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February 28, 2012
  • Regatta in Samana
  • Casandra Awards
  • Travel from Italy up significantly
  • Four-year plan for the Colonial City
  • Santo Domingo's big carnival parade
Regatta in Samana
Listin Diario-Ritmo Social invites sailing enthusiasts to the I Regata Ritmo Social in the waters of Samana Bay from 23-25 March starting from Puerto Bahia. Dozens of sails are expected to participate, with many sailors coming from abroad. The itinerary will run from Puerto Bahia marina along the coastline, passing on to Cayo Levantado and then to Vista Mare residential community. This is an extraordinary opportunity for photographers to get great shots of Samana, especially from the sea. Samana offers visitors the contrasting spectacle of green hills and beaches side by side. The announcement was made by Papo Bancalari of Puerto Bahia.
Casandra Awards
The Dominican Oscars Night is scheduled for 13 March at the National Theater in Santo Domingo. This year's lineup of stars includes Natalia Jimenez (La quinta estacion, Por ser tu mujer-fame), Puerto Rican singer Victor Manuelle, merengue star Miriam Cruz and bachata favorite Zacarias Ferreira. Jimenez is also known for her songs Recuerdame, a duo with Marc Anthony; and Lo mejor de mi vida eres tu, with Ricky Martin.
Travel from Italy up significantly
The Ministry of Tourism reports that travel from Europe was significantly up in 2011. Despite the economic crisis affecting most European economies, 2011 ended up being a year of recovery for Italian travel to the Dominican Republic. After three years of decline, 2011 showed a 5% increase in Italian arrivals. Neyda Garcia, director of the Dominican Ministry of Tourism Office in Milan, said that 99,822 Italian visitors came in 2011, up from 94,952 in 2010. This was significant after the declines in travel during 2010, 2009 and 2008. She believes more emphasis needs to be made on ecotourism and nature tourism to attract increasing numbers of Italian tourists.
Four-year plan for the Colonial City
Major urban renewal works for the old city of Santo Domingo are scheduled to start this spring. The US$30 million program is being financed by the Inter-American Development Bank. Jorge Daries, executive director of Epysa, the firm behind the feasibility study for the loan, and which will continue in an advisory role, said that a commission chaired by Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia is overseeing tenders for contracting the companies that will carry out enhancement projects.
The project includes the placement of underground electricity cables in several areas of the Colonial City. The San Francisco Monastery ruins will be converted into a cultural and events center, expected to improve the marketability of the Colonial City. Other monuments will also be enhanced, and facilities will be created for micro and small businesses to help them become more competitive.
Daries has highlighted that the physical recovery and restoration of the cultural city will be carried out with a holistic approach to ensure that the growth is orderly and sustainable. He said works would be completed within a four-year period. The plan is to turn the Colonial City in a strategic area for business and tourism destination.
Santo Domingo's big carnival parade
If you're in Santo Domingo, don't miss the Sunday, 4 March carnival parade along the Malecon oceanfront boulevard. The carnival brings together floats, dancing troupes and carnival groups from all around the country. It is organized by the Ministry of Culture with the sponsorship of Presidente beer. The parade starts at 3pm, and this year's event will honor the late folklore promoter, Nereyda Rodriguez. The carnival is dedicated to La Vega and guest groups from Aruba, Bulgaria, Curacao, Colombia, Taiwan, Guadeloupe, Haiti and Honduras will be parading.

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