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August 12, 2008
  • Constanza made easy
  • Boost for aviation tourism
  • New access roads for Constanza
  • Juan Dolio... The South Beach of the DR
  • Playa Dorada Charity Golf Classic
Constanza made easy
Constanza, with its reputation for good hospitality, natural air- conditioning and for being like Switzerland in the Caribbean, has just opened up a visitors' center and offices of the Constanza Ecotourism Cluster at the new Constanza Airport, located at the entrance of town, on Avenida 14 de Junio. The center will be staffed on weekends and holidays, peak times for travel to the vacation and agriculture destination. The Ecotourism Cluster of Constanza hosted the opening of the new info center, and the launching of a new destination map and website (constanza.com.do) on Saturday, 9 August.
The destination map was funded by the United States Agency for International Development under the Dominican Sustainable Tourism Alliance (DSTA) program and contributions from the Mining Fund (an alliance of mining companies) and advertisers.
At the opening ceremony, the president of the Tourism Cluster, Rafael Collado had special thanks for Andres Vanderhorst of the Dominican Airport Department. Collado also thanked the "moral godfathers" for the effort, Takashi Aoki, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) advisor on sustainable tourism, Jaime Moreno of the National Competitiveness Council and Lisette Gil of the DSTA.
Rafael Collado said that the information center was needed in order to provide materials to the visitor. He said their experience is that an informed visitor will become a repeat visitor.
Also speaking at the event, David Matias of Alto Cerro hotel, said the center will facilitate the distribution of brochures and informational material to visitors, as well as being a site where training and workshops will be held to better prepare the community for visitors, and to promote what the town has to offer.
Duty Greene of USAID highlighted the interest that the US government has had over the past two years in promoting efforts in tourism and agriculture clusters, as well as DR-CAFTA, sustainable tourism, environment, education, health, justice and anti-corruption programs through donations. He called for attention to water, that he describes as soon to become the biggest issue for maintaining sustainable economic development, and the role sustainable tourism mountain communities may play in protecting water sources.
The area's attractions include the highest waterfall in the Caribbean, Salto de Aguas Blancas, the Ebano Verde Scientific Reserve, mountain trails and memorable mountain cooking. The Ministry of Tourism recently built a panoramic viewing platform at the Aguas Blancas waterfall.
Boost for aviation tourism
Constanza is being considered as a destination by aviation buffs, and hundreds of private airplane pilots who fly into the Caribbean islands in their own small planes. Last year, the government reopened the rehabilitated Constanza 14 de Junio International Airport. The airport is primarily used for domestic flights, though.
At the opening of the Constanza information center, Andres Vanderhorst, himself a former minister of Tourism, announced that they are organizing a first large fly-in from the US from Wisconsin this year.
Some 65,000 small plane owners travel to the Bahamas, and now Decree 169-08 cut taxes and duties, making it more attractive for these small planes to fly to the DR. As a result of the repaving of the airstrip, Constanza has received 70 flights this year and landowners have benefited from an appreciation of their property.
New access roads for Constanza
Tourism Minister Felix Jimenez is promoting improvements to the three access routes to Constanza. Speaking at the opening of the new Constanza information center and offices of the Ecotourism Cluster of Constanza, Jimenez said that once Congress approves the National Tourism Development Institute (Indetur) financing would be forthcoming to repave the San Jose de Ocoa-Constanza road linking Constanza to the south of the country, and the Constanza-Jarabacoa road that links to the more developed Jarabacoa mountain town. Work on the Duarte Highway-Constanza road is already advanced. Jimenez, himself a leading private real estate developer, also announced a plan to relocate dwellers of El Gajo, a slum area in Constanza located on prime valley land.
The Ministry of Tourism recently built a new viewing platform at Aguas Blancas, making it easier and safer for tourists to view the falls.
Juan Dolio... The South Beach of the DR
Inversiones Rockport has announced the construction of a luxurious high-rise apartment on Juan Dolio's beach. Consisting of 206 apartments, Las Arenas will feature one bedroom lofts, two, three and four bedroom condominiums, as well as penthouse apartments. Promoted as the residential building that offers "everything," Las Arenas boasts a shopping area, business center, two-level gourmet restaurant, meeting rooms, gym, spa, infinity pool, beauty salon and beach club. All these amenities will be housed in Las Arena's oval building design that offers panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and Juan Dolio Beach. Property prices range from US$210,000 to US$750,000 with dimensions from 70 to 250 square meters. For more information contact Sharlyn Rodriguez: [email protected]
Playa Dorada Charity Golf Classic
The First Annual North Coast Charity Golf Classic at the Playa Dorada Golf Club will be held on 7 September. All proceeds will benefit Hogar Crea, a substance-abuse program in Puerto Plata with over 50 people in the program. The cost is RD$2,500 per player and includes green fees, golf cart and a hamburger and fries after play. Players must register and pay before 1 September 2008. Registration and payment can be made at Pedro McMurphy's Irish Pub and Sports Bar in Sosua, Jolly Roger's Bar & Restaurant in Sosua and Mi Taverna in Santo Domingo. Registration is limited to 52 total palyers and is first come, first served basis. There will be prizes for players and various add-ons such as the longest drive, longest putt, closest to the hole are planned.
For more information take a look at the DR1 Message Board.

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