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February 6, 2007
  • New city attraction
  • Dream Project benefit in Cabarete
  • New Year resolutions for hoteliers
  • World tourism trends report
New city attraction
Presidential Guard chief Pedro Antonio Caceres Chestaro has announced new procedures for the guards at the entrance to the Presidential Palace. A ceremonial changing of the guard will take place every two hours, at the main entrance of the Presidential Palace, beginning at 8am and ending at 5:45pm. The ceremonies were in place during January, on the occasion of Duarte Day, which honors the nation's founding father. The Presidential Palace has now decided to continue them because of their popularity with tourists and the solemnity that the ceremony provides to the government seat. A visit to the National Palace is included on many Santo Domingo city tours.
Dream Project benefit in Cabarete
The Dream Project that contributes to educate new generations of Dominicans is hosting a Carnaval del Callejon, the Dream Flea Market Carnival on the weekend of 24 and 25 February. The event is jointly coordinated by the community of Callejon de La Loma, the Carib Wind Center, the International School of Sosua and the Dream Project, among others. It will be a two-day carnival of music, food and games for the whole family as well as a flea market. Proceeds go to the new Dream Center in the Callejon de la Loma community. Donations of clothing, jewelry, furniture, sports equipment, toys, musical instruments, children's books, office equipment, electronics, school and art suppliers are requested. Drop-off points are at the Sea Horse Ranch Equestrian center, the International School Office and the Dream Project Office in Plaza Patio in Cabarete. For more information, call 809 571-0497 or contact Jon Wunderlich at [email protected]
New Year resolutions for hoteliers
With two-thirds of hotel reservations worldwide already being booked or researched online, Dominican hoteliers are continuously looking to improve their Internet strategy. Reyson Pimentel, of Travel & Marketing, a hotel consulting company recommends that Dominican hoteliers should adopt the resolutions proposed by Max Starkov & Jason Price. Robert Woolford of DR1 comments: "The hotels and resorts that have embraced those 10 points are making a killing." See the resolutions at
www.hospitalityebusiness.com/hr/hr-Jan_03_2007_1214.html
World tourism trends report
The World Tourism Barometer reports that preliminary results show that high demand for travel continued in 2006 despite all the downside risks such as terrorism, health scares and rising oil prices. An average growth in international tourist arrivals of around 4.5% is reported. Arrivals growth for 2007 is projected at a lower 4%. This is in line with the expected slowdown of the world economy as a result of a cooling of the US, Japanese and European housing markets. The WTO Barometer reports that for markets for which data is available, international tourism expenditure generally increased more strongly than outbound trip volume in 2006. This poses a challenge for the DR to capture more tourists with higher purchasing power. Likewise, the report indicates that the North American market is set to increase by only around 0.5% in 2007.
The WTO also highlights the silent information and communication technology revolution that is changing the travel industry. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, search engines are becoming more used and trusted for information than family and friends.
The report states that among the most visited islands, there was continued growth in arrivals for the DR (+7%) - mainly from the USA, despite the appreciation of the Dominican peso against the US dollar. The peso is expected to depreciate against the dollar in 2007.
See http://dr1.com/travelnews/archive/2007/wtobarometer060207.pdf

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