October 26, 2004
  • The land of the best in baseball
  • Long Christmas holiday this year
  • ATA, Bahamasair & Spirit
  • Travel statistics show DR is for families
  • Charter and regular flights even out
  • New DR1 service to hotels
The land of the best in baseball
The Dominican Republic is getting lots of free good press thanks to its award-winning baseball players. As noted in the Listin Diario today, Dominicans have won the Most Valuable Player awards in the National and American league playoffs (Albert Pujols and David Ortiz), the Major League Home Run Derby of the All Star Games (Miguel Tejada), in addition to the coveted The Most Voted and Most Value Player of the All Stars Game awards (Alfonso Soriano). Dominican players are also contenders for the Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player of the Major League awards.
Dominicans David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Pedro Martinez for the Boston Red Sox and Albert Pujols for the St. Louis Cardinals are stars in the Major League championship series that continues today as the series moves on to St. Louis Busch Stadium with the Cardinals down, 2-0 versus Boston.
To follow the action of Dominicans in the Major League championship games, see http://www.mlb.com
Long Christmas holiday this year
This year’s official Ministry of Labor calendar bodes well for domestic travel. For starters, Dominicans will enjoy a record long Christmas season as the authorities decided to move to Monday, 10 January the celebration of Epiphany Day, instead of moving it to Friday, 7 January. Thus, school children will be off until 11 January.
Furthermore, the moving of holiday celebration to other Mondays in the year makes for several long weekends in 2005. These are:
Altagracia-Duarte. Friday, 21 January (Our Lady of Altagracia Day) through Monday, 24 January (Duarte Day) for a four-day long weekend.
Easter. Good Friday falls on Friday, 25 March, but many will take off from Thursday, 24 March for another long weekend.
Labor Day. 1 May Labor Day holiday is moved to Monday, 2 May for a three-day long weekend.
Corpus Christi. Starting Thursday, 26 May-through Sunday, 29 May. While Friday is officially not a holiday, many will make it into a four-day long weekend.
For more information on this year’s and next year’s holidays in the DR, see http://dr1.com/travel/prepare/holidays.shtml
ATA, Bahamasair & Spirit
American Trans Air (ATA), Bahamasair and Spirit will be flying to the Dominican Republic starting this winter season.
American Trans Air (ATA) announces seasonal scheduled service to Punta Cana from Chicago-Midway. This starts 18 December and continues until 29 January on Saturdays only. Also from 2 February through 16 April on Saturdays and Wednesdays.
Bahamasair, the national flag carrier of the Bahamas, announces a direct link to Santo Domingo from Nassau International Airport starting 15 November. While the airline begins flights to the Las Americas International Airport, the commercial general deputy manager Van Diah said they were exploring the possibility of flying into other airports.
Spirit begins flights from Fort Lauderdale to the Dominican Republic on 18 November.
On the downside, Air Madrid has suspended its flights to the Dominican Republic. And Dutch Caribbean Airlines (DCA) also announced it has suspended its flights from Santo Domingo on to Miami from Curacao.
For breaking news on carriers flying to the Dominican Republic, see http://dr1.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=26
Travel statistics show DR is for families
Central Bank January-August statistics seem to prove the Dominican Republic is a family and couples destination. The statistics dispute in numbers that the Dominican Republic is a major sex destination, as many times claimed.
Statistics show that from January to August 2004, some 1,065,856 foreign men traveled to the DR, and 1,009,499 foreign women. Nevertheless, the same statistical breakdown shows that travelers coming for business were 41,324 (a predominantly male group) and 8,533 for conferences (another predominantly male group).
Moreover, the gap in foreign male and female travelers is most pronounced in travel to the major cities, Santo Domingo and Santiago. For instance, travel to Las Americas International (Santo Domingo) was 250,969 foreign men and foreign 176,231 women for the January-August 2004 period. Likewise, travel to Santiago was 36,025 men and 33,933 women.
But travel to Puerto Plata was more evened out, with 210,928 foreign men and foreign 209,779 women. More women then men traveled to the leading Dominican tourist destination, Punta Cana, where foreign 489,529 men and 508,231 foreign women arrived. Equally, La Romana, another leading Dominican destination, received more women than men travelers, or 81,325 women compared to 78,405 men. The more women then men could be interpreted as travelers see these destinations as especially safe destinations for women traveling with women friends. For the complete statistical breakdown, see http://www.bancentral.gov.do
Charter and regular flights even out
Central Bank August statistics show that charter flights and scheduled flights transported a similar number of passengers to the country from January to August.
Scheduled flights transported 1,234,068 passengers, while charters flew in 1,234,068 travelers. Las Americas received the largest number of regular flight travelers, with 804,580 travelers of 828,712 air arrivals at that Santo Domingo terminal. Puerto Plata arrivals mostly came on charter flights, with 369,516 compared to 72,866 arriving on scheduled flights. Likewise, Punta Cana catered primarily to charter flights with 895,487 compared to 105,913 on scheduled flights. La Romana received 128,986 charter flight passengers through August, compared to 31,251 who arrived on scheduled flights. Santiago’s Cibao Airport served 217,930 scheduled flight passengers.
New DR1 service to hotels
Since Hurricane Jeanne, DR1 has responded to thousands of requests for information regarding the status of resorts and hotels. To fill the void for timely information, DR1 has launched its new Centralized Information System where travel agents and tourists themselves can visit the page to find updated information on the status of the hotels and several complementary attractions, such as theme parks and golf courses, as well as transport access (maritime, air and ground).
Non-participating hotels are invited to register and enter their data. This is a free DR1 service. See http://www.dr1.com/status

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