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March 3, 2009
  • DR opens WBC in Puerto Rico
  • 70 cruise ships to Sans Souci Port
  • Puerto Plata Sirena to open 4 March
  • Application filed for CCA 2010
  • Why don't we grow?
DR opens WBC in Puerto Rico
The Dominican Republic will open the World Baseball Classic against The Netherlands in Group D at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico for the World Baseball Classic this coming Saturday, 7 March at 11am. The Panama vs. Puerto Rico game follows. Six games will be played by the Pool D teams in Round 1. The DR will match The Netherlands, Panama and Puerto Rico. The Pool D winner and runner-up advance to Round 2 in Miami Florida.
Other teams vying for the 2009 World Baseball Championship are Pool A (China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea), Pool B (Canada, Mexico, South Africa, US), Pool C (Cuba, Netherlands, Panama, Puerto Rico), Pool D (Australia, Dominican Republic, Italy, Venezuela).
The Dominican roster is http://web.worldbaseballclassic.com/rosters/index.jsp?...
70 cruise ships to Sans Souci Port
Luis Molina, director of the Port of Sans Souci, has told the press the port expects to receive around 70 cruise ships this year, which is 34 more than last year. Over 100,000 tourists are expected this year, and this is set to increase to 125,000 in 2010. Molina says that 70% of the tourists who arrive on board cruise ships are from the US and Canada. The rest come from Europe and Latin America.
Puerto Plata Sirena to open 4 March
This week Puerto Plata gets its own mega store, La Sirena and its in-house supermarket Supermercado Pola, which are opening on Wednesday, 4 March on the city's Malecon seafront avenue. La Sirena is like a Dominican Walmart. Owners Grupo Ramos say they have invested RD$300 million in the new store.
Application filed for CCA 2010
Xavier Tudela, president of the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals, is optimistic that this March Santo Domingo will be declared American Capital of Culture 2010. The Ministry of Culture officially submitted the city's application last week, after months of preparation by the Center of European Studies of the PUCMM that had the initiative and has served as coordinator. Tudela said that the decision would be reached around the third week of March.
He said that the DR is such a strong candidate because there is a consensus between the country and city's institutions, including the government, social and citizen organizations' joint efforts. He highlighted the support of the city government, the ministries of Tourism and Culture, Congress, the Presidency and the private sector. The Santo Domingo Tourism Cluster is also strongly supporting the event. "They've all given their support," stated Tudela.
At a press conference held at the PUCMM University, Deputy Minister of Culture Lourdes Camilo said: "The importance of this designation, aside from the international projection, is that it makes us take the leading role in promoting our own culture so that we become more aware of it," adding that "the DR takes on the 2010 challenge, so that it launches the city, so that we put our house in order and project our culture and hospitality".
Tati Olmos, in charge of Culture at the Ministry of Tourism said: "The Ministry of Tourism is backing this event that will serve to promote Santo Domingo, in the hope that it will become a landmark event with marked differences in what goes on during, before and after," she stressed.
Xiomara Espaillat, executive director of the Santo Domingo City Government Historical Project, said that the Mayor of Santo Domingo is 100% behind the event. "We are all in this together," she said. It is a challenge to make the most of this opportunity, of this national project."
Why don't we grow?
Haydee Kuret de Rainieri, president of the National Association of Hotels & Restaurants (Asonahores), urged the Caribbean to come together as one destination, when speaking during the tourism panel at the Casa de Campo Feria de Andalucia Business Forum. Asking the question, "Why don't we grow," she pointed to the fact that the Caribbean only attracts 2.5%, or 20 million, of the present 800 million world tourist visits. She said that while Europe, the world's leading multi-destination market, does not require additional visas, or tourist cards, nor has penalizing airport fees, and has cheap fares for inter-regional travel, the contrary happens with the Caribbean. She says that there are times when the less than half an hour trek from Puerto Rico to Punta Cana can cost up to US$600, that most Caribbean destinations require Caribbean nationals to have visas, or visitors to purchase tourist cards, and the region maintains too high airport fees. "The Caribbean needs to change," she stressed, alerting that the region has the potential to double visitation if a multiple destination effort can be successfully marketed. She pointed out that tourism in the region is stagnated, with the biggest players being the DR, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Bahamas.
Rainieri urged the development of a joint plan to capitalize on the diversity of the region. She explained that the bottom line is that "tourism is the central motor of development in the region."

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