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October 6, 2009
  • Cisneros announces his investments
  • Santo Domingo gets Beach Volleyball Tour
  • CHTA Small Hotels Retreat
  • Russian flights will increase
Cisneros announces his investments
Venezuelan businessman Gustavo Cisneros has announced plans to build Tropicalia, a resort and residential project in the Samana Bay-Miches area in the east of the DR, with an estimated value of US$485 million. Construction is due to begin in March 2010 and will be completed by 2030, with a further US$1.5 billion investment over that period for a total investment approaching US$2 billion.
Cisneros spoke of a vision for building a socially responsible tourism venture. He made his announcement during an American Chamber of Commerce luncheon, which was also attended by President Leonel Fernandez.
Santo Domingo gets Beach Volleyball Tour
Boca Chica's famous beach will host this year's tour stop of Beach Volleyball "Sand and Sun 2009"from 6 to 8 November. Two-person teams, male and female, from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia (which has no beaches), Haiti, United States, Puerto Rico, Italy, Switzerland (which also does not have any beaches) and the Dominican Republic will compete for thousands of pesos in prize money.
The organizing committee is headed by Santo Domingo provincial governor Idelfonso Vasquez, provincial senator Cristina Lizardo and the mayor of Boca Chica.
The World Beach Volleyball Tour has been going on for some time, with Beach Volleyball attaining Olympic status and becoming more and more popular. The local Beach Volleyball Association, headed by Manuel Lara, reported that as a stop on the world tour, this event would bring welcome attention to the Dominican Republic as well as serving as an economic stimulus for the area.
CHTA Small Hotels Retreat
During the 2009 Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) Small Hotels Retreat, CHTA president Enrique De Marchena Kaluche is optimistic that 2010 will be a good year for small hotels in the Caribbean. "The good news is that the pent-up demand for warm weather vacations is at its highest point in well over a decade," said De Marchena Kaluche.
He said that several of the world's largest economies, such as Germany and France, have already pulled themselves out of recession, and consumer confidence in the US is beginning to return to normal levels.
But he said the challenges are greater than ever. "Entering into 2010, the Caribbean is competing on a global level with destinations that are just as hungry for tourism. In some cases, these emerging destinations have newer infrastructure and less reliance on expensive imports," said De Marchena Kaluche.
"Now more than ever before we must work together to improve our tourism product. We must redouble our efforts to come together as a united region in order to clearly demonstrate why there is no substitute for a Caribbean vacation.
He called for collaborative spirit. "As small hoteliers, it is essential that we identify what it is that makes us unique and implement strategies to differentiate each individual property, but this needs to be done within the overall context of a unified Caribbean," noted De Marchena Kaluche.
Russian flights will increase
Transaero Airlines is increasing its weekly flights from St Petersburg and Moscow to the DR from two to five flights a week, beginning this 1 October 2009. Deputy Minister of Tourism Magaly Toribio said the increase in flights could mean 20% more Russian tourists. At least 50,000 Russian tourists are expected to visit in 2009, according to Toribio.

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