February 22, 2005
  • A Dominican secretary general of the WTO?
  • Baseball-land
  • Canadian training for local industry
  • Lifejackets required for Damajagua
  • DR1 Directory is a success, new sections added
A Dominican secretary general of the WTO?
Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez says that the vote of the Dominican Republic is already committed with Francesco Fragialli, the Frenchman who seeks a third term at the helm of the World Tourism Organization, as reported in Clave Digital, the online news service. But, interestingly, Fragialli’s strongest opposition could come from a Dominican, Victor Cabral, if Jimenez agrees to endorse his candidacy.
Cabral, when asked last week about the rumors of his opting for the secretary general post, said that he has the support of President Leonel Fernandez. President Leonel Fernandez has not openly endorsed the candidacy, though.
Cabral also has the support of Foreign Relations Minister Carlos Morales and the president of the National Hotel & Restaurant Association, Enrique Eduardo de Marchena Kaluche. Former president of the Caribbean Hotel Association, Simon Suarez also endorses Victor Cabral to become the Dominican candidate to oppose Fragialli in his bid for a third term.
Jimenez told Clave Digital that he backs Fragialli because the latter has been supportive of his plans to develop the previously environmentally protected Bahia de las Aguilas in the Pedernales area.
In an interview with journalist Fausto Adames of Clave Digital, Jimenez said that President Fernandez has not yet told him that he should support Cabral for the post and not Fragialli. He said that if he receives instructions from the President, he would back Cabral.
Simon Suarez told Clave Digital that Cabral would be a strong contender for the post of WTO secretary general. Countries like Mexico and Brazil could vote in favor of the DR. He is also optimistic that Cabral could win the Caribbean votes.
Cabral is a former minister of tourism of the Dominican Republic, who held high ranking posts for Sheraton Latin America, private Mexican hotel chains and Mexican tourism government departments. He was director of the USAID-Chemonics tourism clusters program in the Dominican Republic prior to his taking the helm of the development of the Cap Cana tourism project in the East.
Sectors in the private sector support his candidacy on the grounds that a Dominican secretary general would be good for the country’s tourism development. Jimenez, in the interview with Clave Digital, himself admitted that Victor Cabral as secretary general of the WTO would be more beneficial for the country than Fragialli.
In a written statement, De Marchena said that the Cabral candidacy would be “a recognition to the capacity and proven tourism experience in the industry, and a sample of the leadership of the DR as the principal tourism destination in the Caribbean.”
The secretary general of the World Trade Organization will be voted in the WTO assembly in Dakar, Senegal, from 28 November to 5 December. Clave Digital explains that the countries with deciding votes in the WTO are Spain, Mexico, France, UK, the US and Canada. See http://www.clavedigital.com.do/Secciones/Portada/Articulo.asp?Id_Articulo=3005
Baseball-land
President Leonel Fernandez has approved the turning of the Quisqueya Ball Park into a baseball theme park – Baseball Land.
Project promoter, engineer Jesus Rodriguez Sandoval says it would be more like the Arlington Ballpark of Texas, the Coors Field of Colorado or the Turner Field of Atlanta. The project calls for the remodeling and expansion of the Quisqueya Ball park, construction of a 28,000 square meter tower, a four-star hotel with 36,443 square meters of construction, 14 towers for apartments and four villas with 15,396 square meters of construction, a 7,790 square meter shopping mall, a 11,330 square meter baseball museum, a 30,400 meter parking building, plazas, green areas and recreational areas.
Works began early this month with the relocation of the baseball offices located within the stadium.
Rodriguez recently presented the project to the visiting vice president of the Mets, Jeff Wilpor and Mets general manager Omar Minaya who met at his home. President Leonel Fernandez also was there for the meeting. During the meeting, the possible visit of the Mets during the 2006 spring training was discussed, as well as the possibility of pMajor League Baseball games being played here in 2007, when Baseball Land complex would be completed.
More than 100 Dominicans are expected to be on MLB rosters come the 2005 season. The Listin Diario reports that on 16 November, President Fernandez had spoken with the owner of the Anaheim Angels, Arte Moreno and invited that team to hold their spring training events in Santo Domingo, an invitation that was well received. The call came on occasion of Vladimir Guerrero winning the Most Valuable Player award of the American League.
Canadian training for local industry
The University of Quebec has signed an agreement with UNAPEC Tourism School to offer a masters in tourism management. This is the first time the University of Quebec takes its masters program to Latin America. The masters has the support of the World Tourism Organization. The Dominican Republic is the favorite sun destination for Canadians. Some 448,627 Canadian tourists traveled to the DR last year.
Lifejackets required for Damajagua
The Ministry of Tourism announced safety measures are now in place in Damajagua, Imbert after a 12-year old boy drowned. Deputy Minister of Tourism Cesar Jose de los Santos ordered the Tourism Police to enforce the new requirement that tour companies provide life jackets and helmets to those taking the cascades excursion. Cesar Jose de los Santos said the measures are now in place to ensure that the site continue as a popular tourist attraction.
DR1 Directory is a success, new sections added
The DR1 Directory hotel pages section has grown since Fun Tropicale Royale became the first hotel advertiser in March 2004. Since then, 64 more hotels have been listed, and others have pages in preparation. The success of the hotel directory pages has spurred the development of other new categories, such as the successful real estate sections with 20 pages, and others such as transportation, meetings, medical and other services, and tourism attractions.
New additions to the directory hotel section are Princess, Amhsa Marina, Hotetur, Starz Resorts, Azzurro, Dominican Fiesta, Quality Hotel Real, Punta Cana Resort & Club, El Portillo Beach and Casa de Campo. To browse the directory section, see the DR1 Directory link on the home page, or http://dr1.com/directories/
The DR1 Directory Page section is handled by Evelyn Paiewonsky, who personally assists hotels in adding their property to the most comprehensive portal for information on the Dominican Republic, DR1. For more information, contact Evelyn at [email protected]

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