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May 25, 2010
  • BTC set for 17-19 June
  • Travel up
  • Open skies policy makes the difference
  • Beer, rum & chocolate
BTC set for 17-19 June
The Caribbean Tourism Exchange, now in its 14th year, will take place at the Dominican Fiesta Hotel convention hall from June 17-19. The fair showcases the DR's tourism industry and Caribbean and Latin America to international and local buyers. It facilitates business meetings between suppliers and buyers and is directed at wholesalers, tour operators, travel agencies, hotels, airlines, governmental institutions and any tourism-related institutions, as well as at the general public. A new element this year is the celebration of its first gastronomic festival, dedicated this time to the classic Dominican dish, "asopao criollo."
See www.btc.com.do
Travel up
Travel to the DR from January to April 2010 is only 41,319 tourists short of the peak 2008 level. Stats for tourist arrivals from January to April 2010 were 1,553,393, a 2.3% increase over the 1,518,210 tourist arrivals for the same period in 2009, or 35,183 non-resident travelers. These numbers include 1,380,759 foreign tourists and 172,634 non-resident Dominicans. They reflect the drop in traffic from Europe, due to the Icelandic volcano eruption crisis at the end of April. South America continues to send more travelers, with arrivals coming from Argentina, Puerto Rico, Chile, Brazil and Venezuela.
Punta Cana International Airport is still the main airport for air arrivals, with 58.33% of the tourists who visited during the first quarter of the year coming through that airport, or 805,323 tourists. Las Americas (Santo Domingo) was second with 17.62%, followed by Puerto Plata with 13.78%, La Romana with 4.15%. Together, Cibao, La Isabela and Catey in Samana reported 6.12%.
The Central Bank reports that 63.27% of travelers to the DR are 21 to 49 years old, 53.61% are women.
Open skies policy makes the difference
The Dominican Republic has had an open skies policy since 2006, and this has made the difference in number of arrivals. The DR has aviation agreements with Canada, Chile, Panama, Cuba, Austria, Mexico, the Benelux Countries, Great Britain, Dubai, Colombia, Brazil, Iceland, Turkey, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Russia and Peru. Most of these agreements benefit foreign airlines, but Luis Rodriguez Ariza, president of the Civil Aviation Board (JAC) told Listin Diario that Dominican airlines could benefit if they had the fleets.
In 2009, 4,462,277 air arrivals came to the DR. This included 3.9 million from the US, followed by Canada with 1.2 million travelers.
"We apply a liberal air policy, with freedom in respect to number of frequencies and rates, allowing the airlines to operate all the flights they request," he said.
Beer, rum & chocolate
La Residence Restaurant at the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando is inviting everyone to taste the special dishes executive chef Denis Schetrit has prepared using a range of local ingredients.
Master Chef (Maitres Cuisiniers de France) Denis Schetrit is adapting traditional French cuisine to local ingredients for the delight of his patrons at the La Residence Restaurant in the Hostal.
From 8 to 27 June, the focus will be on Dominican vegetables. July will be the month of chocolate, from 13 to 31. From 5-24 October, Chef Shetrit focuses on tropical fruit (coconut, pineapple, mango...). And in November, from 1-14, rum will prevail in the special creations served at the restaurant.
The themed menus have a fixed price of RD$950 + taxes, and include entree, main dish and dessert.
Hotel General manager Jean Le Priellec said that the themed menus seek to highlight what is Dominican in Santo Domingo's cuisine, on the occasion of the celebration of Santo Domingo as the American Capital of Culture in 2010.
Denis Schetrit is a member of the prestigious organization of chefs known as Master Chef of France, made up of professionals of the culinary arts who work around the world and seek to preserve and spread French gastronomical traditions, encourage training in cuisine and assist professional development.

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