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July 4, 2006
  • Cabarete kiteboard riding winners
  • Business side trips with the wife
  • World tourism trends
  • Plan to build up Puerto Plata's Malecon
  • Nick Faldo on new Westin course
Cabarete kiteboard riding winners
Kiteboarder Kevin Langeree of the Netherlands who is ranked second in the world, defeated Mikael Blomvall of Sweden and Aaron Hadlow (first ranked) of the United Kingdom to win the men's freestyle prize during the Cabarete leg of the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association world tour that ended on Sunday in Cabarete. Kristin Boese of Germany won the top women's freestyle prize. She defeated Ania Grzelinska of Poland, Bruna Kajiya of Brazil and Morgan Skiperdine of United States.
The highest placed Dominican competitors were Alex Gonzalez (fourth) and Susi Mai (7th women).
As usual, the big winner was Cabarete as host, with its great beach parties and hospitality.
See http://www.pkra.info/press/Cabarete/2006/day6/index.html
Business side trips with the wife
Business travelers are taking more personal time on either side of a business trip, according to a recent Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown/Yankelovich 2006 National Business Travel Monitor study. The research shows that attitudes towards this corporate perk favor mixing pleasure with business. YPBY data showed that 44% of active business travelers state that they "extend business trips for pleasure purposes" whenever they can (up from 40% last year). As many as seven out of ten did so at least once during the previous 12 months, compared to less than six out of ten in 2003. The research also shows that six out of ten (59%) business travelers are most likely to bring just their spouse. One out of seven (14%) invite along both their spouse and children (a significant decline from the 18% incidence recorded in 2005).
See http://pr.ypbr.com/agency/pcy/2006/06_06/web/
World tourism trends
The World Tourism Organization is circulating their half-year Tourism Barometer. The report analyses the first quarter performance of the world tourism industry. Statistics show that tourism continues strong. International tourist arrivals in the first four months of 2006 are estimated at 236 million worldwide, or some 10 million more than in the same period of 2005, for a 4.5% increase. The research showed that international tourism receipts in 2005 were US$682 billion, up US$49 billion from the previous year. These include money used to pay for accommodation, food and drink, transport in the country, fuel, entertainment and shopping, etc. The Americas (including the Caribbean) reported a 4.3% increase. The WTO points out that worldwide the increase in international tourist arrivals grew at a faster pace than receipts and attributes this to factors such as the still somewhat fragile recovery of the high-yield business tourism, a comparatively strong increase in short trips, very much stimulated by the attractive fares from low-cost airlines, and a shift towards destinations that offer good value for money.
The WTO points out that one of the main contributors to 2006's healthy tourism start is the strength of the air transport market. It reports that the emergence of more and more low-cost airlines around the world has been a major contributor to the growth in air transport, which has become accessible to a constantly rising share of the world population. It reports that regardless if oil prices remain high, more efficient aircraft are expected to help keep airfares down and thus stimulate continued growth in demand.
See http://www.dr1.com/travelnews/archive/2006/WTOBarom06_2_en.pdf
Plan to build up Puerto Plata's Malecon
The Ministry of Tourism has its eyes on building up Puerto Plata's Malecon. The Ministry announced that President Fernandez has issued Decree 221-06 that authorizes the construction of seven-floor towers on the city's seafront avenue. In the past, only four floor buildings were located there. Three hundred rooms per hectare are allowed. The Ministry says that the recovery of Long Beach, the town's 1.8-kilometer beach, will make Puerto Plata an attractive beach-city destination.
Nick Faldo on new Westin course
Golf course designer Nick Faldo was recently in the Dominican Republic to oversee construction of the Alto Verde course that is going up at the site of the new Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort, in the Macao area north of Punta Cana. This is an 18-hole championship Nick Faldo Signature Golf Course that comprises a multitude of golfing environments including spectacular Cliffside and ocean view holes set amidst tropical mangrove forest and challenging lake, marsh and lagoon water hazards. The course's signature hold will be the 18th, named "Dos Oraciones" (Two Prayers) since there are two long carries over the ocean to reach the green. The course will be managed by renowned golf management experts, Troon Golf.
"I'm extremely excited about the design opportunities offered by the site at Roco Ki," said Nick Faldo following his last visit. "Aesthetically speaking, this will be a highly memorable golfing experience as it is a truly stunning piece of land and the holes offer some breathtaking views. I think the layout will also stand out for its strategic qualities. Utilizing the wonderful topography, we have designed a real 'thinking man's golf course.' Our layout at The Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort will be well-balanced and full of shot-making options, allowing players of every ability to enjoy a round of golf. I believe it will inspire, challenge and delight in equal measure," he commented.
The Westin will be the first North American branded resort in Punta Cana when it opens in October 2007. The resort will be managed by Westin Hotels & Resorts, the upscale brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. It comprises 352 guest accommodations.
For more information, write to David H. Krech at [email protected]

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