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May 13, 2008
  • More Russian tourists coming
  • Casa de Campo's Pete Dye honored
  • Santo Domingo shows
  • 68th ILTTA Tournament
More Russian tourists coming
The Russians have taken a liking to the DR. An increase in demand has led Russian airline Transaero to switch its Thursday and Sunday flights from a Boeing 767-300 with capacity for 230 passengers to a Boeing 747-400 with capacity for 352. The 9,259km flight from Moscow to Punta Cana takes about 11h25m and 10h40m from Punta Cana to Moscow. The fare is US$1,500 in economy, US$2,000 in business and US$3,500 in first class.
The 747-400 flew into Punta Cana International Airport for the first time on Sunday, 4 May. Ruslan Pirogov, Transaero representative in the DR, said that as of November, they have plans to increase to three or four flights a week, depending on demand. He said there is a possibility that flights will come from another Russian airport. At present, Transaero flies from Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport, but they could also add flights from the Pulkovo International Airport in St. Petersburg and from hubs in Novosibirsk and Ekaterinburg. Transaero has been flying from Moscow to Punta Cana since 30 December 2003.
A total of 12,441 Russian tourists visited during the first three months of the year, up 37% compared to the same period in 2007, when 9,072 Russians visited.
Pirigox says that they expect around 40,000 tourists this year, and most of these are individuals with high purchasing power. He said that in addition to spending time at beach resorts, Russians like to tour cities and visit mountain areas. He said most Russians come with their families and spend two weeks, and are the tourists who book most excursions. The Dominican Tourist Office is located at C. Shaplernaya, 54, Of A12, St Petersburg 191015. To contact the office, e-mail director Galina Lyssenko at [email protected]
Casa de Campo's Pete Dye honored
Pete Dye was a little-known golf course designer until Charles Bluhdorn and Alvaro Carta gave him the chance to design the Teeth of the Dog golf course in La Romana. The golf course put the Dominican Republic on the international golfing map, and in the process launched Pete Dye's career as a leading golf course designer. Recently, Pete Dye was selected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in the lifetime achievement category. The announcement was made on Tuesday, 6 May at the Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Pete Dye is only the fifth course architect ever named to the World Golf Hall of Fame, according to Golf Magazine, which tells his story in its May issue. Robert Trent Jones, who was responsible for the legendary Playa Grande golf course, is another of the five course architects, along with C.B. Macdonald, Alister Mackenzie and Donald Ross.
As reported in Golf Magazine, Pete Dye was a talented amateur golfer and life-insurance salesman when he decided to try a career designing courses. Strongly influenced by a 1963 trip to Scotland, he distinguished himself by building other courses the way he did when he first came to the DR, choosing a site for a golf course that would make living in La Romana attractive for executives coming to work at a new industrial free zone. When building what would later be called Teeth of the Dog, the owners of the property allowed him to tinker with the course as he wished.
Dye's current projects include a fourth design at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic. His son has also been active in the DR, with courses in Santo Domingo and Punta Cana.
Pete Dye told Golf Magazine that the design that made him the most proud was Teeth of the Dog. "When I started that in 1970, there wasn't a paved road within 35 miles. Now there are 3,500 homes, an airport, 50,000 people working. I'm going to be egotistical with this - that golf course started the whole thing down there," he said.
Santo Domingo shows
Santo Domingo is the most culturally active city in the Caribbean, with constant shows and performances by local and international stars.
Big shows in the next two weeks include the National Ballet of Georgia on 23-24 May at Santo Domingo's National Theater. The troupe is known for their impressive choreography, rotations, dizzy jumps and dynamic energy. The ballet dancers are known to show the audience the history of their nation through their traditional and modern dances based on folk melodies. The visit to Santo Domingo is part of the company's Latin American tour.
The next weekend, 28-29 May, famous Brazilian singer Roberto Carlos will perform at the same National Theater main hall.
There is also lots of excitement in anticipation of a concert by legendary Mexican pop/rock band Mana at the Estadio Quisqueya on 1 June. The concert is part of their "Amar es Combatir World Tour".
68th ILTTA Tournament
The Cap Cana Marina will be hosting the 68th International Light Tackle Tournament Association (ILTTA) Tournament with the co-sponsorship of the Santo Domingo Yacht Club and the International Light Tackle Tournament Association. Fishing days will be the 26-31 May 2008. This is the first international tournament to be held at the new east coast marina. For more information, contact the Santo Domingo Yacht Club at 809 523-4226.

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