|June 5, 2007
- Sun Sentinel: DR is No. 1 with US market
- Scuba diving with the dolphins
- More service to PUJ
- Following the storms
|Sun Sentinel: DR is No. 1 with US market
The Fort Lauderdale-based newspaper, South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Americans are making the Dominican Republic their No. 1 vacation spot. Reporter Doreen Hemlock explains the destination got its latest marketing boost when tycoon Donald Trump signed a US$1 billion-plus resort and residential development on the East Coast and chose the glamorous winner of The Apprentice, California lawyer Stefani Schaeffer to direct the operations. The report in the business section of the Sun-Sentinel explains that "Trump's entry at the sprawling Cap Cana project underscores a recent shift to more upscale offerings, geared more to U.S. visitors with less time and more buying power." She was referring to the US market grabbing a greater share of room nights from traditional tourists from Canada, Europe and South America that would easily stay two weeks straight.
"The Dominican Republic has truly gone through a transformation," said Scott Berman, who leads hospitality consulting for PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Miami. "The rest of the Caribbean became so expensive from a land perspective that the Dominican Republic was in a class by itself."
Travel agents in the US are bullish on the DR, says the Sun-Sentinel. "Alan Treff, owner of travel agency Happy Trails Travel of Boca Raton, said he has seen a surge in his business to the Dominican Republic in the past year or so, especially to the more upscale all-inclusive resorts with golf such as Casa de Campo on the south coast. He visited this spring and found the nation "has come quite a way."
And the resorts are getting good reviews, too, from the American traveler. "Lawyer Carol Ferrero, of Plantation, recently vacationed with her family at La Romana at a Spanish-owned, all-inclusive chain named Iberostar. With its wide range of activities, including theater performances that her daughter eagerly joined in, Ferrero said she'd "go back in one minute."
|Scuba diving with the dolphins
Qualified scuba divers can now Dive with the Dolphins at Ocean World. For US$165 per person, divers get around 40 minutes in the water with the dolphins. A photographer accompanies the divers and takes pictures that are available for purchase afterwards. The package includes general admission, transportation (there may be a US$5 or US$10 surcharge based on location) and use of equipment. The program is available once a day, five days a week, but frequency is expected to increase in the near future.
For reservations, contact Ocean World through http://dr1.com/directories/tourism/oceanworld.shtml
|More service to PUJ
The Portuguese airline Orbest is now flying from Punta Cana to Lisbon. The flights started at the same time the airline began flights to Cancun (Mexico) and Montego Bay (Jamaica). Orbest is owned by Spain's Iberworld (Iberostar hotels), which already has direct flights to PUJ from Spain. The flights will be on Saturdays from 2 June to 27 October. The Lisbon-Punta Cana route is also served by SATA International and Air Luxor from Lisbon.
|Following the storms
Could a hurricane disrupt your travel plans in the Dominican Republic' Hurricane season in the Caribbean began on 1 June and continues through 30 November. The peak time in the DR has been September. These are good links to bookmark, especially since forecasts are for an active hurricane season this year.
Read all about hurricanes and learn how you can keep informed at the DR1 Hurricane Page. http://dr1.com/weather/hurricanes.shtml
And as the time for your travel draws closer, check back at the 24/7 DR1 Weather Forum at http://www.dr1.com/forums/weather-beyond/
In the unlikely event that a hurricane may hit, check back with DR1's status page to see whether the area where your hotel is located is affected. The DR is a relatively large country, so even if one part of the country is hit, all may be normal in most other areas, and the page will be updated in case of a major storm. http://www.dr1.com/status/
And if you happen to live in the DR, two good links with info on preparing for storms are: http://www.dr1.com/forums/weather-beyond/... and http://dr1.com/living/worst/1.shtml