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April 22, 2008
  • New individuality in European travel
  • Elliot donates to children's hospital
  • Courtyard Santiago is Platinum
  • DR Jazz Festival: 6-9 November
New individuality in European travel
ITB has published its World Travel Trends Report 2008, which was first released at the ITB Berlin Convention. The report reveals that the upward trend for travel has continued for the fourth year in a row, with a worldwide increase of 6% in outbound travel. It also showed that 50% of all reservations in Europe were made using the Internet, and payment for 36% of all travel was made online. This is up 12% from 2006. "There is a very definite and continuing trend towards greater individuality", says the study. It mentions that an increasing number of consumers are organizing their own travel instead of relying on ready-made package arrangements. The report also points to significant changes in the average tourist profile. "Instead of only lying on a beach, travelers are showing a greater interest in sporting and cultural activities as well as in educational travel.
"Characteristic features of this changing market have been a stronger focus on hospitality, authenticity and tradition, as well as an increased demand for uniqueness, individuality, traveling in order to experience nature, and sustainability," according to the report.
Elliot donates to children's hospital
The Elliot Foundation has made an initial donation of US$14,000 to the Dr. Ricardo Limardo public Hospital in Puerto Plata. The donation will fund the remodeling of the hospital's pediatric wing.
The remodeling will be supervised by the Voluntariado Jesus con los Ninos, a volunteer group at the hospital.
Tonia Caiat, executive director of the Elliott Foundation, said that once building work is completed and the pediatric wing is remodeled, they would equip the new areas with the latest medical equipment.
"The Foundation is committed in the long term to finance the remodeling and establish links with technicians and professionals at children's hospitals in North America. The goal is for Puerto Plata to have a model pediatric unit," she explained. The Foundation, which channels donations from individuals in Canada and the US, is part of the Elliott Group, the company that operates Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi and Maxim Bungalows.
Courtyard Santiago is Platinum
The Hotel Courtyard by Marriott Santiago is boasting its elite Platinum Award distinction, one of the most coveted awards offered by Marriott International which was awarded to just 16 of 700 Courtyard properties in the world during the Marriott General Managers Conference held in Anaheim, CA.
The distinction recognizes the hotel's operational efficiency and high levels of guest satisfaction with its service, hospitality and physical condition.
The Courtyard by Marriott Santiago also received awards for highest levels of guest satisfaction in the category of image and maintenance of the property, brand champion for its positioning, and key initiatives.
Katy Lizardo de Contreras, general manager of the hotel, received the awards.
DR Jazz Festival: 6-9 November
The DR Jazz Festival will be held again this November, with stages in Cabarete Beach in Puerto Plata, as well as in Santiago. Since its first year, the festival has featured a number of world famous jazz musicians including Chuck Mangione, David Sanchez, Ray Baretto, Nestor Torres, Chucho Valdes and Arturo Sandoval.
"What makes this event even more special is that it moves to a different city every day, giving the public an opportunity to experience jazz at different venues and with a variety of performers," said the festival organizers.
Now in its seventh year, the Jazz Festival is the most highly anticipated cultural event on the north coast and is the only festival that is directed at both tourists and local residents.
As part of the five-day festival, performers will lead educational workshops for local youngsters, aimed at encouraging them to get involved in the arts. See www.drjazzfestival.com for more information.

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