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March 21, 2006
  • DATE works
  • Hotel Embajador celebrates 50th year
  • Donatella Versace in Playa Dorada
  • Fashion night in Santo Domingo
  • Sting to perform in Chavon
DATE works
DATE (Dominican Annual Travel Exchange), the leading travel booking event for the Dominican Republic, will be held this coming 5-7 April, this time in Punta Cana on the eastern coast. The brand new convention area at the Paradisus Palma Real, one of the new "six-star" hotels opening in the area, is home base for the event that brings together selling hoteliers and buying tour operators. See http://dr1.com/directories/hotels/paradisus_palma_real.shtml
The international press is also coming for the event that is held each year to highlight what's new in the Dominican tourism industry. Last year, the event was held in Santo Domingo.
Arturo Villanueva, executive vice president of the National Hotel & Restaurant Association (Asonahores), organizers of the event, said that DATE had contributed to the marked increase in US travelers. Last year alone, over one million US travelers visited the DR, up from less than 300,000 when the event was created. DATE is in its seventh year. The first DATE was held in 1999 when Rafael Blanco Canto was president of Asonahores. International arrivals in general have grown 256% to the Dominican Republic since 1999, according to Asonahores.
In the past, Dominican hoteliers depended on booking travel in world travel fairs. Villanueva says that the development and success of DATE is an indication that tour operators recognize the Dominican tourism market as mature and consolidated. The event brings tour operators to the DR to meet with leading hoteliers and book travel.
Hotel Embajador celebrates 50th year
Ventura Serra, president of Occidental Hotels in the DR, and Gabriel Felip, global chairman of the Spanish-based hotel chain, were in Santo Domingo last week for the Embajador Hotel's 50th anniversary celebrations. The hotel was built in 1955 by the Dominican government and inaugurated on 12 February 1956 as an InterContinental Hotel. It featured a design by US architect Roy France, famous for his mid-20th century modern architectural style. France was commissioned to design the hotel after designing the legendary Casablanca Hotel in Miami Beach in 1949. For the evening, the management parked a black Cadillac that used to belong to the dictator Trujillo and a red Cadillac, property of his daughter, Angelita Trujillo. A photo exhibition by Miriam Calzada helped readers understand the importance of this city hotel, and a film about the hotel's history produced by Rene Fortunato was screened.
Donatella Versace in Playa Dorada
Fashion jet setter Donatella Versace was a guest at Casa Colonial, Playa Dorada's small luxury hotel. According to reports, she came with her two children, Allegra and Daniel. Casa Colonial was recently mentioned in Travel & Leisure's March issue as one of 12 hot spots for sun-seeking travel today. See http://dr1.com/directories/hotels/demo_gran_casa_colonial_VH.shtml
Fashion night in Santo Domingo
The Casandra awards evening is the Dominican equivalent of the Oscars awards ceremony, especially when it comes to fashion. Designer to the stars, Jorge Diep, Leonel Lirio (of Miss Universe fame) and Luis Menier are three designers who chose or are chosen by the showbiz celebrities to design the outfits that will be highlighted the next day in the press. The event is scheduled for the National Theater and will take place on Tuesday, 21 March starting at 8 pm. The event is being prepared to be primarily a TV extravaganza.
Sting to perform in Chavon
It's confirmed. Sting and his Broken Music Tour will perform at the 5,000 seat Altos de Chavon amphitheatre in La Romana this coming Wednesday, 26 April as part of his North American-Caribbean Tour that includes stopovers in Tobago, DR, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Broken Music Tour consists of Sting on bass in a four-piece band with long-time band mate, Dominic Miller on guitar, in addition to Lyle Workman (Beck, Frank Black) also on guitar and Josh Freese on drums.
Tickets go on sale in Santo Domingo on Monday, 27 March at the Verizon offices in Acropolis and Bella Vista Mall, and at branches of the Nacional Supermarket chain. This is the first time that Sting performs in the DR. Tickets will go for RD$2,000 general admission and RD$5,000 in VIP area. For more information, call Ivette Nouel, on 809 541-1275. Also see http://www.sting.com/news/news.php?uid=4477

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