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March 4, 2008
  • The PGA in Punta Cana
  • New board for Romana-Bayahibe
  • ITB spotlight on DR
  • Dominican art at Berlin Ethnology Museum
The PGA in Punta Cana
Golf in the Dominican Republic goes mainstream with the celebration of the first ever PGA Tour's Champions Tour at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, Punta Espada Golf Club in Cap Cana, the east coast beach and golf destination. Cap Cana president Ricardo Hazoury expressed his pride in the DR being chosen for the event, adding that the country will be at the center of the golf world for the week of 31 March to 6 April 2008, when the tournament takes place. The Punta Espada course achieved international recognition from the start. Just a few months after opening, Punta Espada debuted at No. 77 in Golf Digest's ranking of the 100 Best Courses Outside the US.
"The Cap Cana will be a prestigious addition to our 2008 schedule", said Champions Tour President Rick George. "The pristine setting combined with the Jack Nicklaus design of the Punta Espada Golf Club and resources and amenities of the Cap Cana Resort will immediately establish The Cap Cana as a premier event on the Champions Tour".
Golf Channel will broadcast all three rounds in the US and coverage of the event will be broadcast internationally. The 54-hole stroke-play tournament will feature a 78-player field and official prize money of $2 million, with the winner collecting $300,000.
For information on the Punta Espada golf course, see www.dr1.com/golf
New board for Romana-Bayahibe
Daniel Hernandez, general manager of Sunscape Casa del Mar (an Apple Vacations hotel affiliate), is the new president of the Romana-Bayahibe Hotels Association (AHRB). Francisco Perez (of Oasis hotels, a Globalia affiliate), will be the vice president. Maximo Carugati of Viva Wyndham will be the secretary, Alberto Grau of Casa de Campo, Ivan Cunillera of Gran Dominicus and Yves Colman of Iberostar Hacienda are the other board members. Daniel Flaquer of Tropical Tours, a local ground handler, will represent non-hotel members, and Luis Emilio Rodriguez, representing La Romana International Airport was accepted as a new member. Hernandez, a Colombian, has been in the DR at the helm of the Suncape Casa del Mar since 2003. He is also regional director of operations for AM Resorts in the Caribbean. AM Resort Casa del Mar won the Green Hotel of the Year award by the Caribbean Hotel Association. The Association recently announced the appointment of Kelly Robinson as executive director. AHRB was created in 2000 to promote the sustainable development of tourism in the region. One of its major successes has been securing the prestigious Blue Flag certification for Dominicus beach.
ITB spotlight on DR
The Dominican Republic is seeking to make its mark this week with an impressive Official Partner Country program that includes a performance by Dominican merengue superstar Juan Luis Guerra during the 4 March cultural event and gala reception that will mark the opening of the International Tourism Bourse (ITB), the world's largest travel trade show. The opening ceremony of the ITB Berlin 2008 will take place on the eve of the first day of the fair, on 4 March, at 6pm in Room 1 of the ICC Berlin. Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor of Berlin, and Raimund Hosch, Chief Executive Officer of Messe Berlin GmbH, will address the guests. Afterwards there will be speeches by Francesco Frangialli, General Secretary of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and Klaus Laepple, President of the National Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW). This is the third time that Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Michael Glos will be opening the ITB Berlin. Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez will be speaking on behalf of the DR during the opening.
For the occasion, the DR will present the country's musical tradition, spanning the ages from the early culture of the Taino Indians, music from the colonial era and African influences, through to modern works from Europe. Merengue, bachata and typical carnival music are set to round off the program. At a reception taking place afterwards all the culinary delights of the Dominican Republic will await the guests attending the opening ceremonies. Renowned chefs de cuisine from the luxury world of Cap Cana will be flying in especially to organize this opulent gala buffet. Master chef Francois Bouvet is the owner of critically acclaimed restaurants and has worked alongside Paul Bocuse. Actress Zoe Saldana, famous for her roles in The Terminal and Pirates of the Caribbean, is also part of the more than 130-person delegation from the DR registered to attend.
Dominican art at Berlin Ethnology Museum
Works by Luis Desangles, Celeste Woss y Gil, Yoryi Morel, Jaime Colson, Clara Ledesma, Gilberto Hernandez Ortega, Jorge Noceda Sanchez and Justo Susana are on exhibit at the Berlin Ethnological Museum in the German capital on the occasion of the Dominican Republic's status as Official Partner Country of the ITB Tourism Bourse, the world's largest tourism fair that is being held in the city from 4-9 March. "Traditions and customs in Dominican Art" is a collective exhibition that sums up 100 years in art. The Dominican Ministry of Tourism is sponsoring the event. The art collection belongs to the Bellapart Museum, a private art museum in Santo Domingo.

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