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December 19, 2006
  • More tourists
  • JICA and eco tourism
  • Delta stands behind DR
  • Viva Wyndham 10th anniversary
More tourists
Tourist arrivals are on the rise. Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez, quoting Central Bank tourism statistics, explains that between January and October 3,577,186 tourists visited the country and that between November and December the figure is sure to surpass four million. Jimenez explained that of that total, 536,277 were in fact non-resident Dominicans who came to the country to visit and that 25% of non-resident Dominicans stay in hotels when they visit.
In related news, El Caribe writes that tourism revenues exceeded US$3.75 billion in 2006, US$233 million more than in 2005 when revenues from tourism were US$3.51 billion. Tourism is the main base of the Dominican economy. The amount of non-resident tourists has also increased by 8.16% while the amount of Dominican tourists increased by 4.17%. The Tourism Ministry has received US$12 million from the US$10 tourist cards from November 2005 to November 2006.
JICA and eco tourism
The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Tourism and the Technical Secretary of the Presidency have signed an agreement to help draw up the National Ecotourism Development Strategic Plan for the Dominican Republic. The plan aims to reduce poverty in areas of the country where ecotourism may be an option. The plan will be drafted over two years and is funded by an initial donation of US$3 million.
JICA will study possibilities for ecotourism in the country and will evaluate 86 different areas. JICA director in the DR Kiyoshi Yoshimoto says that the agreement will reinforce overall tourism for the country. Environment Minister Max Puig says that the Dominican Republic hosts four million tourists each year and that 700,000 visited the country's national parks in 2005. He says that protected areas are a major draw for international tourism.
Delta stands behind DR
Executives at Delta Airlines recognizes the Dominican Republic's economic and tourist growth and is commending the country for this progress. Miguel Lopez, director of regional sales for Central America and the Caribbean and Albert Porragas, commercial director for Delta Airlines Dominican Republic were in the country on the occasion of the launch of the new Puerto Plata-Atlanta route on 15 December. Delta began operations in the DR in 2004 with flights to Santo Domingo from John F. Kennedy, and has continuously expanded its flights here. It flies into the Las Americas, Punta Cana, Santiago and Puerto Plata airports from John F. Kennedy in New York and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta.
Viva Wyndham 10th anniversary
Viva Wyndham Resorts are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. The company, founded in December 1996, went on to expand into the Riviera Maya in Mexico and Grand Bahamas, Bahamas. The company's founder, Ettore Colussi created the brand along with his Dominican business partner Rafael Blanco Canto after several years of successfully operating the Club Dominicus in Bayahibe area, based on offering a combination of Dominican and Italian joie de vivre, good food and entertainment, and excellent beach activities with comfortable accommodations. Today, Viva Wyndham Resorts has eight all-inclusive hotels with more than 2,500 rooms. Viva Wyndham resorts in the DR are Viva Wyndham Tangerine with 221 rooms in Cabarete, Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada at Playa Dorada with 204 rooms, Viva Wyndham Samana with 218 rooms at Cozon, Samana on the north east coast. On the eastern coast, in Bayahibe, the company runs the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach with 350 rooms and the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace with 330 rooms.
In Mexico, the hotel has the Viva Wyndham Maya with 480 rooms and the Viva Wyndham Azteca with 270 rooms, both at Riviera Maya. In Bahamas, they have the Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach in Grand Bahamas, Bahamas.
Viva Wyndham Resorts have spearheaded environmental programs, and have established themselves as a major driving force in securing Green Globe and Blue Flag international environmental certifications for the Bayahibe area.

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