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November 3, 2009
  • Yesawich visits for talk
  • British Airways starts London - Punta Cana
  • DR Global Film Festival
  • Santo Domingo promoted to 48 universities
  • Ocean World specials
Yesawich visits for talk
Caribbean tourism expert Peter Yesawich will be in Santo Domingo to take part in the 25th anniversary of the Center for Information and Communication (Cicom) public relations agency. Yesawich will lead a discussion on the global crisis and the new trends in travel markets at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra this coming Tuesday, 17 November as of 5pm at the university auditorium on Av. Abraham Lincoln.
Yesawich is the president of Ypartnership, the leading travel marketing, public relations and advertising agency in the US market. His contribution will be followed by a discussion with input from Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia, vice president of Asonahores Simon Suarez, president of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Enrique de Marchena, tourism consultant Juan Llado and Quiterio Cedeno of Adompretur.
The event is open to all interested participants.
British Airways starts London - Punta Cana
On Monday, 26 October, British Airways began its twice-weekly service from Gatwick to Punta Cana, the DR's leading sun and sand destination. The airline now flies to 13 destinations in the Caribbean, with more flights to the region than any other UK carrier. BA will compete with Air Europa, Iberia, Air France, Martinair and Condor for services to Europe. Dominican ambassador to the United Kingdom Anibal de Castro was here for the inaugural flight.
As reported in Listin Diario, de Castro said that the flight is evidence of the acceptance of official efforts to promote visits by tourists with higher purchasing power. The flights will also encourage more independent travel.
In addition to the new Punta Cana route, the airline is also increasing flights to other winter sun hotspots in the region such as St Lucia (from three to five flights a week), Barbados (from nine to ten) and Port of Spain, Trinidad (from three to five). In all, BA will now fly to the Caribbean 45 times a week.
Richard Tams, head of sales at British Airways, says that the new flight will be a plus for destinations beyond Punta Cana. He said that British tourists will now be able to "relax on sun-kissed beaches" but at the same time they will be able to stroll along the 16th century cobblestone streets of the capital in Santo Domingo's Colonial Zone or take a hiking holiday in the mountains in the forested inland.
DR Global Film Festival
Movie-going is one of the tourist attractions in the DR. Quality and variety of films comes with low cost of tickets. Tickets to weekend films cost around US$3, for popular films. And Santo Domingo frequently holds film festivals, bringing the unusual to the city and some interior cities all year round.
For instance, this November, the Dominican Republic Global Film Festival (DRGFF) will once again be screening world-class films and premieres for local audiences, with 32 feature-length and documentary films from Wednesday, 18 November to Sunday, 22 November at 7pm. Admission is RD$50 for adults and RD$25 for students.
DRGFF is being held in five locations this year - Santo Domingo, Santiago, Puerto Plata, Cap Cana and Nagua - and in eight theaters.
"Touched," a Shalim Ortiz production about domestic violence, opens the festival on 17 November. It will be screened at the main theater of the National Theater in Santo Domingo after the red-carpet ceremony. DRGFF will open in Santiago with "La Soga," by Dominican filmmaker Manny Perez. The event will close with the film "Sol Caribe", which is about the history of merengue and Dominican culture, in Santo Domingo.
In Cap Cana, two films will be shown via "Cine Bajo las Estrellas."
Through film screenings, professional training sessions and educational programs, the 2009 Festival seeks to inspire and educate emerging artists, industry professionals, elementary, high school and university students and fervent film fans.
What sets DRGFF apart from other film festivals is that it is being celebrated simultaneously in four cities and that it includes specialized programs for middle school and high school students and thematic panel discussions. DRGFF 2009 will hold nine discussions on a range of topics ranging from food security and animal rights to gender equity.
As part of DRGFF's central theme, "global issues, personal stories", the event will screen 32 high-quality documentary and feature length films that highlight pressing contemporary global issues and stories of personal challenge and achievement.
See www.drgff.org
Santo Domingo promoted to 48 universities
Xavier Tudela, president of the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals announced that Santo Domingo had been promoted during the celebration of the Annual Conference of the University Network of the European Capitals of Culture (UNeECC) in Vilnius, Lithuania in mid October. The network brings together 48 universities located in cities that have been or will be European Capitals of Culture. Vilnius shares the distinction of being European Capital of Culture 2009 with the Austrian city of Linz. Santo Domingo has been named American Cultural Capital 2010.
Tudela highlighted the importance of the promotion, stressing that it could encourage European students to carry out exchanges with Dominican universities, either through the Erasmus program or others.
See www.ibocc.org
Ocean World specials
Ocean World, the Puerto Plata adventure park, marina and entertainment center, has specials in November in its programs.
These are -
Dolphin Encounter special: 30 minutes fun and educational interaction with 2 playful dolphins in waist-deep water. Ideal for non-swimmers and families with young children. Adults US$89 (was US$115), children US$69 (was US$80), infants (free of charge).
Dolphin swim special:
Our most popular program: a 30-minutes interaction with 2 playful dolphins, including the dorsal pull. Hug, pet, feed and dance with our dolphins.
Adult US$145 (was US$165). Child US$100 (was US$120).
Royal Swim (new!). This is an opportunity to participate in a 60-minutes swim session with two dolphins. Playing ball with the dolphins, pectoral ride and footpush with a boogey board will be part of this interactive program.
Adults are US$165 (was US$199), children US$120 (was US$154).
While Ocean World is famous for its dolphin, sea lion and shark interaction programs, this entertainment center also features a themed casino, bars, restaurants, rooftop club and a tropical Las Vegas style dance show Bravissimo all seaside in Cofresi, Puerto Plata.
For more information, see http://www.dr1.com/directories/tourism/oceanworld.shtml

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