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March 11, 2008
  • Reaching to the affluent tourist
  • ITB convention center in Santo Domingo?
  • Tourism infrastructure
  • JetBlue SDQ-MCO link
Reaching to the affluent tourist
In his address to the inaugural ceremony for the ITB Trade Show in Berlin last week, Dominican Minister of Tourism Felix Jimenez emphasized that tourism in the DR is now reaching out to the upscale traveler. He pointed to the renovations at all-inclusive resorts nationwide, and the ongoing construction or decisions to build by major world high-end players such as Ritz Carlton (Cap Cana), Four Seasons (La Romana), Aman Resorts (Cabrera) and Westin (Macao). He stressed that this is part of the increased diversification of the Dominican tourism product. “We have always been known for offering good value,” said Jimenez. “We want to back upscale development not because the DR as an all-inclusive model is behind us, but because the DR has the capacity to offer the most diversity”.
ITB convention center in Santo Domingo?
Speaking at the ITB Berlin trade show in Germany, Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez announced the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Tourism, the city of Santo Domingo, the Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce, Banco Popular, Aerodom, the Sans Souci port, residential and commercial developers on behalf of the DR and the Messe Berlin for the carrying out of a feasibility study for the building a major convention center in Santo Domingo. Ricardo Hazoury of Aerodom, Manuel Grullon of Banco Popular and Luis Molina for Sans Souci Port were in Berlin for the signing. Jimenez said this would strengthen the country’s positioning in the convention market. “The goal is for the DR to become the base for an ITB Messe Berlin style conference focused on the Caribbean”, he said. ITB is sponsoring an ITB Asia trade show and convention for the Asian Travel Market this October in Singapore.
He also announced the March opening of what will be the Punta Cana area’s second convention facility at Moon Palace.
Tourism infrastructure
Speaking at a press conference during the ITB Berlin trade show last week, Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez highlighted major infrastructure works under way by the government that will open up new areas for tourism investment. He mentioned the recovery of Long Beach in Puerto Plata, as well as the improvements to Juan Dolio beach. He also announced that the ministry has approved construction of four 30-floor buildings, making the most of the widening of Juan Dolio beach.
Jimenez also announced the start of improvements to beaches in La Romana, Najayo, Palenque (San Cristobal) and Barahona.
He emphasized the government’s plan to continue investing in highway construction, mentioning the Punta Cana-Miches highway that will connect Punta Cana with Samana province. He also announced that this year work would start on the northwestern highway linking Puerto Plata to Luperon and Monte Cristi.
JetBlue SDQ-MCO link
JetBlue Airways has begun flights to Santo Domingo from Orlando, Florida. The flight is in time for the Easter Week holiday traffic and summer 2008. JetBlue flies using Embraer E190 jets and provides free films and snacks on board. The low-fare airline is celebrating the new route with sale fares starting at US$99 each way for travel through May 14, 2008. Introductory fares must be booked by March 13, 2008. The new service departs from Orlando (MCO) at 2:25pm, arriving at 6:05pm, and departs from Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) at 6:50pm, arriving at 8:50pm.

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