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June 14, 2005
  • New ecotourism center for Bayahibe
  • Gastronomical Festival
  • DR promotional films on airlines
  • Vacation Planner 2005
New ecotourism center for Bayahibe
The La Romana & Bayahibe Hotel Association and the Ministry of Environment will be working together this year to build the Ecotourism Center of Padre Nuestro, in the National Park of the East. The center promises to become one of the better ecotourism attractions of the country. A visitor center will be created, as well as ecological trails to the springs. Visitors will then have access to view endemic species, observe birds, butterflies and animals that live in the wild. Samples of pre Hispanic cave art will also be on display in the many caves around the springs. Tourists will be able to snorkel in a selection of springs located in caves, and one of the highlights of the center will be a swim in an underwater archaeological museum that will be recreated on the bottom of a subterranean lake.
Simon Suarez, president of the Association of Hotels of La Romana and Bayahibe signed for the private sector and Environment Minister Max Puig signed for the government during a ceremony held at the Viva Dominicus Palace Hotel. The facility will be open to the public next year.
The Padre Nuestro ecotourism center will be built in the midst of the Valley of La Sabila, an outstanding natural formation across the Bayahibe geological fault. Crystal clear water springs that supply water to the Bayahibe area originate at this site. The La Romana & Bayahibe Hotel Association had the vision to relocate the community that lived in the area of the springs to a new town built in the nearby area of Benedicto. Many who lived in shacks, now have their property titles to their own cement houses with running water, electricity, sewage installations in an area that has its own school, community center, paved streets with sidewalks. The association had the vision, and was supported by funding from the US Agency for International Development, contributions from the Dominican government, and Codespa, a Spanish non-governmental organization.
The agreement for the park is expected to serve as a model for collaboration between the private tourism sector and the Ministry of Environment. The Dominican Institute for Integral Development (IDDI) will be implementing the project that will be funded by the Association of Hotels of Bayahibe and FIPA/USAID.
Gastronomical Festival
The Ministry of Tourism announces the celebration of the country’s leading culinary competition this coming Tuesday, 21 June and Wednesday, 22 June at the Salon Las Carabelas of the Hotel V Centenario Inter-Continental. The Gastronomy Festival is sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, the National Hotel & Restaurants Association and its Ladies Committee, the Association of Hotels of Santo Domingo, Association of Chefs of the Dominican Republic, and Caribbean Traveling Network, CTN, Channel 30, Telecable Tricom.
Organized by Simon Romero, the event seeks to stimulate the creativeness of chefs in the Dominican Republic and that of their work teams.
On Tuesday, the judges will choose the best dishes in the categories of sancocho, appetizers, corn and salted dishes, meats, Norwegian codfish, Dominican cuisine, rices, and sweets and pastries.
On Wednesday, the evening is dedicated to soups and stews, salads, pastas, poultry, fish and seafood, corn and sweet dishes, Dominican sweets.
The rules stipulate that participants can enter up to four dishes per variety. Judges rule on the first, second and third prize, with a special award to the best presentation.
For the 2005 edition, a RD$20,000 award and trophy will be presented to a dish prepared with beer, in the name of the Dominican Association of Beer Producers (Adoface). Likewise, Mercasid is donating RD$20,000 for the dish considered most creative by the judges. Mercasid is also contributing a RD$30,000 award to the chef of the hotel that receives the most first, second or third place awards in the contest.
Winners will be announced every evening at 9:30 pm. The deadline for their vote is 8 pm, time when the general public purchasing admission tickets to the event will enter for tasting.
Registered already for the event are the Hotel Embajador, Quality Hotel, Melia Hotel, Hodelpa Gran Almirante, Ocean Bavaro hotels, Hilton Santo Domingo and Restaurant Palmito Gourmet.
DR promotional films on airlines
The Ministry of Tourism has arranged for the showing of four-minute long documentary films on the Dominican Republic on board several airlines flying to the DR. These include Air Canada and Air Transat from Canada; Lan Chile and Copa Airlines from Latin American destinations; Continental and United Airlines from the United States. From Europe, Air France, Condor, Lauda Air, Iberia and Air Europa will be participating in the program.
Upon announcing the program, Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez said that two videos have been prepared, one on the North Coast (Puerto Plata) and another on the East Coast (Punta Cana). These will feature the attractions of the destinations, so that the passengers on board can be familiar with the attractions prior to their arrival. Jimenez said that the Ministry has coordinated for promotions in the airline magazines, also.
Vacation Planner 2005
The National Hotel & Restaurant Association is launching its 2005 Vacation Planner this coming Wednesday, 15 June at the Santo Domingo Melia Hotel at 7 pm. The Vacation Planner is the leading tourism-related brochure on the Dominican Republic. Some 120,000 copies have been printed — 90,000 in English, 15,000 in Spanish and 15,000 in French.
The 2005 content is all new, and was prepared for the Vacation Planner by Dolores Vicioso, editorial director of dr1.com.
Vicioso explains that the Planner was originally launched in 1994 when there were 30,000 hotel rooms and 1.5 million visitors. Now that the country received three million visitors in 2004 and has over 60,000 hotel rooms over a wide geographical span of clearly defined destinations, the format was changed to zero in on the country area by area. The publication is aimed at both the independent traveler and those coming with vacation packages.
Copies are available through the National Hotel & Restaurant Association at Edificio La Cumbre, Av. Tiradentes, Naco, Santo Domingo, Tel. 809 540-4676, email Mayra Urena at Asonahores at [email protected]
Abroad copies are also available at the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Tourism offices in Europe by writing to the offices located in Brussels ([email protected]), Paris ([email protected]), Frankfurt ([email protected]), Milan ([email protected]), Madrid ([email protected]), Stockholm ([email protected]), London ([email protected]), St. Petersburg ([email protected]).
In the United States, contact the Chicago office ([email protected]), Miami ([email protected]), or New York offices ([email protected])
In Canada: Copies can be secured through the Montreal ([email protected]) and Toronto tourism offices ([email protected]).
In Latin America: Contact Buenos Aires ([email protected]), Santiago de Chile ([email protected]), Bogota ([email protected]), Caracas ([email protected]) or Puerto Rico ([email protected])

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