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September 20, 2011
  • Tourist arrivals up slightly
  • Taste Santo Domingo 2011
  • US$25 for checked luggage on Continental
  • New museum in Moca
  • Macadamia delights at Paradisus
Tourist arrivals up slightly
There were 3.77% more foreign tourist air arrivals to the Dominican Republic in the first eight months of the year, or 95,999 more than last year's 2,641,386 tourists by August.
The Central Bank attributed the increase to new markets, namely South America. Travel from South America is up 76,049. This is said to be the result of promotional efforts by the Ministry of Tourism, airlines and tour operators.
Travel from North America (US and Canada) is up by 39,389 travelers. These increases compensated for the decline of 16,551 in European travelers. Nevertheless, travel from Russia reports a 25,296-pax increase.
The Central Bank says that in absolute terms, the countries that experienced the greater increases in arrivals by air during the period January-August 2011 were United States (32,838), Brazil (25,636), Russia (25,296) and Argentina (24,032).
When resident travel is included, air travel this year is up 3.0% compared to last year, according to the recent statistical update by the Central Bank.
Punta Cana International Airport continues to receive the largest number of tourist arrivals, with 1,598,850 visitors, or 60.53% of the total air arrivals. Traffic to Punta Cana was up 136,813 passengers during the period.
Others are Las Americas-SDQ (20.83%), Puerto Plata-POP (9.67%), Cibao-STI (3.73%), La Romana-LRM (3.16%). La Isabela (Santo Domingo) and El Catey (Samana) together accounted for the remaining 2.08%.
Taste Santo Domingo 2011
Spanish chef Dani Garcia's nitrogen-cooking techniques promise to be a major attraction at Taste Santo Domingo that opens at the Renaissance Jaragua and Melia Santo Domingo hotels on 28 and 29 September. Garcia is the creator of Calima and La Moraga, and the 2008 winner of Spain's National Gastronomy Award for the Best Chef de Cuisine. He will perform on 29 September at the Teatro La Fiesta of the Renaissance Jaragua that is being transformed into a culinary stage and frontline for the busy schedule of gastronomic performances. The gourmet summit is in its fourth year.
At the event, Eva Riera Torrecillo from Spain will lead a culinary demonstration for the food processor Thermomix and Caribbean Cuisine. Prior to working with Thermomix, Riera worked at Seville's Hacienda Benazuza's (elBulli Hotel) two Michelin star restaurant "La Alqueria".
From Venezuela, master chef Sumito Estevez will give a master class. He is the host of the popular Latin American TV show,
The event is geared towards culinary professionals and passionate foodies. The day program has been designed for food & beverage professionals, but at night, the lights turn on at La Fiesta to display an impressive culinary mise-en-scene of shows and events dedicated to epicureans, say organizers.
Event organizers say that Taste Santo Domingo seeks to stimulate trends, promote new bonds for culinary professionals and demonstrate the cultural, social and economic reach of gastronomy. It has three dimensions - trade show, grand tasting and academic dimension of conferences and culinary demonstrations.
See the program at
US$25 for checked luggage on Continental
Continental airlines is now charging travelers US$25 for their first item of checked luggage. The measure has been in effect since 15 August for all economy class passengers. Travelers are charged US$40 for checking two suitcases. Passengers are still allowed to take hand luggage on board.
New museum in Moca
Travelers taking the cultural route from Santo Domingo to the north should consider passing through Moca on way to Cabarete and other north coast destinations to visit the new Museo Presidente Ramon Caceres (1868-1911). Ramon Caceres is known for his key role in the assassination of dictator Ulises Hereaux (1899). He subsequently went on to be President and was himself murdered, in 1911.
Macadamia delights at Paradisus
Eat something delicious and make a worthwhile contribution to the environment at the Paradisus Punta Cana. Leading Dominican macadamia nut company La Loma, together with Paradisus Resorts have created the Macadamia La Loma Green Corner at the Punta Cana hotel. Guests staying at the Paradisus Punta Cana can order Macadamia nut kits to contribute to the environment. With the purchase of the La Loma Kit at the hotel, the guests' US$12-25 contribution covers the donation of a macadamia tree sapling to a Dominican farmer. The strategic alliance brings together two companies to help in the reforestation of Dominican mountains and promote environmental conservation. The slogan is More Taste... More Forest!
Paradisus Punta Cana also features dishes made with Dominican macadamias on its menu.

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