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February 7, 2006
  • Exit poll findings released
  • Finding out about the DR on the Internet
  • WTO releases 2005 annual barometer
  • NH Hotels of Spain invests in Cap Cana
  • El Catey Airport to open this year
  • DR gets good report in Canadian press
Exit poll findings released
The Central Bank is circulating a report on results of the exit poll of non-resident foreign visitors to the Dominican Republic. The document, Encuesta de Opinion, Actitud y Motivacion a Extranjeros No Residentes 2004 is available from the Bank's Departamento de Cuentas Nacionales y Estadisticas Economicas. Overall, airport, hotel, restaurant and entertainment services were described as excellent or very good by more than 60% of tourists polled.
Finding out about the DR on the Internet
The Central Bank's recently released 2004 exit poll results looks into how tourists find out about DR vacations. The results show that way back in 2004, most tourists in the US found out about the DR through travel agents (38%), followed by friends and relatives (20%), and then the Internet (5%). Far fewer got their information from newspapers (2%) and magazines (3%). In the case of Canadian tourists, 44% relied on travel agents, 24% on friends and 6% on the Internet, versus 5% on magazines and 2% on newspapers.
With German travelers, 53% came through travel agencies, 19% through friends, and 8% through the Internet, with 5% mentioning magazines and 5% newspapers as their source of information. British tourists also relied on travel agents (41), friends 31%, and the Internet (9%) compared to 4% magazines and 2% newspapers.
French tourists breakdown was 46% travel agencies, 20% friends, 14% Internet, with 3% magazines and newspapers.
In the case of the Finnish market, 50% heard about the country through travel agencies, 31% from the Internet and 13% from friends.
It can be expected that the Internet figures for 2005 poll results will be much higher, as the media increases its importance as a leading media for reaching travelers around the world.
WTO releases 2005 annual barometer
The World Tourism Organization recently released its 2005 statistical report. The report shows that the Caribbean received 19.2 million international tourist arrivals, or 14.4% of total international tourist arrivals to the Americas in 2005. Growth for 2006 in the Americas is forecast to be a modest 3%.
In its commentary on results for 2005 in the Caribbean, the Barometer comments that inadequate airlift continues to be a problem in the region. Nevertheless, it mentions that arrivals to the Dominican Republic grew by a significant 7%, due in large part to the boom from the US market that surpassed the million mark. It also comments that a 40% appreciation of the Dominican peso over 18 months undermined profit margins for resort operators, with the demand from the US and Canada softening in the last half of 2005.
See http://www.dr1.com/travelnews/archive/2006/WTOBarom06_1_en.pdf
NH Hotels of Spain invests in Cap Cana
Grupo NH Hoteles of Spain announces they have signed an association with Cap Cana on the East Coast of the Dominican Republic for the 50-50% joint ownership and development of a luxury resort property. NH Hoteles will build a 90-room boutique hotel with a gourmet restaurant on the beach and 350 luxury apartments. The joint venture calls for a US$100 million investment.
Cap Cana is located 10 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport. Jack Nicklaus is building a signature golf course, Punta Espada, which is due to open later this year. NH Hoteles operates the Sotogrande golf and residential tourism development in Spain, in addition to being ranked third in business hotels in Europe.
See http://www.nh-hotels.com/portal/page?_pageid=9,244206...
El Catey Airport to open this year
Yolanda Manan, public relations spokeswoman for Aerodom, the airports management authority, has announced that the new airport for Samana at El Catey would be opening this November. She said that they are expecting to open with flights from Europe and the United States headed for Samana. She explained that Aerodom has invested US$45 million. The runway is 3,000 meters long and 45 meters wide. She explained that the two-storey terminal would have the capacity to handle 1,500 passengers per hour, in arrivals and departures. She said that while they have pledged to deliver the airport to the government by February 2007, they will be ready in mid 2006 and operations are due to begin in November 2006. Aerodom manages the Las Americas (Santo Domingo), Gregorio Luperon (Puerto Plata), Arroyo Barril (Samana), Maria Montez (Barahona) and Joaquin Balaguer (Isabela) airports.
For recent photos on the airport construction, see http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46873...
DR gets good report in Canadian press
The Dominican Republic has received a good year-end review in the Canadian travel press. Laura Robin, writing for CanWest News service reviews different destinations in the DR that she feels are of interest to Canadian tourists. The report looks into the growing popularity of the Dominican Republic for Canadian tourists.
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/travel/story.html?...

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