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November 8, 2005
  • Surf Meeting in Cabarete
  • New offices for Go Fun/Sosua Cabarete
  • Bad weather benefits DR
  • Tai Chi seminar in Las Galeras
  • WTTC and DR tourism statistics
Surf Meeting in Cabarete
The Puerto Plata Surfing Association will be inaugurating its headquarters at Playa El Encuentro in Cabarete, this coming 19-20 November. The event is seen as a landmark for the sport. During the event, plaques will be presented in recognition of the people who have supported the sport unconditionally. And there will be a competition, with the international participants, that will count towards points to choose the best of the year in the longboard, women, bodyboard, masters, juniors and open categories. The winners will then be eligible for the Dominican team for the Pan American Games to be held in Peru in January 2006.
The Puerto Plata Surfing Association has also organized surfing competitions in the morning, kitesurfing competitions in the afternoon, live music with two bands for both days, a bikini contest, raffles, and more. There will be free transportation nightly from Cabarete beach and Playa Encuentro beach. For more information, see http://www.gofun.org
New offices for Go Fun/Sosua Cabarete
The Sosua & Cabarete Hotel & Restaurant Association (Ashoresoca) announces the opening of its new offices at Calle Pedro Clisante, Plaza Morua Mai, Office 5. The telephone numbers for the leading Sosua & Cabarete tourism organization have not changed.
To contact the organization, Tel.809-571-3904 / Fax. 809-571-3440, e-mail: [email protected] and the Sosua Development Association: tel. 809-571-2383.
Bad weather benefits DR
Enrique Eduardo de Marchena, president of the National Association of Hotels & Restaurants has said that the DR has benefited from the seasonal cancellations hotels in Mexico have suffered following the devastation caused by Hurricane Wilma. The hurricane affected the major tourism destinations of Cancun and Riviera Maya, and tourists have had to be relocated. Many are choosing the Dominican Republic. De Marchena told Clave Digital that at least 5,000-6,000 tourists were placed at hotel destinations in the east and northern regions of the country. He forecast that Cancun and Riviera Maya would not be fully operational until January or February 2006, which gives Caribbean hotels the opportunity to benefit from 80,000 additional room nights this winter season. He said that regardless of how unfortunate Wilma has been, it has been a window of opportunity for the Dominican tourism sector. Nevertheless, he said that destinations throughout the Caribbean will be competing to attract the Mexico-bound sun-seeking tourist and that Dominicans needed to do their homework. He said that the unexpected influx of tourists came as a godsend to the north coast, where hotel occupancy increased overnight from 60 to 80%. "We have to reverse the trend in Dominican tourism for loss of competitiveness and profitability and use this opportunity caused by the unfortunate events in the Mexican Caribbean that breathes new air into the DR tourist industry," he highlighted. He said that before the hurricane, there were expectations that tourism would fall by 17% this year, which could have generated a 12% increase in unemployment in the sector.
Tai Chi seminar in Las Galeras
A Taiji Quan (Tai chi Chuan) Chen style seminar will take place at Hotel Moorea Beach, in Las Galeras, Samana from the 27-30 November. The event is being organized by Professor Francesc Fabrega, who represents the International Taiji Quan Kung Fu Association (ITKA). The seminar will be led by the Master Fianfranco Pace, who is coming from Italy for the event.
Master Gianfranco Pace has been teaching his art around the world for 15 years and this is his first visit to the Dominican Republic. He has studied Taiji Quan in China for many years and studies privately with Master Gou Hon Hai.
The activities will take place in the morning and the afternoon, for a total of five hours per day, at the Hotel Moorea Beach in Las Galeras. The event is open to all, from beginners to experienced practitioners. This is the first seminar of three. Two others are scheduled for the end of March (28/29/30) and in May (15th / 20th of May).
Hotel Moorea Beach is offering a special accommodation package for the seminar, including room + breakfast + lunch + dinner. See http://dr1.com/directories/hotels/hotel_moorea_beach.shtml for contact information and to book the package.
WTTC and DR tourism statistics
Following an important discussion and debate of 2005 Travel & Tourism results and forecasts among leading industry players in the Dominican Republic, the World Travel & Tourism Council and its research partner Oxford Economic Forecasting has issued the following details of its research in order to address and resolve misinterpretations and misrepresentations of the situation in the country.
The bottom line is simple, the WTTC statement explains. Although there has been a significant increase in Dominican Republic Travel & Tourism as calculated in terms of traffic and visitor exports expressed in current US dollars, the recent appreciation of the local currency against the US dollar together with domestic price trends have meant that growth rates expressed in constant US dollar and local currency terms have taken significant hits. Expressed in yet another way, because of the appreciation of the Dominican Republic peso, which has been exacerbated by inflation, inbound visitors have lost 30% of their spending power, causing significant hardship for the local travel & tourism industry.
WTTC explains that these declines are what have been reported in the WTTC 2005 Tourism Satellite Account Research for Dominican Republic Travel & Tourism. The research forecast that the DR in 2005 is expected to generate US$7 billion of economic activity (Total Demand). Likewise, The DR's Travel & Tourism Economy (direct and indirect impact) in 2005 is expected to account for 22.9% of GDP and 696,272 jobs (19.8% of total employment). Travel & tourism in the DR is expected to decline by 14.4% in 2005 and to grow by 4.2% per annum, in real terms, between 2006 and 2015.
In the WTTC World Ranking, the Dominican Republic's travel & tourism economy is ranked number 63 in absolute size worldwide, number 28 in relative contribution to national economies, number 117 in long-term (10-year) growth, amongst 174 countries.
WTTC highlights that in reviewing the WTTC's Tourism Satellite Accounting research for the Dominican Republic government officials, industry leaders and the media should know that the growth results and forecasts for the Dominican Republic, expressed in constant US dollars, are significantly affected by the very sharp swings in the exchange rate since mid-2002 and the lagged response in domestic prices. In particular, in 2003 the average exchange rate fell to RD$30.8/US$ from an average of RD$18.6/US$ in 2002, and then it depreciated further to over RD$50/US$ early in 2004. Since then it has appreciated equally dramatically to under RD$29, before in recent weeks selling off to over RD$33/US$. The sharp depreciation boosted prices in 2004, with inflation gradually falling as the exchange rate re-strengthened. As a result, the changes in the real exchange rate have been significant in the past three years and these changes are reflected in the WTTC/OEF estimates for real tourism demand, GDP and employment.
According to the latest World Tourism Organization Barometer, visitor numbers rose 7% year-on-year in the first 8 months of 2005, resulting in a 17.8% year-on-year increase in US dollar tourism receipts in the first half of the year. The WTTC/OEF forecast was for a 10% rise in nominal dollar visitor receipts for the year as a whole, with overall tourism GDP up 24% in current price dollar terms. However, given the exchange rate appreciation discussed above, that 17.8% rise in US dollar receipts translates into a drop in local currency terms of almost 20% even before price rises (inflation) are considered. At the end of the day, the decline in tourism demand and GDP in real terms (US$ constant prices, reflecting dollar purchasing power in 1990 prices) could well turn out to be greater than that forecast in January by WTTC/OEF.

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