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August 17, 2010
  • US travel up
  • Constanza and summer heat
  • Cigar Festival & factory tours
  • 2010 Symphony Season
US travel up
The Central Bank reports that travel figures for non resident tourists were up 6.16% in July, with 24,247 more passengers compared to the same period last year. This includes 18,704 foreign tourists. Overall, non-resident tourist arrivals from January to July 2010 totaled 2,616,486, compared to 2,212,613 tourists in 2009. This is up 3.04% more compared to 2009. Travel was primarily up from North America, with 50,125 additional visitors. Travel from South America was also up, with 44,250 more travelers.
Source markets showing increases were: United States (56,572), Argentina (16,225), Puerto Rico (12,672), Russia (9,942), Brazil (8,592), Chile (8,327), Peru (4,904) and Venezuela (4,078). Countries showing declines were: Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany.
Punta Cana International Airport continues to be the country's busiest terminal, with 1,300,999 passengers arriving during the first half of the year, or 47.7% of the total.
Constanza and summer heat
With its two-lane 51km highway repaired at a cost of RD$112 million, now is the time to return to Constanza.
Constanza boasts cool temperatures and the highest and largest waterfall in the Caribbean, Aguas Blancas. With its mountains scenery and pine forests it is also the closest thing to Switzerland that one can find in the Caribbean. Constanza is also a stopping point prior to continuing on to climb the Dominican Alps, including Pico Duarte, at 3,075 meters the highest peak in the Caribbean and Central America. Also check out the pyramid marking the central point of the island in Valle Nuevo, a magical valley.
Cigar Festival & factory tours
The Procigar Festival planned for 2011 combines the opportunity to get to know some of the best premium smokes in the country, with cigar factory tours, seminars, golf, local cuisine, dancing, visits to the beaches and more. The annual event begins at Casa de Campo this year, with opportunities for beach and golf at the legendary Teeth of the Dog golf course, and a visit to the Tabacalera de Garcia Cigar Factory next door (La Romana, 6-8 February).
It then continues to Santiago, a three-hour trip that takes visitors through Santo Domingo where participants can choose from factory tours to General Cigar, Davidoff, Matasa, La Aurora and Tabaquisa, beer & rum factory tours, city tours, merengue lessons, seminars, sailing along the north coast on a catamaran, playing golf or just relaxing in the tropical breezes of Puerto Plata beach, one hour to the north. In the evening, organizers promise spectacular dinners, premium drinks, local cuisine, dance and warm Dominican hospitality for their guests (Santiago-Puerto Plata 8-11 February).
Procigar is hosting Silent Charity Donations at every dinner in Santiago to benefit the Voluntariado de Jesus con los Ninos that helps sick children and the Hospicio San Vicente de Paul (a retirement home for low-income elders).
See http://procigar.org/
If you can't wait till then, check out the available cigar factory tours in La Romana: www.dr1.com/directories/tours/cigar_factory_tour.shtml
2010 Symphony Season
Maestro Jose Antonio Molina of the National Theater has once again prepared an exceptional National Symphony Orchestra Season. For the 2010 Summer-Fall National Symphony Orchestra Season, the program begins on 19 August and continues with a last night performance on 29 September.
One benefit and four concerts are scheduled for this season. These are: 19 August. Dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven. 25 August: Gems of the Heart" with young Dominican violinist Aisha Syed, performing Concert No. 3 for Violin and Orchestra by Camille Saint Saens. Danse Macabre, Op.40 by Saint Saens. Music from the Caribbean Gems production, directed by Maestro Jose Antonio Molina. Tickets are RD$1,000-RD$400 from the National Theater. This is a benefit for the Heart Care Dominicana Foundation. 1 September: Pianist Pavlo Gintov and director Thomas Sanderling perform works by F. Chopin, Richard Wagner and R. Schumann. 15 September: Concert directed by Thomas Sanderling, with Ilya Kaler, soloist violinist. Works by Johannes Brahms. 29 September: Concert directed by Jose Antonio Molina. Julia Zilberquit, pianist. Performing works by L. Bernstein, M. Ravel, Tchaikovsky and Villa-Lobos.
Tickets: RD$1,000, RD$900, RD$800, RD$600 & RD$400.
For more information on upcoming events, see www.dr1.com/calendar

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