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August 7, 2007
  • Pomier Cave inaugural
  • Surveillance cameras for tourism areas?
  • Copa starts new flights
  • RD$25 billion tourist project
Pomier Cave inaugural
The Centro de Cultura de la Capital Prehistorica (CCCP), a cultural center, first of several buildings that will make up the Prehistoric Capital of the Antilles complex, is set to be inaugurated on Friday, 17 August at 4 pm in El Pomier (Borbon), San Cristobal, near the Pomier Caves, the largest underground cave formation in the Caribbean. A large section of the caves is open to the general public. The Pomier Caves can be reached by way of the La Toma exit off the Autopista 6 de Noviembre.
The new cultural center was built due to the efforts of the Santo Domingo Speleology Group, (Espeleogrupo de Santo Domingo), that has endeavoured for years to preserve the caves. The caves are located in an area from where construction materials are extracted, and for years the Speleology Group has battled for their preservation. The project contemplates the construction of a school, children’s park, clinic, church, baseball stadium, administrative building with a museum and tourism information office, aqueduct, and electricity distribution system. The National Lottery made a major contribution for the construction of the new center.
Surveillance cameras for tourism areas?
Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez has called for the installation of surveillance cameras in parts of Santo Domingo’s Colonial City, the Malecon seafront avenue and tourist areas in Puerto Plata, Sosua, Cabarete, Las Terrenas, Las Galeras, Juan Dolio and Punta Cana. He said that surveillance cameras would enhance security in these areas, and then the time limits for the sale of alcoholic beverages could be lifted. He proposed that the Ministry would pay for half of the cost, and local businesses would cover the other half. Speaking during an American Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Puerto Plata, he said that if tourists want to drink all night long, they should be allowed to do so. He commented that there are no similar time constraints in Cuba, Jamaica or Mexico.
In the DR, alcohol cannot be sold after 12 midnight from Sunday evening to Thursday evening, with an extension to 2 am on holidays and Friday and Saturday. Recently, the government extended to 1 am the liquor vending time for Cabarete. The measure does not apply to resorts.
Copa starts new flights
Copa Airlines is now flying from Punta Cana to Panama City, Panama. Adolfo Sen, director of international sales for Copa, said that the new route connects the beach resort coastal area of Punta Cana with Panama City, which he described as the busiest connecting point in the region. Claudia Zuluaga Alam, general manager of Copa in the DR, says that Copa traffic connecting the DR to the rest of Latin America has been growing over the last 22 years. Copa also has flights from Santo Domingo and Santiago to Panama City and the number of flights from Santo Domingo to Panama City will increase as of 1 September.
RD$25 billion tourist project
The Ministry of Tourism has announced the authorization for the construction of a five-star 1,000-room wellness resort in Canoa, Barahona. Complex will include 20 tennis courts for international championships, a 27 hole golf course, thermal spa pools, waterfalls, and a convention center. The thermal waters in Canoa reach temperatures of 38C. Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez and Roberto Chetoni, president of Sociedad Comercial Terma de la Salamandra made the announcement. Chetoni is an Italian expert on thermal spring waters. As part of the project, 2,300 acres (180,000 square meters) in Canoa, Barahona will be leased for 99 years, at the cost of US$850,000. Of this amount, the Ministry of Tourism will manage US$500,000 for infrastructure investments in the area and US$350,000 will be distributed to 52 farmers who live on lands where the hotel will be built. The lease contract still requires congressional approval. If it goes through, this will be the largest hotel in the southwest. As reported in the Listin Diario, Chetoni said that the thermal springs in Canoa would make the project the largest in the world. The project is a major achievement of the Barahona Tourism Cluster, that supported it through the approval stage. Julio Brache, president of the Cluster, said that the project will mark the turning point of the modernization of the the Barahona province.

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