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July 31, 2007
  • Simon Suarez to shop for new Hiltons
  • Sans Souci in Santo Domingo
  • Two long weekends coming up
  • Waterfall tourism
Simon Suarez to shop for new Hiltons
Dominican hotelier Simon Suarez has been appointed Chief Development Representative – Latin America for Hilton Hotels Corporation. Suarez is a former president of the Caribbean Hotels Association (2002). He will be responsible for identifying multi-unit franchisees in the Caribbean, Central America and South America. Tom Keltner, chief executive officer for the Americas and global brands for Hilton Hotels Corporation made the announcement. “Simon’s proven business acumen and knowledge of the region will enable Hilton to expand the presence of our full-service and focused-service brands in this fast-growing region of the world,” he pointed when making the announcement.
In a Hilton press release, the corporation highlights Simon Suarez’s 32-year tenure in the tourism industry. It describes how he has emerged as one of the leaders for the Caribbean region and has been at the forefront of developing the Dominican Republic’s tourism product from the beginning of his professional career in 1974. Since 2000 Suarez has served as executive vice president of Coral Hotels and Resorts, a hotel management and development company with four upscale all-inclusive leisure hotels, a Hilton-branded luxury business hotel in Santo Domingo and one golf property in the Dominican Republic. Suarez holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, as well as a Master’s degree in Economics from The American University in Washington, D.C.
Sans Souci in Santo Domingo
Luis Molina, executive director of the Sans Souci Holdings project that is developing the Port of Santo Domingo, estimates that the remodeled port areas will welcome more than 70,000 cruise ship passengers this year. This is 30,000 more than in 2006 and is the result of improvements and expansion of the port’s facilities, allowing larger cruise ships to dock. The port enhancements are part of a US$700 million investment commitment in the area by the company that received a 30-year concession from the Fernandez administration. Molina forecast that in five year’s time, annual arrivals at the port should reach the million-tourist mark. He reported that US$50 million has been invested in the first year of the development. The project is due to be completed by 2010. The project’s next phase will involve the construction of a large yacht club and sports marina with capacity for 500 yachts of up to 140 feet, four separate ship terminals and docking areas, a shopping mall and duty-free shopping area, a beach club, two 900-room hotels and a convention center, a luxury condominium development, parking area and pedestrian crossway linking both banks of the Ozama River.
Two long weekends coming up
Two long weekends are scheduled for August and September. The historic Restoration Day, marking the day the DR recovered its independence from Spain in 1865, falls on Thursday, 16 August. But this year, Thursday will be a working day and the holiday will be celebrated on Monday, 20 August. For many people this could mean taking time off from Friday, 17 August through Monday, 20 August, making for a long weekend right before school resumes on 21 August.
The next long weekend before the Christmas holidays will be of a religious nature. It will commemorate Las Mercedes Day, in honor of Our Lady of Mercies, the patron saint of the Dominican Republic, and is celebrated by followers of the Roman Catholic faith. Las Mercedes Day falls on Monday, 24 September, and some will take the opportunity to enjoy an extended break from Friday, 21 September through the Monday.
Waterfall tourism
Summer is the best time to visit the country’s many waterfalls, reports Listin Diario in its 1 August issue. The newspaper advises foreign and domestic tourists seeking relief from the summer heat to plan trips to the Salto de Aguas Blancas, Arroyaso and Reserva de Ebano Verde (Tel. 809 565-1422) in Constanza, the Salto El Limon in Samana, the Charcos de Damajagua in Puerto Plata (Tel. 809 635-1722), or the Salto del Jimenoa in Jarabacoa. Another mountain destination is Quita Espuela, in San Francisco de Macoris (Tel. 809 588-4156).

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