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July 26, 2011
  • Bayahibe Rose
  • Avianca adds two more flights to Dominican Republic
  • Merengue Festival on the Malecon
  • Tourist travel up 4.31%
Bayahibe Rose
La Romana is celebrating the designation of a flower endemic to the area as the National Flower of the Dominican Republic, replacing the Mahogany Blossom that dated back to 1957.
Pereskia quisqueyana, commonly known as the Bayahibe Rose, is a species of cactus that is endemic to the Dominican Republic. Its natural habitats include subtropical or tropical dry forests, but it is critically endangered due to habitat loss.
The Bayahibe Rose can be seen in the trees area near the Bayahibe public school. It is also being cultivated at the National Botanical Gardens.
Discovered by French botanist Henri Alain Liogier in 1977, it has been granted the status of National Flower in an attempt to promote its cultivation and protection through awareness. This small tree can reach a height of six meters. The flowers are a lovely pink color.
Avianca adds two more flights to Dominican Republic
Avianca has inaugurated two regular weekly flights from Colombia to the beach resort area of Punta Cana. The flights, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, are being added in response to increased demand for resort vacations by Colombian travelers, in addition to the current four weekly flights by the airline. Avianca flies direct from Bogota to Santo Domingo by way of Las Americas International Airport.
During 2010, 31,263 Colombians visited the Dominican Republic. In the first five months of 2011, some 15,912 passengers have visited directly from Colombia, as reported in Diario Libre.
Merengue Festival on the Malecon
The Ministry of Tourism has announced that the 2011 Merengue Festival will be celebrated 29-31 July at Plaza Juan Baron on Santo Domingo's Malecon seafront boulevard. This year the festival will be dedicated to legendary artist Francis Santana, El Songo, best known for his merengue, bolero and son music. There will also be tributes to maestro Dioni Fernandez and bandleader Anibal Bravo, for their outstanding successes in the 1980s.
Anibal Bravo will take the stage on Friday, 29 together with Felix Cume, Bobby Rafael and Ileana Reynoso, who were also members of his band. On Sunday, Dioni Fernandez will be on stage with Sergio Vargas, Pablo Martinez, Diomedes and Charlie Rodriguez.
Brugal will be sponsoring the event with promotions here and in Puerto Rico. The Festival this year will coincide with Father's Day, which is on Sunday, 31.
Bands that have been booked for performances during the festival are Milly Quezada, Miriam Cruz, Fernando Villalona, Fefita la Grande, Tono Rosario, Sergio Vargas, Tito Swing, Francisco Ulloa, Rafely and Banda Libre.
The Festival will be televised by Digital 15. The MCs will be Domingo Bautista, Brenda Sanchez, Michael Miguel Holguin and Carolin Aquino.
Tourist travel up 4.31%
Central Bank statistics indicate that 2,000,955 non-resident travelers visited the country during the first half of the year, for an increase of 82,621 travelers, or 4.31% compared to the same period last year.
The Central Bank attributes the increases to the promotional campaigns by the Ministry of Tourism and the private sector and diversifying of markets. Markets performing well were Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru. In Europe, Russia, Germany, Italy and France also showed increases, while travel flow from Spain and the UK declined.
The strong emerging markets from South America, with an increase of 59,705 passengers is keeping Dominican numbers in the black. The leading source markets in South America reporting traffic increases were Argentina (20,851), Brazil (19,366), Chile (6,076), Colombia (3,307), Venezuela (3,115) and Peru (2,866).

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