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September 18, 2012
  • Rodriguez Amiama: Good times ahead for tourism industry
  • Foreign travel up 7.25% Jan-Aug 2012
  • Multicultural Food Festival in Sosua
  • POP Discover 2012 set for October
  • Sails to unfold for Viva 2012 Regatta
Rodriguez Amiama: Good times ahead for tourism industry
The new president of the National Hotels & Tourism Association (Asonahores), Luis Rodriguez Amiama, who has represented Casa de Campo at Asonahores for many years, says that these are good times for the tourism industry. During an event held at the Hotel Santo Domingo to mark the start of his presidency, Rodriguez pointed out that he is starting at the same time as the new Medina administration. He says that these are times with a pro-tourism President who has set a quantitative goal for the industry, and the continuation in post of the minister of Tourism who is known for his harmonious relationship with the private sector.
President Danilo Medina is working towards an annual target of 10 million visitors within the next 10 years, double the current five million foreign visitors. President Medina confirmed that Francisco Javier Garcia, who was appointed by former President Leonel Fernandez in August 2008, would continue in his post as Tourism Minister.
Rodriguez also highlighted the fact that the sector is in tune with the Medina government plan and with the tourism development guidelines set out in the National Development Strategy.
Rodriguez heads a new board for the 2012-2014 period. The Executive Committee members of the 2012-2014 Asonahores board are: Luis Emilio Rodriguez, president, Casa de Campo; Ventura Serra, first vice president, senior vice president Occidental Hotels Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Cuba; Paola Rainieri de Diaz, second vice president, Puntacana Resort & Club; Maria Vasquez, third vice president, Association of Fast Food Restaurants (Adecor); Juan Bancalari, fourth vice president, Dominican Association of Residential Tourism (Adeti); Polibio Schiffino, treasurer, Casa Bonita; Joel Santos, vice treasurer, Coral Hospitality Corp; Luis Jose Cabral, secretary, Hotel Don Juan; and Jesus Almanzar, vice secretary, Viva Dominicus.
The regional directors are: Rafael Blanco Tejera, Viva Residence; Analie Prieto, Portillo Beach Club & Spa; Francisco Castillo, Melia Hoteles; Jesus Duran, Bahia Principe; Fernando Gomez, Hoteles Barcelo; Augusto Sanchez, Dominican Association of Restaurants Inc, (Aderes); Frank Rainieri, Association of Airports; Osvaldo Oller Bolanos, Association of Cruise Ports (Acruport); and Eduardo Reple, Santo Domingo.
Other regional directors are: Francisco Perez, Boca Chica; Jose Antonio Rodriguez Copello, Juan Dolio; Daniel Hernandez, Romana/Bayahibe; Ernesto Veloz, Punta Cana/Bavaro; Roberto Casoni, Playa Dorada; Maximo Iglesias Minino, Puerto Plata; Diego Giribaldi, Sosua/Cabarete; Federico Schad, Samana; and Edmundo Aja, Santiago.
Other board members are Julio Llibre, past president; Haydee Rainieri, president of the Advisory Committee; Simon B. Suarez, advisor; Ellis Perez, advisor; Manuel Quiterio Cedeno, public relations advisor (Cicom); Julio Schiffino, advisor; Nabij Khoury, advisor; and Arturo Villanueva, executive vice president.
Foreign travel up 7.25% Jan-Aug 2012
Over the first eight months of the year, a total of 3,261,177 tourists have visited the DR. This is 7.25% more than over the same period last year, or 220,526 more foreign travelers. Adding in non-resident Dominicans who have visited this summer, the percentage of non-resident travel to the Dominican Republic in August is up by 7.69% compared to last year.
The Central Bank Statistics Department attributes the growth in travel to successful promotion by the Ministry of Tourism and the private sector.
Interestingly, resident travel is also up, a lesser 3.58%, nevertheless. A total of 11,230 passengers traveled abroad, says the Central Bank.
So far this year, travel to the Dominican Republic is up 6.91%, with 3,586,173 using local airports, or 231,756 more than during the same period last year.
2012 is expected to be a record year for travel to the Dominican Republic.
The DR's main source markets are the United States and Canada that together contribute 57.92% of all travelers to the country. Countries showing increases in number of arrivals so far this year are the United States (134,532+), Russia (31,310+), Canada (25,004+), Venezuela (13,784+), France (7,405+), Brazil (7,013+), Argentina (6,239+) and Chile (5,338+).
Over the first eight months of the year, the airport most used by arrivals was Punta Cana International with 1,743,630 arrivals, or 61.53% of all foreigners, including 144,780 additional arrivals this year. Las Americas International (Santo Domingo) received 571,311 arrivals, 20.16% of all arrivals.
Multicultural Food Festival in Sosua
The second "Multicultural Food Festival of Sosua" will be held from 28-30 September in the Parque Las Flores in Sosua, Puerto Plata. Sosua was practically founded by Europeans, and the festival seeks to celebrate this heritage and its diverse cuisine since Jewish immigrants escaping persecution in Hitler's Germany settled in the area. Many of the restaurants in town are owned by foreigners who get together for the festival that includes the theater performances, art exhibitions, music, a special children's program and a tasting of the cuisine of Sosua. The event is organized by the Sosua Municipal Community Heritage Unit with the backing of the Ministry of Tourism and the local city hall.
POP Discover 2012 set for October
The First Annual Puerto Plata Trade Show, POP Discover 2012 is scheduled for 19-21 October at the Ocean World Park. This is THE event for learning about the great advantages and attractions of the north coast region. The event is organized by the Puerto Plata Tourism & Cultural Cluster (CTDPP) and the Association of Hotels of the North (Ashonorte). During POP Discover 2012, attendees will learn about hotel renovations and new offers, new tours and optional activities, natural and cultural attractions and tourist services of all kinds available in the area. Enjoy fun tours in the city, check out industry trends and developments, strengthen existing business relationships with suppliers, and promote business among tour operators and travel agencies.
Maximo Iglesias, president of Puerto Plata's Tourism Cluster, says the event seeks to boost the North Coast's tourism industry. Jakaira Cid, the Cluster's executive director, said the organization was working closely with Elizabeth Tovar of Turenlaces, an experienced tourism industry meetings professional.
Sails to unfold for Viva 2012 Regatta
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach in Bayahibe, La Romana is welcoming sailors of all ages for its III Light Sails Regatta Viva 2012. The event, which is scheduled for the weekend of 5, 6 and 7 October, is sponsored by Viva Wyndham Resorts and organized by WT Events.
Competitions are held to commemorate the Dominican Republic's Hispanic heritage. The regatta categories group participants from the age of six right up to grand master categories for sailing in Laser Standard, Laser Radial, Sunfish and Optimist boats. There will be three awards in each category and trophies, too.
Erika Sordo, marketing director for Grupo Viva Resorts announced that participants could enjoy special rates at the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach and Palace when registering in the regatta.
The event is backed by the Dominican Sailing Federation. For more information on the event, write to Alma Taveras at [email protected] or call 829 688-0256.

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