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March 6, 2007
  • Bayahibe gets a casino
  • JetBlue returns to Santo Domingo
  • Insel Air for flying to Curacao
  • Americans travel seeking relief from increased stress
Bayahibe gets a casino
The first casino in the Bayahibe area is scheduled to open this summer. Featuring Las Vegas-style gaming and Caribbean-style entertainment, Casino Dominicus will start operations offering the highest limits in the entire DR, up to US$10,000. The casino will offer same-day cash back, comps for free rooms, meals and airfare, and will be the only casino on the island with a players club. The casino will be the only one offering 100% ticket-in ticket-out. It will also feature 300 of the newest slot machines and exclusive US$5 and US$10 slot machines. In addition, there will be 23 table games, high-limit room with blackjack, roulette and baccarat. For sports fans, a race & sportsbook is open for placing bets on sporting events and catching live sports action from around the world on the casino's numerous big-screen TVs.
With a 1,000-seat theatre, big-name entertainment, a chic disco and gourmet restaurant, Casino Dominicus will offer free continuous shuttle services to and from the Coral Canoa Resort, Gran Dominicus, Iberostar Dominicus and the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach and Dominicus Palace.
JetBlue returns to Santo Domingo
JetBlue Airways has announced the expansion of its Caribbean service with the launch of a new non-stop flight between Santo Domingo's Las Americas International Airport and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport this spring. Twice-daily flights begin on 24 May 2007. An introductory one-way fare of US$109 plus taxes and charges is available. This represents a comeback for the airline that served Santo Domingo between 2004 and 2005 when it first began flights to the DR. The airline has maintained its Santiago flight. Santo Domingo becomes JetBlue's 53rd destination, and one of nine cities it flies to in the Caribbean.
"Que mucho te extranamos, Santo Domingo! We're thrilled to be returning to your beautiful city this spring," said JetBlue founder and CEO David Neeleman. "The Dominican community has been one of our biggest supporters since we started our service to the island in 2004. We brought low fares and great service, and they gave us their loyalty. This is our way of saying 'thanks'."
JetBlue's schedule between New York and Santo Domingo brings more comfortable flying times, with JFK to SDQ flights departing at 7:30am and 12:05pm.
Insel Air for flying to Curacao
Insel Air is the newest airline to serve the DR, with flights to Curacao and St. Maarten. There is a Curacao-Santo Domingo flight departing Curacao (CUR) at 10am on Thursdays. The return flight leaves at 3:30pm. The weekly flight to St. Maarten (SXM) leaves St. Maarten at 12:50pm on Sundays, and returns at 11:40am. Insel Air is based in Willemstad, Curacao at the Hato International Airport. The airline started operations in 2006 with flights to Aruba and Bonaire. The fare for the flight is US$210 plus taxes and charges.
Americans travel seeking relief from increased stress
Technology is the primary culprit for stress levels that have never been higher for Americans. YPBR eNewsletter on travel reports that the proliferation of cell phones, PDAs and the ever-increasing volume of email has accelerated the pace of life and made "24/7/365" a burdensome reality. As reported, it has increased the length of the average workday by about one hour. The good news for the travel industry is that it has also pushed more people to seek relief, both at home and while on vacation. As a result, the demand for spa vacations has increased. According to YPBR, this is particularly true for affluent leisure travelers (with an annual household income over $150,000, or the top 7% of all households defined by annual income).
In its 2006 Portrait of Affluent Travelers, YBPR reports that almost half of all affluent leisure travelers visited a spa at a luxury hotel or resort at least once during the last year.

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