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December 16, 2008
  • Casa de Campo awards
  • Sans Souci Port
  • Roco Ki course open
  • 2010 Tourism Clusters Conference
Casa de Campo awards
Casa de Campo was voted the top golf resort in the Caribbean and leading resort and hotel in the DR at the 2008 World Travel Awards held in the Turks & Caicos last week. The Wall Street Journal has dubbed the awards "the Travel Industry Oscars." 167,000 travel professionals from around the world voted for the winners.
Casa de Campo won the awards for:
The Caribbean's Leading Golf Resort, The Dominican Republic's Leading Golf Resort, The Dominican Republic's Leading Hotel, and The Dominican Republic's Leading Resort.
The La Romana International Airport (LRM), owned and managed by Casa de Campo's sister company, won the award for the Caribbean's Leading Airport.
www.worldtravelawards.com/winners2008-6
Sans Souci Port
Santo Domingo's Sans Souci Tourist Port is ready for its January 2009 inauguration. The first phase, the Don Diego port has been remodeled and a new terminal was built on the eastern side. The port project also includes the dredging of the Ozama River in order to accommodate the large cruise ships that call at Santo Domingo. Sans Souci Port Executive Director Luis Molina told Listin Diario that when the Don Diego port operation began in 2006, they received 40,000 cruise ship passengers in that first year. The 2007-2008 season has ended with more than twice that number, 82,000. He forecast that the 2008-2009 season would bring 125,000 passengers. Work on the port continues and the plans are for capacity to receive 9,000 cruise ship passengers per day.
The next phase involves the relocation of the Navy Base in order to prepare the way for high rises, a project that will change the Santo Domingo skyline, with 2,500 units planned. The master plan consists of mixed residential and commercial use, starting by mid-2010. "We want to develop Sans Souci as an entertainment venue within Santo Domingo," he said. A large open commercial plaza will host restaurants, and a 1,000-seat amphitheater is also planned. "The idea is to create a walkable part of the city. Avenida Espana will border the project, becoming a well-lit boulevard with kiosks.
Roco Ki course open
The Faldo Legacy Course at Roco Ki opened last week, adding a new championship course to the already great golf offers in Punta Cana. Designer Nick Faldo was so proud of the design that he gave the course his own name. The course design makes the most of the contrasting environments of elevated headlands, tropical mangrove forests and sea grass meadows. The natural beauty is stunning. Faldo himself makes the point when he says:
"If your golf game isn't the best, bring your camera, because you will get a great picture!"
Prior to opening, the course was already winning accolades. Travel & Leisure's team of new golf course raters included the course in their November/December 2008 list of Best New Courses, Travel and Leisure Golf. T&L mentions that the new course needed to be re-routed midstream because the tricky island terrain reacted unpredictably to construction tactics that would have worked perfectly well in most places. The magazine describes how Faldo rolled with the punches, finding corridors through upland mangroves, resulting in his "Harry Potter" look, a reference to the ubiquitous mangrove trees and their spidery exposed root system. There's even more magic and wizardry on the finishing holes, with their ocean views and dramatic green sites.
Golfweek ranked the course as the 20th Best Golf Course in the Caribbean and Mexico before it opened in December 2008.
2010 Tourism Clusters Conference
The Dominican Republic has been chosen to host the first Competitiveness Institute-sponsored global thematic conference. Maria Victoria Abreu, technical deputy director of the National
Competitiveness Council, made the announcement during the closing of the 2008 TCI Annual Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa. More than 500 formally organized tourism clusters currently operate worldwide.
The event will take place in 2010, but the date and venue in the DR have yet to be determined. The conference, "Moving Forward Towards Leading-Edge Practices on Tourism Clustering" will focus on the role of clusters on tourism growth, and the successes and failures of the connectivity efforts. It will explore sustainable tourism from a cluster perspective and look into tourism niches that promote national competitiveness.
The National Competitiveness Council, based in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic will be organizing the event.
For more information, contact Maria Victoria Abreu at [email protected]

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