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February 21, 2012
  • New advertising campaign to attract tourists
  • Bartolo Colon and medical tourism
  • 4,776,473 non-resident arrivals in 2011
  • Foreign travel up 5.17% to the DR in 2011
New advertising campaign to attract tourists
The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism has taken the idea of social networking to a new level with its 2012 Dominican Republic social media-inspired ad campaign. In a follow-up to the successful 2011 launch of the social media-friendly website, the Ministry is introducing a multi-channel campaign featuring print, online and broadcast that generate engagement with consumers wherever they are in the world today, inspiring them to be social and to share their unforgettable experiences in the Dominican Republic.
The creative approach behind the ads uses social networking as a metaphor to convey the message "You don't have to go far to be social," prompting the campaign's tagline, "Dominican Republic is Closer Than You Think."
According to Magaly Toribio, Deputy Minister of International Promotion at the Dominican Ministry of Tourism, "The social interaction suggests the vacation as something worthy of a status update, both literally and in the Facebook sense. As the power of social media is undeniable, the ads blend technology and social interaction to create value, the value of sharing your experiences with others."
The Dominican Republic's award-winning website and the 2012 Social Campaign were developed by BVKmeka, their US and Hispanic marketing agency since 2004. The creative works seamlessly across computers, iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices, making it even easier to tell consumers that there is no better place to get closer and socialize in real life than in Dominican Republic.
The ads will be featured in magazines, broadcast, on New York's Times Square billboards and online.
Bartolo Colon and medical tourism
Medical tourism to the DR is expected to receive a boost with all the attention generated by 2005 Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Bartolo Colon's rehabilitation treatment. Five years after winning the award, his career appeared to be over after he suffered from elbow ligament and rotator cuff problems.
But he traveled to his native DR for innovative treatment where his fat and bone marrow stem cells were extracted and then injected into his shoulder and elbow resulting in attention-grabbing comeback for the Dominican ball player. Colon, who was considered ready for retirement, was instead given a chance to play again for the Yankees and went an astonishing 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA, with his first half being especially effective at 3.20 ERA and 7 strikeouts in 15 games and 12 starts. The media described how the controversial procedure had worked, evoking images of the pitcher having a bionic arm.
As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, when the A's signed the 38-year-old to a one-year, US$2 million deal last month, they looked strictly at those results, rather than concerning themselves too much with the procedure.
The San Francisco newspaper reports that in the new season, Colon will stand out on a young pitching staff. He's 10 years older than Braden and Brandon McCarthy, the next oldest starters on the staff. And listed at 5-foot-11 and 267 pounds, Colon is round rather than lean.
The newspaper says that the two-time All-Star, Colon has the third-most major-league wins (161) among Dominican pitchers after Juan Marichal (243) and Pedro Martinez (219), and he has been particularly successful pitching in Oakland, where he is 5-1 with a 2.14 ERA.
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4,776,473 non-resident arrivals in 2011
The Dominican Republic received 4,306,431 visitors in 2011, ending the year with a 4.41% increase over 2010. The Central Bank statistical report also indicates that there was a 5.17% increase in the number of non-resident foreign arrivals compared to 2010.
Tourist arrivals in the DR have consistently increased from 3,979,672 (2008), 3,992,303 (2009), 4,124,543 (2010) and now 5,306,431 (2011).
Overall, Dominican eight international airports handled 4,776,473 incoming passengers in 2011, up 4.15% compared to previous years. The breakdown for 2011 was 603,434 non-resident Dominican arrivals, 3,702,997 foreign arrivals, 418,971 resident Dominicans and 51,071 foreign residents in the DR.
Foreign travel up 5.17% to the DR in 2011
Foreign travel was up by 181,887 visitors or 5.17% last year, mainly due to the growth in emerging tourism markets from South America and Russia that benefited from increased direct flights. An additional 107,434 travelers came from South America. Travel from North America was also up with 86,619 additional visitors. Meanwhile, travel from Europe was down by 9,181 travelers, and travel from Central America and the Caribbean also experienced a decline, with 2,838 fewer travelers.
Brazil was up by 39,472 passengers, Argentina 28,280, Colombia 9,719, Chile 9,133, Venezuela 7,883 and Peru 6,010 passengers. The number of arrivals from the US went up by 77,615, followed by Canada that showed a 6,232 increase in visitors.
Travel from Russia was up 44,693.
In Europe, France showed 15,441 more visitors, and Italy showed a 4,870 increase.
The Central Bank reported that 92.70% of visitors came for leisure, with 89.17% staying at hotels. Of the total number of visitors, 50.08% were women and 49.92% men. Most (63.86%) tourists were between the ages of 21 and 49.
The Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) continues to lead as the main port of entry to the Dominican Republic. In 2011, the airport received 2,232,901 visitors, or 60.3% of the total passenger arrivals. Santo Domingo's Las Americas International (SDQ) was second with 804,595 passengers, or 21,73%. Puerto Plata followed with 9.37%, Santiago's El Cibao airport (STI) received 3.60% and La Romana (LRM) received 3.05%. Samana and Barahona airports combined received 1.95% of the passengers.
Arrivals to Punta Cana were up by 221,509 and Las Americas saw an increase of 34,740 passengers, while other airports saw slight reductions in arrivals.

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