luquillo and Flamenco Beach in Culebra Island).
“Blue Flag certification means that not only will beach users benefit from high environmental and quality standards, but that the countries stand to gain significantly from the positive attention it will bring in the marketplace, particularly in Europe where Blue Flag has become a well-known and recognized symbol for tourists and tour operators,” said Mercedes Silva, the sustainable tourism specialist at the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
The inaugural season of the Blue Flag campaign in the Caribbean is scheduled to begin in November 2004 and run until October 2005.
For the 2004 European Blue Flag season, which runs from June to October, more than 2,300 beaches and 600 marinas in 24 European countries were recognized by the organization.
Blue Flag is owned and operated by the non-governmental, non-profit organization Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), which has been operating in Europe since 1987 and South Africa since 2001 and is headquartered in Denmark. The beach management and certification program is being administered by the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), in collaboration with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Conservation Association (CCA), as part of a Caribbean consortium supported by FEE.
To learn more about the program, see http://www.blueflag.org
Xiomara Desimone to promote Sosua & Cabarete
On 1 October Xiomara Desimone, well-known for her efforts to promote tourism along the North Coast, became the new director of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Sosua and Cabarete (Ashoresoca). A 28-year-old Argentinean, she has studied business, strategic marketing and advertising. Prior to settling in the DR, she worked for three years in Toronto, Canada where she organized Latin events. From mid-2002 to early 2003, Desimone conducted market research aimed at attracting new flows of visitors to the Dominican Republic's North Coast during the off-season periods. She has worked as the general coordinator of the V Dominican Republic Jazz Festival in 2003 and as a sales coordinator for Starz Resorts. In addition, Desimone was in charge of events and public relations at Azzurro Clubs. In June 2004, she was entrusted with the organization of the fifth World Bestkiteboarding Cabarete Cup.
Ashoresoca’s offices are located at Calle Pedro Clisante No. 5, Office No. 1, Plaza Morua Mai in El Batey, Sosua (Tel. 809 571-3904). Xiomara Desimone can be reached by email at [email protected]
Luperon's turn
President Leonel Fernandez was on hand for the Santo Domingo official launching of the Atlantica residential and touristic project at Luperon on the North Coast. Luperon is a beach and natural harbor area located 15 kilometers west of the city of Puerto Plata. Elena Viyella de Paliza, as the executive director of the project, made the announcement last week. Pierre Schenebelen, who collaborated on the initial development of Cap Cana on the East Coast, is the president of Puerto Luperon Corporation, the development company.
"Creating a resort community on the scale of ATLANTICA is any developer's ultimate dream, but until now we never found a setting that could live up to it. With Luperon Bay in the beautiful Dominican Republic, that dream will be realized, and we intend to preserve the natural wonders of this site," said Schnebelen, whose team has been recognized for creating first-class Alpine ski resorts, beach enclaves and golf destinations.
The Atlantica golf courses will have none other than golfers Arnold Palmer and Jim Fazio working on their design. The first course is planned to open for play in May of 2006. The courses will reportedly lead golfers through tropical canyons and have strategic holes built into the sides of cliffs.
Atlantica centers around one of the country's finest natural marinas. Developers have said that guests at the resort will not likely face hurricanes. Luperon is reputed to be one of only two "hurricane holes" in the Caribbean zone, and has been attracting yachts and fishing boats in search of shelter and a safe harbor for centuries.
As part of the billion-dollar project to be developed in three stages over ten years, the resort will boast a private airstrip and the country's largest marina, plus 3,000 deluxe vacation-home properties and at least 20 hotels that are planned for construction. The first phase is set to begin in December 2004 and calls for an initial US$150-million investment. The first 99 Founder's Plan Harbor Town Homes and the Bay Beach Club are scheduled to be available by December 2005, followed by the completion of 68 Harbor Town Homes and the Fishermen's Village Bed & Breakfast in June of 2006.
In December 2006, the Ambar Hotel is slated to open its doors, by which time an additional 60 Harbor Town Homes and 30 Marina Estates should have been sold. The Puerto Luperon Corporation press release indicates that, all in all, the project will create some 25,000 tourist beds. The harbor encompasses 450 marina slips, as well as various shipyards and dry dock facilities with 260 covered super-yacht hangars for up to 280 yachts. A cruise ship terminal is also being contemplated.

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