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January 30, 2007
  • Sky Dive Samana
  • No visa for travel
  • New entry to Pomier Caves
  • Travel stats
Sky Dive Samana
Exotic Sky Adventures is promoting its two-week skydiving packages for a week in Samana. The event is being held at the Portillo Beach Resort, now under Bahia Principe management, to take advantage of the adjacent airstrip. The Dominican Air Force is cooperating and providing aircraft from which the skydivers will jump. Some 40 international skydivers are expected to color the sky above Samana with their parachutes over an eight-day period. The general public is invited to make a Tandem Skydive while the operation is on. This is an introduction to freefall, where no experience is required. A professional skydiving instructor will take novices for an unforgettable experience jumping out of an aircraft at 13,000 feet, falling at 180 km/hr and landing softly after a five-minute flight under the parachute. The cost for a tandem skydive is US$300.
For more information, write to Karina Willerup at [email protected]
No visa for travel
The Ministry of Tourism clarified that the rules have not changed and that foreign legal residents in the United States only need to purchase a tourist card to enter the DR. The US government now requires that they have a passport to re-enter the US, but the Dominican government has not changed entry requirements. The clarification comes after the Dominican consulate in Miami required that foreigners pay US$115 for a visa to travel to the country. As reported in dominicanoshoy.com, the new charge affected 90 tourists’ travel plans who were planning to fly in on American Airlines last Sunday, as well as others who were traveling to the DR on board Spirit Airlines from Fort Lauderdale.
New entry to Pomier Caves
The Yestermorrow Design Build School of Vermont, USA, the educational tourism operator Tours, Trips, Treks & Travel and Espeleogrupo de Santo Domingo, Inc., the leading cave exploration group in the DR. with funding from Marmotech, SA, Dominicana de Cales, SA and Cemex Dominican have built a new entrance to the cave system that is believed to contain the largest collection of rupestrian art in the Caribbean. Professors Kyle Bergman, a New York architect, Sandy Lawton, Yestermorrow’s architect and builder in Vermont and Abreu Vilomar from the PUCMM architecture school worked with eight students from the US and three Dominican students to build the entrance. Yestermorrow runs intensive hands-on courses in sustainable design, building, woodworking and traditional crafts. Bergman described the new entrance as a way of creating a transition between both worlds. “The idea is when you park there is a threshold and you walk through a curving wall, inspired by the cave and the curtain-walls in caves. It tells you that you are moving from our normal world to a very special world,” he says.
See www.yestermorrow.org/courses/wbc/dominican.htm
Travel stats
In a report released today, Franco Uccelli of Bear Stearns brokerage firm highlights the good times for Dominican Tourism. He points out that the most recent statistics indicate that after climbing by 7.9% in 2005, the country’s stay-over arrivals were again up 7.4% in 2006, reaching almost 4.4 million visitors. Non-resident foreign tourist arrivals recorded a 8.2% increase during 2006, to total more than 3.3 million. Visitors from North America accounted for 48.6% of total non-resident foreign arrivals (US tourists represented 30.2%) and European tourists for 42.7%. He highlights the fact that tourism remains a key contributor to growth and employment, as well as a key generator of foreign exchange for the country.
Uccelli points out that measured in terms of its contribution to GDP, the tourism sector expanded by 8.4% during the first nine months of 2006. Central Bank statistics show that tourism is estimated to have contributed more than US$3.75 billion in foreign exchange revenues to the Dominican economy last year, up from US$3.5 billion in 2005.
Uccelli says that with an aggressive international marketing campaign in place, sizeable investments in tourism infrastructure and the sector’s healthy FDI pipeline all bode well for the country’s continued preeminence as one of the Caribbean’s premier tourist destinations.
See www.bancentral.gov.do/publicaciones_economicas2.asp?docu=...

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