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April 14, 2009
  • Chinatown marks first anniversary
  • Promoting sailing abroad
  • Environment & Tourism to work together
  • Investors meet in Bermuda
Chinatown marks first anniversary
Santo Domingo's Chinatown is celebrating the first anniversary of the formal opening of its arches and wide sidewalks in the area with the largest number of Chinese-owned businesses in Santo Domingo. For the event, a special Chinatown stamp issue is planned for Friday, 17 April at 6pm at the "Chinese Migration Gate" on Av. Duarte at the intersection with Av. Mella to mark the opening of the anniversary celebrations. On Saturday, 18 April, talks, exhibitions and sales will take place in Chinatown. There will be a workshop on the care and maintenance of orchids with the Botanical Gardens on Sunday, 19 April at 10am, followed by another on ornamental plants at 4pm. A great party, with awards ceremonies, singing, dance, theater, and games for children and adults will follow. On Tuesday, 21 April at 7pm, the Second Asian Gastronomical Festival will be held at the Restaurante Sheng Yuan. For more information, call 809 687-7067.
Promoting sailing abroad
Ari Barshi, founder of Cabarete's Laser Training Center and the annual Caribbean Laser Midwinter Regatta, is sailing around the world to promote sailing in Cabarete. This year he will be taking part in regattas in Florida, California, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Spain, and Canada, spreading the word about Cabarete as the "adventure sports capital of the Caribbean." Several Olympic athletes have trained in Cabarete, including 2008 Beijing medal winners Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) and Paul Goodison (UK), as well as Rasmus Myrgren (Sweden) and Gustavo Lima (Portugal). To prepare for the 2008 Olympics, 19 teams trained in Cabarete. Cabarete has gained preeminent status in the Laser sailing world due to the quality of Barshi's center, as well as the range of conditions for experienced and novice sailors alike. At the same time, the waters off Cabarete Beach are protected by a large reef, perfect for beginning sailors who come to Cabarete for the variety of adventure activities - surfing, kiteboarding, mountain biking, hiking, and canyoning.
Ari Basher's 2009 Laser regatta schedule:
European Master Championship Palafruguell 20-26 April 2009; Master's North American Championship 16-18 May 2009, Wrightsville Beach, NC; Hyannis Yacht Club's Regatta 31-2 August 2009, Hyannis, MA; Buzzards Bay Regatta 7-9August 2009, Dartmouth, MA; World Championship 27August-5 September 2009, Halifax, Canada.
Environment & Tourism to work together
Upon taking office for his second consecutive term in August 2008, President Leonel Fernandez appointed former Vice President Jaime David Fernandez as Minister of Environment and his presidential campaign manager and former Minister of Industry & Commerce Francisco Javier Garcia as Minister of Tourism. Now, both ministers propose to work together for the development of new areas such as Barahona-Pedernales in the southwest. In a press conference attended by both ministers, Tourism Minister Javier Garcia said that all steps to develop the area would be coordinated with the Ministry of Environment to guarantee the protected areas. As reported in Listin Diario, he said that in the south there is plenty of vacant land with tourism potential, so there was no need to use national park or protected area land to build hotels. He announced that an unnamed Canadian company is proposing to invest US$800 million in the area, and that the government has hired a firm from Dubai to design a master plan for Barahona and Pedernales, adding that he expected investors from Dubai to eventually also invest in the area.
Investors meet in Bermuda
The 13th Annual Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference opens Tuesday, 14 April at the Fairmont Southampton in Bermuda. Speaking at the opening are Dominican lawyer Enrique de Marchena, president of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association and the Honorable Ewart Brown, Premier and Minister of Tourism of Bermuda. Speakers will review the outlook for the Caribbean, with a focus on the economy, capital markets, hotels and the cruise ship industry and equity capital markets. There will also be sessions focusing on where the tourism demand for the Caribbean will be coming from, global hotel brands and the outlook for the Caribbean. Other topics include investing in the Caribbean today, issues and opportunities; residential and vacation ownership sector of resort development. How to devise and implement green destinations, green hotels and operate green will also be discussed. Likewise there will be a track on selecting and negotiating a franchise agreement; the ABCs of destination marketing, and how to profit from today's tough financial and economic climate.

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