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July 26, 2005
  • Punta Cana is 6th in ASTA summer hot spots survey
  • De Niro on site inspection
  • A bike tour
  • Asonahores Trade Show
Punta Cana is 6th in ASTA summer hot spots survey
The American Society of Travel Agents has again included Punta Cana among the top 10 spots for international travel in its summer hot spots survey. The report, issued 14 July, highlights that despite the terrorist bombings, they expect bookings to continue strong, and on an upward trend. Punta Cana is featured in sixth place, after Cancun and Jamaica. The Bahamas is listed in 9th place.
According to the survey, the most popular destination for US summer travel was London with 17.4% of the votes. While the poll was taken before the bombings, ASTA reports there have been few cancellations for travel to London. Rome followed with (14.2%), then Cancun (11.3%) and Paris (10.2%). All four of these cities have remained in the top four for the past four years. Western Europe had the strongest overall showing, with Frankfurt, Florence and Amsterdam joining London, Rome and Paris in the top 10. And, warmer destinations such as Cancun, Jamaica and Punta Cana are also popular this summer, according to ASTA.
Cultural destinations seemed to prevail in the preference of US travelers. London, Rome, Paris and Florence, were featured in the top seven destinations with 43% compared to sun and sand destinations that in the top seven with 18%. Considering regions and countries, Italy surpassed Mexico in 2005 with 20.3 percent. Capturing 19 percent, Mexico remained popular, while the United Kingdom took a close third with 18.8 percent. France and the Caribbean trailed with 10.5 and 9.6 percent of the votes, respectively.
See http://www.asta.org/news/index.asp
De Niro on site inspection
Actor Robert de Niro was in Santo Domingo from Wednesday through Friday to complete an inspection of sites chosen for the filming later this year of the “The Good Shepherd.” The film tells the story of the CIA through the eyes of its former director, James Wilson. De Niro himself will play the older Wilson, while Matt Damon will play the younger Wilson. Also staring in the film is Angeline Jolie.
The past government and its successor have been very supportive of film companies chosing the DR. As a result, the DR has become increasingly popular as a film-making destination over the past two years. Films have included Lovewrecked (Randal Kleiser), The Lost City (Andy Garcia), and The Feast of the Goat (Mario Vargas Llosa), among others. Miami Vice is another Universal Studio films slated for filming in the DR this year.
A bike tour
Motorbike riders from Puerto Rico are coming to join Dominicans for the 1st Santo Domingo Bike Tour. The event will be a four-day caravan to view several of the attractions of the eastern and southeastern coasts of the country. It begins Thursday, 11 August and participants will stay in Punta Cana-Bavaro area hotels. Luis Aguasvivas, producer of the event, said that they seek to promote a friendly exchange among bike fans from the DR and Puerto Rico. The organizers will give out awards to the most attractive bikes (modern and antique categories — Choppers, Harleys, Cruisers and Sport Bikes). There will be exhibition of accessories and attire for bikers, shows, rock bands, tattoo and body piercing contests. On Friday, 12 August, the caravan leaves at 10 am with stops at Boca Chica beach, Hotel Decameron in Juan Dolio beach. Their final stop will be at Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, with the tour ending on Sunday, 14 August.
Asonahores Trade Show
The National Hotel & Restaurant Association (Asonahores) opens its annual trade show at the Dominican Fiesta exhibition hall this coming 31 August through 3 September. The event showcases a large selection of the leading tourism companies. Interested exhibitors should contact Asonahores calling 809 540-4676, faxing 809 540-6753 or writing to [email protected]

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