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September 5, 2006
  • DR popular in Francophone Canada
  • Charles Muller to Madrid
  • Santo Domingo-San Jose, Costa Rica flight
  • Volunteering vacations growing
DR popular in Francophone Canada
The Ministry of Tourism has announced that discount vacation tour operator SunWing has increased its operations to the DR, driven by the increase in Canadian market demand for Dominican vacations. The company has increased its charter flights to the DR to 19 flights, up from 12. As of this winter, the company will add seven flights from French-speaking areas of Canada (Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa) to Punta Cana, La Romana and Puerto Plata destinations. Susana Rosa, director of the Dominican Tourism Office in Montreal explained that a month after the company began working with the Quebec market, the company announced the increasing demand for Dominican vacations had led them to offer seven flights from French-speaking areas to Dominican destinations. She forecast a successful winter season and attributed this to the consistent promotion work by the Ministry of Tourism in that market. She said that the Montreal office is helping train regional tour operators and travel agents on how to sell the Dominican Republic.
Charles Muller to Madrid
Charles Muller, who became well known to Dominicans for his persistent efforts during the opening of the Santo Domingo Hilton, is moving on to oversee the opening of the five-star 285-room Hilton Madrid Airport. The hotel, located 10 minutes from the center of Madrid city and only three minutes from Barajas airport is scheduled for a spring 2007 opening. Most importantly, it is only five minutes from the Centro de Exhibicion IFEMA, site of the annual travel show, FITUR, popular with those marketing Dominican hotels. For future reservations and to keep in touch, his e-mail address remains as [email protected]
Just arrived to take over Muller’s post in Santo Domingo, Hector Concari is a 20-year Hilton veteran who has worked in hotels in Central America and Venezuela. His most recent posts were general manager at the Hilton Barquisimeto and Hilton Caracas.
Santo Domingo-San Jose, Costa Rica flight
Condor, the German airline, has added a Santo Domingo stopover to its flight from Frankfurt to San Jose, Costa Rica. The Dominican Republic, a midway point, will benefit by acquiring a direct connection to San Jose, Costa Rica from Las Americas International Airport (Santo Domingo). The company will be flying twice a week using Boeing 767-300 ER craft. Flights may be booked from 9 November through 19 March 2007. Copa also provides a direct link to Central America with its daily flights to Panama from Santo Domingo and Santiago.
Volunteering vacations growing
Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown/Yankelovich travel consulting firm reports that the category of “volunteer vacations” is gaining in numbers. The company reports that while the overwhelming majority of Americans will spend time with friends or family, or enjoy some long-overdue rest and relaxation vacations, a growing number of Americans are using their vacation time to help less fortunate people or support a humanitarian cause. The YPBY National Leisure Travel Monitor™ is now measuring this emerging trend and the results have been “quite remarkable” – or a full 6% of active leisure travelers. “When extrapolated to the population of all active leisure travelers in America, this represents an impressive number of vacations…and vacationers.”
YPBY explains: “So what’s driving this elevated sense of obligation on the part of time-impoverished Americans? The answer is growing social activism and a corresponding belief that the actions of just one person can, in fact, make a real difference to those in need.”
According to the bulletin, there are now over 150 organizations that facilitate such vacations, and several of these work in the Dominican Republic.
YPBY points out that the typical American adult will take four vacations in a year, and one of these now may well be a volunteer vacation.
Business Week reported on the emerging trend in June 2006 and used the Dominican Republic vacations as an example.
See http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/jun2006/pi20060629_151648.htm

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