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September 16, 2008
  • Blue Flag beaches in the DR
  • Direct flights from Brazil
  • Juan Luis and Guloyas to French Fair
  • Punta Blanca Golf & Beach Resort tournament
Blue Flag beaches in the DR
Costa Dorada (Costa Dorada Iberostar and Costa Dorada Oasis) are the first north coast beaches to have fulfilled the requirements for the prestigious European Blue Flag beach certification. Now nearby Playa Dorada I, Playa Dorada II seek the certification. Previously, Playa Coson, off Las Terrenas, on the northeastern coast was certified.
Others that are opting for the certificate this year are sections of Cabeza de Toro beach in the eastern Punta Cana area. The Cabeza de Toro beaches are in front of the Grand Oasis, Sunscape and Natura Park resorts in the area, about 10 minutes drive from Punta Cana International Airport.
The first Blue Flag beach in the country was Laguna Dominicus in Bayahibe.
The certification increases the worth of the resorts, as it certifies that their beach has been monitored for high quality standards, including water quality, environmental information, environmental management, security and services. The certification also requires the beach to be open to the general public.
A local jury first pre-selects the beaches, and then an international jury has the final word. Members of the international jury are representatives from the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), the World Tourism Organization, the European Union and the European Union for Coastal Conservation.
To date, 3,300 beaches and ports in 36 countries in Europe, Morocco, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and the Caribbean have been worthy of the certification.
Direct flights from Brazil
Brazil's largest tour operator, CVC, has announced two weekly charter flights from Brazil to Punta Cana from December 2008 through the spring months in 2009. The direct flights shave off four hours from the usual connection through Panama or Miami.
CVC was successful in its summer program to bring tourists to the DR. In July and the first week in August, 1,005 Brazilians traveled to hotels in the Punta Cana area, according to CVC international commercial director Michael Barkoczy.
The director of the Dominican Tourism Office in Brazil, Andrea Majela said that the first charter will depart on 13 December, on the route Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo-Manaus-Punta Cana. The tour operator uses TAM airline flights, with 169 seats on an A320 Airbus.
In 2007, 12,437 Brazilian tourists visited the DR. For 2008, the goal is for 18,000 Brazilians to come for a Dominican holiday.
Juan Luis and Guloyas to French Fair
Contemporary Latin music star Juan Luis Guerra, together with a folklore troupe of Guloyas from San Pedro de Macoris are certain to put the DR on the map at the 30th Top Resa French Travel Fair this 16-19 September in Paris.
The Juan Luis Guerra + Guloyas concert is set for 16 September. The Guloyas were declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005. Guerra himself traveled to Paris to receive the UNESCO Artist for Peace designation on 15 September.
New Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia and a delegation from the National Hotel & Restaurant Association head the Dominican mission to the leading French travel selling trade show. The DR has a 75 square meter stand, housing 15 Dominican travel companies.
The Juan Luis Guerra + Guloya performances coincide with the 10th year anniversary of the opening of the Dominican travel office in Paris, which is currently managed by Mercedes Castillo. Marsans and Air France are sponsoring the travel office commemorations.
The previous day, Juan Luis Guerra was designated a UNESCO Artist for Peace during a ceremony at the organization's headquarters in Paris. The designation was in recognition of his efforts for the benefit of children with disabilities and in need, and his dedication to the ideals and aims of the UNESCO.
Songwriter and performer Juan Luis Guerra is a world famous Latin music star. His group, 4.40, is one of the most successful proponents of Caribbean popular music and has received several Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards.
Punta Blanca Golf & Beach Resort tournament
The dates of 19, 20, and 21 September should be set aside for a golf tournament planned to introduce the Punta Blanca course to local golfers. Overall, the organizers are expecting 132 players from Spain, Miami, Puerto Rico and the DR. Categories A, B, C for the men, and a single category for women will feature prizes and trophies. Salvador Llopart, the director general of the course located in northern Punta Cana, made the announcement.
For information on the Punta Blanca course, see http://dr1.com/golf/

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