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July 14, 2009
  • New CEO at Aerodom
  • Dream Project Summer Camp
  • Cabrera and the Canadian businesswoman of the year
  • Where the tourists are coming from
New CEO at Aerodom
Andrew O'Brian is the new director general of Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI (Aerodom). Aerodom manages Las Americas International (Santo Domingo), Gregorio Luperon (Puerto Plata), El Catey (Samana) and La Isabela (Santo Domingo Province) airports that account for more than a third of air travel to the DR.
He replaces Mexican Roberto Salgado, who held the CEO position after Advent International purchased the concession from the Dominican partners. O'Brian, a Canadian national, was operations director of the airport from 2004-2008.
Aerodom manages Las Americas International (Santo Domingo), Gregorio Luperon (Puerto Plata), El Catey (Samana) and La Isabela (Santo Domingo Province) airports.
Dream Project Summer Camp
The DREAM Project Summer Camp is again being held in Cabarete, benefiting over 250 underprivileged children. Cabarete is a leading Dominican beach tourism destination located in Puerto Plata, on the north coast.
Some 78 international and local volunteers are participating in the summer camp in its 9th year sponsored by the Guzman Ariza law firm and USAID (US Embassy), announced Jonathan Resor Wunderlich, director of development for the non-profit organization.
Wunderlich explains that the summer camp is an innovative response to the quality of education in the public system. The summer camp engages area children, most of which are at-risk youth, through academic support, excursions, health, sports, art, culture and environmental coursework.
"The summer camp seeks to open the world to these disadvantaged youths, most of which have not traveled beyond the confines of their own municipality," he tells.
There are 30 Dominican and international teachers participating in the program this year, which focuses on the alarmingly low literacy and math scores of these youth, as well as an international exchange in teaching techniques and training for the Dominican teachers.
The DREAM Project is meritorious example of corporate social responsibility in the DR, with several companies offering their support to reach out to improve education and provide youth in the Cabarete area with a better future.
The Dream Project has a new director in Catherine DeLaura.
See www.dominicandream.org
Cabrera and the Canadian businesswoman of the year
Canadian leading energy sector businesswoman, Rebecca MacDonald, originally of Serbia, was appointed godmother of the tourism development in Cabrera by Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia last week. He said this move is in line with his policy of private and public sector alliances. As a result, the CEO of the Energy Savings Income Fund of Canada could be getting more active in making things happen faster in Cabrera.
In Cabrera, Maria Trinidad Sanchez province, she has a US$20 million vacation home in Orchid Bay gated community.
During her meeting with Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia, she pushed for infrastructure improvements in her area, in the northeast of the DR.
MacDonald is a leading energy entrepreneur in Canada. She has been declared the businesswoman of Canada several times.
At her Cabrera home, MacDonald says she has to be auto-sufficient in power given the deficient service of the government power distribution company, EdeNorte in the area.
Cabrera is already dotted by some of the most pricey vacation villas in the DR. MacDonald is known for having hosted in her vacation home leading executives, politicians and important people of Canada.
As reported in the Puerto Plata press, after a luncheon held last week at her home in Cabrera, Javier Garcia agreed to open a tourism planning office there, and move ahead with the construction of the Cabrera bouleard.
Former Central Bank Governor Luis Toral Cordoba served as liaison with the Tourism Minister. Accompanying Javier Garcia were Planning Department director Maribel Villalona, deputy minister Cesar Jose de los Santos, his assistant Gabriel Rodriguez, governor of the Maria Trinidad Sanchez province Aristides Victoria, Cabrera mayor Jorge Cavoli Balbuena, the president of the tourism commission of Puerto Rico of the House of Representatives in Puerto Rico Ivan Rodriguez Traverzo, among others.
Where the tourists are coming from
May stats for tourist arrivals show Canada as the leading source of tourists for the Dominican Republic so far this year. Some 21,491 more Canadians visited this May than in May 2008.
Travel this May was also up from emerging markets, namely Russia (4,730 more travelers), Portugal (+2,514), Ecuador (+1,734) and Sweden (+1,009).
But the economic crisis took its toll on travel from the US (down 24,701), France (-21,691), Spain (-18,185), Germany (-9,931) and Italy (-8,121).
Non-resident tourist arrivals so far accounted for in the first five months was 1,814,584, 3.69% down from the same period in 2008.
Punta Cana continued to be the preferred point of entry for foreign arrivals, with 56,72% of visitors. Las Americas (Santo Domingo) was next with 17.50% market share, Puerto Plata with 16.57%, La Romana with 4.54% and the airports of Cibao, La Isabela (in northern Santo Domingo) and El Catey (Samana) showed the remaining 4.67%.
The Central Bank says that for every 100 tourists, 57 are 21 to 49 years old.
Of the foreign non-resident arrivals, 90.9% stayed at hotels.
For more tourism statistical reports, see http://www.bancentral.gov.do

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