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December 18, 2007
  • New leading outbound markets
  • Bayahibe gets a casino
  • Tortuga Bay excellence award
  • American Eagle flying to Samana
New leading outbound markets
Europe is experiencing a 3% rise in outbound trip volume, despite a stagnation in outbound travel demand by Europe's leading source markets, Germany and the UK - which, together, account for around 35% of total European outbound trips, according to the European Travel Monitor, issued as part of the World Travel Trends Report of ITB Berlin and IPK International.
"Countries that have traditionally been considered as tourism destinations, such as Spain (+11%) and Italy (+7%), are now becoming leading outbound growth markets," said Rolf Freitag, president and founder of IPK International and the World and European Travel Monitors. "Russia (+10%) has also continued to outpace the market generally," said Freitag, "and other secondary markets such as Norway, Ireland and Sweden (all +5%) are performing above average."
Favorable exchange rates provided a major boost to outbound travel demand, with trips by Europeans to long-haul destinations growing by 4% as against +2% to destinations in Europe and the Mediterranean basin. The big winners of European travel, though, those recording more than 10% growth out of Europe, were China, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam and Kenya.
Bayahibe gets a casino
Casino Dominicus is the new attraction for the Bayahibe-Dominicus vacation area along the southeastern coast. Casino Dominicus is promising "an unparalleled gaming experience on the island", with its offer of gaming and Las Vegas-style entertainment with a Caribbean twist in a 3,000 square meter area. The casino is promising to offer the highest limits in the nation at the casino's 23 table games, including Blackjack, Roulette, Caribbean Stud Poker, Three Card Poker, Texas Hold 'Em Poker, Mini Baccarat and Craps. Gamers can also expect same-day cash back, complete ticket-in and ticket-out, exclusive US$5 and US$10 high-paying slot machines, and based on casino play, comps for free rooms, meals and airfare. The sports and race book offers wagering on favorite races and sports games.
Tono Rosario's popular merengue band provided entertainment at the disco on the opening night.
The casino is operated by Suntrust Enterprise, S.A., a venture owned by area hotels and managed by Jerry Najman. Charles Harrison, president of Suntrust, came for last week's opening.
Evening shuttle services to the casino will run from Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach and Palace resorts, Venta Club Gran Dominicus, Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus and Oasis Canoa.
Tortuga Bay excellence award
The Leading Small Hotels of the World have presented Tortuga Bay with an Award for Excellence in environmental best practices implemented at Puntacana Resort & Club. Tortuga Bay is the boutique hotel at the resort.
Frank Rainieri and Haydee Kuret de Rainieri received the award on behalf of the Puntacana Group during The Leading Small Hotels of The World annual convention celebrated in Monte Carlo, Monaco. They were presented with the award by Paul McNamus, CEO of The Leading Hotels of the World. Tortuga Bay won the award from among the 430 hotels of the luxury chain around the world for efforts carried out to protect the environment through the Punta Cana Ecological Foundation. The foundation is behind a major marine coastal protection project to ensure sustainability and protect biodiversity. The project also encompasses education and research programs with the backing of US universities. The Puntacana Group has set aside a 60,000 square meter protected reserve with natural lagoons, nurseries, bee and worm farming and a project to protect iguanas and other native species of fauna and flora.
Tortuga Bay was the first Dominican hotel to be accepted into the Leading Hotels of the World. It has 15 villas, with 50 rooms facing the Punta Cana beach. On the premises is a golf course designed by P.B. Dye and the Six Senses Spa.
American Eagle flying to Samana
American Eagle has begun its direct flight service between Samana and Puerto Rico. Flights will run daily and officials say the route has been introduced in response to the increased traffic between Puerto Rico and Samana. American Eagle general director said that American Airlines' users were asking for this service.

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