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January 6, 2009
  • Sivory gets Leading Boutique Award
  • Surfing at Playa Encuentro with 321 Takeoff
  • Testing the pulse of tourism in 2009
  • Travel trends for 2009
Sivory gets Leading Boutique Award
Sivory Punta Cana proudly announces it was chosen the Leading Boutique Hotel of the Dominican Republic during the World Travel Awards 2008 event held in December in Turks & Caicos. Sivory is a 55-room member of the Small Luxury Hotels organization, and an AA four Diamond hotel. It is located northernmost in the Punta Cana beach strip and is for those seeking privacy and quiet. On the premises is the Aquarea Spa & Wellness Center. The hotel is a blend of Asian and Caribbean style and cuisine (with a 8,000 bottle stocked wine cellar) that has been created for the pampering of guests.
Voting for the World Travel Awards comes from 167,000 travel professionals worldwide. The awards have been deemed by the Wall Street Journal as the Oscars for the travel industry. The awards date back to 1993.
Other Dominican winners of one of these awards in 2008 were La Romana International Airport as the Caribbean's Leading Airport, Casa de Campo as the Caribbean's leading golf resort. In the Dominican Republic category, Sivory Punta Cana won the DR's Leading Boutique Hotel award, Hilton Santo Domingo won the DR's Leading Business Hotel, Punta Cana Secrets Resort won the DR's Leading Spa Resort award, and Casa de Campo won in the DR's Leading Hotel, Resort and Golf Resort categories.
World Travel Awards seek to encourage world-class competition, stimulate innovation and creativity as well as ensure that travellers receive exceptional value.
See http://www.dr1.com/directories/hotels/sivory.shtml
Surfing at Playa Encuentro with 321 Takeoff
Located about a five minute drive west of the windsurfing and kiteboarding section of Cabarete on the North Coast, Playa Encuentro is regarded as the Dominican Republic's top surfing spot. There, 321 Takeoff has been teaching visitors how to ride the waves of Cabarete's famous beach for eight years. Owned by Marcus Bohm, the surf school offers lessons for all levels, surfboard rentals and sales, and also helps clients find accommodations. Operating out of a small hut on the beach packed with plenty of surfboards, the school prides itself on the personal touch given to each visitor. Instructors guide beginners on a three-day intensive course, encouraging the newbies to catch their own waves by the third day. Bohm believes in this one-on-one system to promote safety, but also to promote fast learning. Lessons include: transportation, surfboard leash, a lycra shirt, wax for the board and full days of surfing some of the best waves the DR has to offer. For more information contact Marcus Bohm at (809) 963-7873 or visit the 321 Takeoff website at www.321takeoff.com
Testing the pulse of tourism in 2009
Dominican hotel executives will be attending the Caribbean Marketplace, scheduled for 18-20 January in St. Lucia. The event will be the first regional marketing event to test the pulse of how the global financial crisis may affect travel reservations in the Caribbean in 2009. Caribbean Marketplace is the most important annual sales and marketing event on the Caribbean tourism calendar. The event brings together hotels, tour operators and wholesalers and airlines and is produced annually by the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), that is presided by Dominican Enrique Eduardo de Marchena. CHTA works closely with the host country's tourism and hotel authorities to organize the event. This time the host is the St Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association (SLHTA) that expects the event to provide "a barometer for the new upscale direction the St. Lucian tourism product is taking."
The theme for Caribbean Marketplace 2009 is "Business on the Beach" and the main business activity will be accommodated in high-end temporary facilities located on the Pigeon Island Causeway, south of The Landings. Over 12,000 business pre-arranged meetings are expected to be conducted among delegates in attendance.
Travel trends for 2009
With competition getting stronger, 2009 promises to be as challenging a year as 2008, says Peter Yesawich, president of Ypartnership, the leading US travel and entertainment marketing firm. Yesawich says that there continues to be "plenty of demand" but marketers will have to be aggressive and clever to capture this. For 2009, Yesawich says that value is king and consumers will demand more for what they pay and will shop for the good deal. He says research shows that both vacations and business trips will get shorter, as travelers and companies seek to get a grip on costs. Interestingly, he forecasts that consumers will use the Internet differently, and will do more comparison shopping. At the same time, more travelers are resorting to new cell phone technologies. The good news is that vacations are increasingly being perceived as an appropriate way to recognize life events (anniversaries, school graduations, retirement, etc), and these are planned further in advanced, and include more people. Ypartnership research also shows that travel agent usage will continue to rise as American travelers resort to expertise on finding the best options/prices (value). The trend to favor environmentally conscious travel properties continues.

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