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September 26, 2006
  • The Russians are coming
  • Making baseball history
  • Megamerengazo 2006 at Altos de Chavon
  • 2007 holidays in the DR
The Russians are coming
The Ministry of Tourism is focusing on the healthy growth of the Russian travel market for Dominican tourism. Russian travel was up by 14.38% in the first eight months of the year, with 10,516 tourist arrivals from that far-off destination, 1,330 more than the total for last year.
Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez traveled to Leisure Fair 2006 in Moscow, where he met with representatives of leading Russian tour operators and airlines, including Transaero Airlines, South Cross; Capital Tours, General Tez Tour, General Forthtour, that participate in the Moscow-Punta Cana charter flight. There is talk about extending the charter beyond the winter months, and adding flights to the Puerto Plata and Samana airports.
The Minister said that Transaero has also shown an interest in using the DR as a hub for southbound flights to Brazil and Argentina.
Jimenez mentioned that the Ukrainian market has also grown, and the Russian and Ukrainian markets combined provided 18,000 passengers in 2006. During the fair, Jimenez also met with tour operators from Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan that have shown an interest in the DR as a tourist destination.
The Ministry of Tourism also reported that Bernadita Abbott, Deputy Minister of Tourism for the North Coast, accompanied the minister. Also representing the DR were representatives from the companies Ninfa Tours, Travel Service Rusia, Otium Tours, Caribero, Club Caribe, Princess Hotels, Punta Cana Resort, Cap Cana and Altabella Hotels, among others.
As part of the fair's activities, the Ministry of Tourism held a dinner-conference at the Hotel Marriott Tverskaya in Moscow. The Minister was accompanied by Deputy Minister Bernardita Abbott, Petra Cruz, director for Europe, and Galina Lyssenko, director for the Russian Federation.
Tourism Minister Jimenez also pointed out that the country has attracted a further 6,000 tourists from other Eastern European countries.
Making baseball history
Major leaguer Albert Pujols has established himself among baseball's elite superstars. A report by USA Today points out that the 26-year old Dominican superstar is putting up numbers that can only be compared to those of Hall of Famers, and that continued success by Pujols could land him a spot in Cooperstown. Pujols has had an incredible season in 2006, but it has been his numbers over the first six seasons that have been most amazing. At the tender age of 26, and as of Sunday, 24 September, Pujols has more homeruns, 247, than homerun king Hank Aaron had at the same age (219), more runs scored, 742, than all-time leader Ricky Henderson had at 26 (732), more hits, 1,149, than hit king Pete Rose had at 26 (899), and more runs batted in, 750, than Hank Aaron had at the same stage of his career (743). Pujols is the pride of his team, the Saint Louis Cardinals, and the Dominican community in the United States.
As of Sunday, 24 September, Pujols, who was born in Santo Domingo but grew up in the US, was averaging .329, with 129 RBIs and 46 homeruns this year.
Megamerengazo 2006 at Altos de Chavon
The Altos de Chavon Amphitheater presents "Megamerengazo 2006", featuring several top Dominican merengue stars, on Saturday, 30 September. Tickets cost RD$600 and VIP RD$1,600, and are available at Casa de Campo. For more information, call 809 523-8698 or write to [email protected]
2007 holidays in the DR
There will be seven Dominican long weekends for 2007/2008, including 1 January 2008.
These are Duarte Day (January), Easter (April), Labor Day (April), Restoration Day (August), Constitution Day (November), Christmas (December) and New Year (December-January) long weekends. For a full updated list of holidays in the Dominican Republic, see http://dr1.com/travel/prepare/holidays.shtml

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