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Information updated December 2009

January 26, 2010
  • Playa Dorada and Blue Flag
  • Roberto Henriquez re-elected to head Santo Domingo hotels
  • Travel holds its own to DR
  • Building a new Dream Education Center
Playa Dorada and Blue Flag
The Playa Dorada beach Blue Flag certification has been ratified for the second consecutive year. The beach faces the Grand Paradise Playa Dorada hotel, operated by Amhsa Marina Hotels & Resorts.
The Institute of Environmental Law in the DR (IDARD) issued the certificate to the beach for 2010-2011. There are seven Blue Flag beaches in the DR.
Getting the certification is one thing, and keeping it is even harder.
Requirements for this prestigious accreditation are expensive and rigorous. Beach water quality is constantly monitored and maintained at high European standards, information and environmental education programs need to be in place, as well as environmental management, security and services at the beach, such as a lifeguard every 100 meters and public bathrooms.
Water quality monitoring is combined with programs for educating beach users.
Blue Flag beaches in the DR are:
La Laguna (Dominicus) in Bayahibe, Cabeza de Toro, Punta Cana - Dreams Palm Beach, Grand Oasis, Natura Park.
Puerto Plata: Costa Dorada Grand Oasis and Costa Dorada Iberostar. Playa Dorada I and Playa Dorada II.
See www.blueflag.org
Roberto Henriquez re-elected to head Santo Domingo hotels
Roberto Henriquez, general manager of the Santo Domingo Melia Hotel, will continue to head the Santo Domingo Hotel Association. During the ceremony marking his second consecutive term, Henriquez said he would continue to work to position Santo Domingo in the country's main international markets and locally as a destination for visitors seeking more than sun and beach. He said that the most important issues on his agenda are cleanliness, land use, security, infrastructure and service concerns. Henriquez will head the organization for the period 2010-2012.
He highlighted several important upcoming events, including the celebration of the 17th Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (F-CCA) Conference & Trade Show that will take place in Santo Domingo 25-29 October.
Travel holds its own to DR
Travel to the Dominican Republic in 2009 leveled off, with a slight increase of 0.32%. The increase comes despite the World Tourism Organization forecast of a general drop of 5% in travel to the Caribbean.
Overall, according to Central Bank statistics, a total of 4,414,756 tourists traveled to the DR by air in 2009, for an increase of 16,013 compared to 2008. The number of non-resident arrivals in 2009 was 3,992,303 for 12,631 more travelers. According to the Central Bank, non-resident Dominicans registered an increase of 8.41%, with 44,745 more visiting the country in DR, compensating for the decline in international travelers. Travel in December showed an 8.87% increase, or 33,269 more visitors, mostly foreigners.
Building a new Dream Education Center
Construction work was begun at the Dream Project with the groundbreaking of the new facilities for the Dream Education Center on Wednesday 20 January in the community of Colonia Nueva in Cabarete, Puerto Plata. The guest of honor was Dominican actress and honorary Dream chairperson Celines Toribio, who was joined by local officials, press and community members in unveiling the design of the new Education Center.
The expansion will almost double the size of the Dream Public Library and add three more classrooms, greatly increasing the programs already offered by the organization.
The Dream Education Center serves as a critical community resource, providing the highest level of pre-school Montessori Education, the most extensive public library in the North Coast and various after-school programs for young people of all ages at no cost to the families of Cabarete.
The Dream Project is a non-profit organization that provides quality education to children throughout rural areas of the Dominican Republic. The Dream Education Center hosts 3 of 10 projects in 5 communities throughout the North Coast, educating more than 1,500 children on a daily basis.
The Dream Project offers valuable opportunities for practicing volunteer tourism.
To learn more about Dream, please call 809 571-0497 or log on to their website at www.dominicandream.org

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