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January 24, 2006
  • DR is Family Destination of the Year
  • Sun Village to open in Juan Dolio
  • Tourism statistics
  • Dominican supermodels in X Men 3
  • La Vega Carnival
DR is Family Destination of the Year
The New York Times has chosen the Dominican Republic as its Family Destination of the Year. In its 22 January Sunday edition, the influential daily publishes a story by Caren Osten Gerszberg where she says that the country is becoming increasingly better known for its "growing number of family-centered resorts with activities ranging from windsurfing to world-class golf, to snorkeling to teenage-only lounges." For the New York market, it says that there are numerous nonstop flights available. The article highlights the all-inclusive resorts as made for family vacations, and mentions options at Casa de Campo in La Romana, Club Med in Punta Cana, Victoria Resort and Ocean World in Puerto Plata.
See http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/01/22/travel/22family.html
Sun Village to open in Juan Dolio
The Canadian group that operates the Sun Village Resort & Spa in Cofresi, Puerto Plata will be opening a sister hotel in Juan Dolio, along the southeastern coast of the country. The Elliot Group has taken over the former Melia Caribe and will be reopening it as a 240-room hotel with casino, and access to golf in the area. The hotel is located on the restaurant and hotel boulevard on Juan Dolio's beach and golf area. Reyson Pimentel and Lorenzo Arranz, spokesmen for Sun Village Resort & Spa, also told El Caribe that their Cofresi Sun Village would be opening 126 luxury suites this March. This is in addition to a 5,000 square meter spa currently under construction in the Puerto Plata hotel. The executives made the announcement while attending Marketplace, the leading hotel booking event, in Puerto Rico.
Tourism statistics
Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez has revealed that the tourism sector contributed US$3.5 billion in receipts last year, 12% more than the estimated US$3.1 billion in receipts in 2004. He attributed the increase in revenue to the boom in US travelers. Last year a record 1,010,012 tourists visited from the United States, the first time the million mark is surpassed. He commented that US travel is up 33% compared to 2004, with 933,017 air arrivals.
Canadians were the second most important travel market, with 427,074. France was third with 309,529 travelers, followed by Spain (255,675 travelers) and Germany (234,368), as reported in Listin Diario. Travel from European countries totaled 1,395,409 visitors last year, up from 1,287,784 in 2004, for a 45% increase.
Felix Jimenez added that the government would be investing US$22 million in promotion and advertising abroad this year. He said that of the funds, US$17 million would be assigned to the Canadian, United Kingdom and United States markets.
Punta Cana continues to lead as the main port of entry, with 47% of all arrivals, followed by Las Americas with 20% of arrivals, and Puerto Plata with 19% of arrivals.
Dominican supermodels in X Men 3
Two Dominican supermodels will be starring in X Men III, the eagerly anticipated comic book film. They are Omahyra Mota who will play the role of Stacy X, an attractive mutant, and Dania Ramirez as Callisto, the mutant morlock leader.
X-Men 3 is the third film adaptation of the X-Men superhero comic books. Directed by Brett Ratner of Rush Hour, it is scheduled for release on 26 May 2006.
La Vega Carnival
It's carnival time in the Dominican Republic and if you have not been to La Vega, be sure to visit on any Sunday in February, starting 5 February. This year there will be a special parade on Monday, 27 February, Independence Day. While the climax is the last Sunday of the month when all the costumed-demons are out in force, every one of the preparatory runs on the previous Sundays is about just as much fun. The groups run down main streets, dancing, with parades of bladder-blasting pranksters trying to land a wallop on any viewer who may be in their way. Spectators are just as much of the show, as they dodge the diablos cojuelos.
The La Vega carnival brings together the largest number of dance and prank-making groups as well as the most elaborate costumes. What makes their costumes different from others around the country is that they have mastered techniques that allow the papier-mache masks to make movements and show teeth, giving them a more menacing effect.
The La Vega carnival is a joint effort by the Union Carnavalesca Vegana since 1988.

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