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January 25, 2011
  • Four million-tourist mark set
  • Buenos Aires charter to Samana
  • Route to Haiti added
  • Coca Cola collection
  • Caribbean Midwinter Regatta a success
Four million-tourist mark set
4,124,543 non-resident air arrivals are reported for 2010, according to the Central Bank. This represents 132,240 more non-resident arrivals than in 2009, for a 3.31% growth. This includes 105,494 tourists and 26,746 non-resident Dominicans. It is the first time that the four million-mark has been crossed. In 2009, non-resident air arrivals totaled 3,992,303. Overall, in 2010, the Central Bank statistics show 4,586,264 arrivals to airports nationwide, up 171,508 travelers, or 3.88%.
Travel in December was up 0.75%, despite the cancellation of several flights due to snowstorms.
The leading source markets for tourists to the DR continue to be the United States and Canada, with 54%. Overall, there was an increase of 83,022 tourists from North America.
South America is also strong market. There were 67,436 more arrivals from Argentina (26,052+), Brazil (17,583), Chile (11,234), and Central America and the Caribbean with 14,801 more visitors compared to 2009.
European flows are suffering the effects of greater austerity. There was a decline of 62,066, due to fewer travelers from Spain, Italy, France and the United Kingdom.
Punta Cana International (PUJ) continues to be the leading airport of arrival, with 57.12% of all arrivals. Las Americas followed with 21.86%, and Puerto Plata 11.38%.
The Central Bank reports that most tourists came for leisure 91.48% and stayed in hotels in 87.45% of cases. The average age of visitors is between 21 and 49. Stats show 53.01% of tourists are women and 46.99% men.
Buenos Aires charter to Samana
Argentinean tourists can now fly into Samana, on the northeastern coast, directly via charter from Buenos Aires. Andesmar Airline arrived early this month with 150 tourists from the Argentinean capital. The tourists will be staying at Bahia Principe hotels in the province. They flew into the El Catey International Airport, located on the western side of the peninsula. Argentinean tour operators Erovips, All Seasons and Business and Travel are marketing the sun-and-sand excursions with stays at all-inclusives in Samana. Mercedes Moreno, north coast sales director for Bahia Principe said that the direct flight is a major success for the Bahia Principe hotel chain operations in the region that has 957 hotel rooms.
Route to Haiti added
Aerolineas Mas began a new route to Port-au-Prince from Santiago on 14 January. Flights depart on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 12:30pm from the Cibao International Airport (STI). In its fifth year in operation, the airline offers regular flights to Haiti from Santo Domingo's La Isabela International Airport (AILI).
The company also offers regular flights to Aruba and has plans to start flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The airline is operated from the Bowling Center at Autopista Duarte Km. 3.
Coca Cola collection
Alfredo Acosta runs a restaurant-cafeteria on Calle 27 de Febrero in Nagua, on the crossroads between Puerto Plata and Samana. It is worth a stopover. He has a fascinating collection of Coca Cola-related artifacts from all around the world. The items date back to the early years of the 20th century when a bottle of coke cost less than US$0.05. Alfredo Acosta told El Caribe newspaper that friends have contributed to expand the collection. The specialty of the house is "Coca Cola," a combination of snacks made with conch, shrimp, and crab. Alfredo Acosta worked for Coca Cola in the DR for 30 years before retiring and opening his restaurant.
Caribbean Midwinter Regatta a success
Sailors competing in the Caribbean Midwinter Laser Regatta enjoyed the ideal conditions of sun, 16-18kph breezes and big swells for surfing downwind in Cabarete. Conditions were so good that many sailors are planning to train in Cabarete for the ISAF world championship to be held in Australia later this year, as reported in
The Cabarete event was held on 14-16 January and served as a warm-up for the Miami OCR.
Nick Thompson from the UK won the overall competition. He was followed by Charles Buckingham from the US and Raul Aguayo from the Dominican Republic.
Competitors also came from the Virgin Islands, Ireland, Bermuda, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Japan and the Antilles.

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