Insider Secrets To Cheap Flights and Hotel Reservations
The airlines downsized me with no warning, so I wrote this guide to get even. You will be outraged when you learn the truth about how much you are being overcharged by the airlines, hotels etc.

Downsized Travel Agent Reveals ALL!

January 10, 2012
  • 14 Blue Flag resorts to choose from
  • ArteCuseco, the new attraction in La Romana
  • Focusing on the 50+ market segment
  • Dominican airports get better
14 Blue Flag resorts to choose from
The Dominican Republic is the country with the largest number of beaches with prestigious Blue Flag certification in Latin America and the Caribbean. Tourists can stay at hotels at 14 blue flag beach certified properties. Four properties in Punta Cana have the certification. Four are located in Arena Gorda, north of Bavaro - Bahia Principe Bavaro, Barcelo Punta Cana and Iberostar. Barcelo Bavaro in Bavaro beach is also a Blue Flag Beach. There are two more in the Cabeza de Toro area: Grand Oasis Grand and Cabeza de Toro Natura Park.
In Samana, in the northeast, there are three Blue Flag beaches: Cayacoa Bahia Principe, Cayo Levantado Bahia Principe, and El Portillo Bahia Principe.
In Puerto Plata, at Costa Dorada there is Grand Oasis Marien and the Iberostar hotel, both in Costa Dorada. And in Puerto Plata, there is Playa Dorada I and Playa Dorada III.
In the southeast, the Blue Flag beach is at Bayahibe's Playa La Laguna Dominicus, the first in the Dominican Republic to receive the prestigious certification.
A 15th Blue Flag beach certification had been granted to Bahia Principe San Juan resort, which was closed last year.
The main requirements for being awarded this distinction include the introduction of measures that will guarantee the correct use of local beaches by ensuring that the waters are not polluted and that there are no factors that will spoil the surrounding waters or the environment.
Another important addition is the collection of organic materials, maintaining safety standards, providing ramps for the disabled, defining swimming areas with buoys, and proper installation of bathrooms so that waste disposal does not pollute the beaches.
Also, the development of a recycling program and the implementation of an environmental department that is responsible for the proper management of the beach and coastal management.
For more on Blue Flag beaches, see
ArteCuseco, the new attraction in La Romana
The Centro Artesanal Arte Cuseco is now open to the general public in the town of Benerito, on the road to Bayahibe and Higuey from La Romana. Most of the clothing and jewelry at the workshop are made using local materials like cow horn, shells, leather, seeds, sea and coconut shells. A daycare center for the craftswomen's children and a crafts training center are located onsite.
Tourists can watch the crafts being made, and customized jewelry and crafts can be made to order.
At the inauguration of the new center, USAID economic policies advisor Duty Green said that the project helps improve quality of life for the inhabitants of Villas Padre Nuestro and Benerito towns, promoting sustainable tourism in Bayahibe through the sale of unique arts and crafts.
Ana Garcia, director of the La Romana-Bayahibe Hotels Association, said that the project came about thanks to an alliance between the AHRB, with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and the La Romana-Bayahibe Tourism Cluster.
The workshop and arts store received RD$2.6 million in funding from the Romana-Bayahibe Hotels Association (AHRB) working with the Inter-American Development Bank and another RD$2.9 funding from the USAID Destinos Fund for sustainable ecotourism.
ArteCuseco, which was founded as a micro-business in January 2008, has 40 members.
Focusing on the 50+ market segment
Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier Garcia has announced the creation of a committee to help develop a national strategy to focus on senior travel market segments. Late last year he met with Angela Jones, senior vice president and Helen Baptist, director of corporate relationships for the American Association of Retired Persons Services Inc in Santo Domingo to discuss possible alliances.
During her visit Helen Baptist made the point that every year over 83 million US citizens over the age of 50 travel abroad and spend over US$2 trillion. She said the association has more than 36 million members and predicted that membership would be at 118 million by 2020. She said that close by destinations such as the Dominican Republic are of interest to the membership, but need special treatment.
"What is important about this market niche is that normally they do not travel alone. They usually travel as couples or in the company of their children, with a high level of spending and longer stays. That is why we want to focus on their market," said Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier Garcia, as reported in El Caribe. He announced the creation of a committee to work on what the Dominican Republic can provide to this market segment.
AARP Services, Inc., founded in 1999, is a wholly-owned taxable subsidiary of AARP. AARP Services manages the provider relationships for and performs quality control oversight of the wide range of products and services that carry the AARP name and are made available by independent providers as benefits to AARP's millions of members.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people over the age of 50 to have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. For more information, write to [email protected]
Dominican airports get better
The Dominican Republic's two leading airports have both sought to give travelers the feel of being in the Caribbean while taking on the challenge of incorporating modern technology. Punta Cana International Airport in the east now has its new runway and control tower. Meanwhile, work is advancing on the completion of the remodeling and expansion of the southern terminal at Las Americas International, Santo Domingo's main airport.
In time for the peak winter travel months, Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) inaugurated its new control tower and second runway, becoming the first local airport with two runways. The new runway was built to withstand Category 5 hurricanes and provides 360 views and state-of-the-art technology for better servicing of arriving and departing flights. The new runway is 3,000 meters long (10,171 feet long and 150 feet wide) and was built to cater for the largest aircraft in service today, including the Jumbo, extended range Airbus, B-787. PUJ receives about 60% of the country's total air arrivals. Punta Cana International Airport is the Caribbean's leading airport in terms of the number of flights from several destinations. Speaking at the inaugural, Grupo Puntacana CEO Frank Rainieri said the new facilities make PUJ the most modern air terminal in Central America and the Caribbean. The terminal is also a major cargo hub for the region, and the eighth largest in arrivals in Latin America.
Santo Domingo's Las Americas International (SDQ) has also been undergoing major expansion and improvements. That airport receives around 22% of the country's arrivals. These works are expected to be finished before the end of the peak tourism winter season. The renovation works include a new southern facade for the airport, improvements in the duty free shops and other commercial areas of the airport. Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI (Aerodom) says that the works being carried out by Architect Frank Ortega & Asociados total around RD$450 million. The firm is working with Vanta SRL and Constructora Armenteros SRL on the renovations and expansions.
Aerodom director general Andrew O'Brian told Listin Diario that the aim is to incorporate high aviation technology through use of stainless steel, aluminum and glass, with elements that have created the shape of an airplane's wing, giving travelers the sensation of flying. Interior decoration details like bright tropical colors and wooden jalousie windows remind travelers they are in the Caribbean. The decor also includes images of the national bird, the palm chat, and palm trees and large posters of the sea.

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