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October 16, 2012
  • Air travel up 7.97% in September
  • Play Ball in the Dominican Republic
  • Dominican Republic Golf Open starts 5 November in Punta Cana
  • Samana's New York connection flies 14 November
  • Yesawich consulting firm returns to Puerto Plata
Air travel up 7.97% in September
Non-resident incoming air travel in September was up by 7.97%, reports the Central Bank. A total of 258,810 people visited in September, 19,104 more than the same month last year. From January to September 2012, 3,519,987 non-resident visits were recorded, including the 239,630 additional travelers so far this year. The Central Bank attributes the increase to sustained promotional efforts by the Ministry of Tourism and the private sector. Total incoming air travel for January to September is at 3,884,704, up 6.99% this year.
The Central Bank points to increases in incoming travel from the United States, with 146,852 more travelers this year. Some 27,011 more travelers have come from Canada. Other countries reported increases in travel this year compared to 2011 are Russia (32,526 more), Venezuela (16,768+), France (7,189+), Chile (7,101+) Argentina (6,818+), Brazil (5,866+), Peru (5,258+) and Colombia (4,836+).
Punta Cana International (PUJ) continues to be the main port of entry with 61.33% of arrivals, mainly tourists. Next is Las Americas with 20.57%, Puerto Plata 9.17%, Cibao (Santiago) 4.34%, La Romana 2.73%. La Isabela in Santo Domingo and El Catey in Samana received 1.86% of arrivals from January-September 2012.
The Central Bank reports that most non-resident visitors (93.17%) came for leisure, and 88.5% stayed at hotels. 64% of tourists visiting the Dominican Republic are in the 21-49 age bracket.
Play Ball in the Dominican Republic
Baseball fans in Santo Domingo, La Romana, San Pedro de Macoris, Santiago and San Francisco de Macoris are reviving their enthusiasm for their local teams as the batters and pitchers take to the playing fields in those cities. The tournament opened early with the Escogido Lions seeking to defend their pennant.
In the first day of play of the Dominican Baseball League's 2012-2013 Baseball Championship on Sunday, 14 October games were played in Santo Domingo (Quisqueya Ball Park), San Francisco de Macoris (Julian Javier Ball Park) and San Pedro de Macoris (Tetelo Vargas Ball Park).
In Santo Domingo, the champion Leones del Escogido lost to their eternal rival, the Tigres del Licey in a dramatic duel that befitted the inaugural game (7-6). In San Francisco de Macoris, the home team Gigantes del Cibao lost to the Aguilas Cibaenas (9-5). And in San Pedro, the home team Estrellas Orientales defeated the Toros 2-1 in the final inning.
The League reports that in Santo Domingo and San Francisco de Macoris this year's games will start at 7:30pm from Monday to Friday, and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays games will start at 5pm.
At the Santiago and La Romana stadiums, games will start at 7:30pm Monday to Saturday, and at 5pm on Sundays and holidays. In San Pedro, games will start at 8pm Monday to Saturday and on Sundays and holidays at 5pm.
This year, the semi-finals are scheduled to start 27 December. There will be no games on 31 December, and Mondays 1, 7 and 12 of January.
The good news for this year is that the standard of the players will be positively affected given that the World Baseball Classic will take place in March 2013 and some big leaguers interested in playing for the Dominican Republic will use the winter ball tournament to get in shape.
Tickets are for sale at the ballparks.
See the games calendar at http://ligadom.com/
And the team websites at:
www.licey.com
www.escogido.com
http://lostorosdeleste.com/
www.gigantesdelcibao.com
www.estrellasorientales.com.do/
www.aguilas.com.do/
Dominican Republic Golf Open starts 5 November in Punta Cana
This year's Annual Dominican Republic Golf Open 2012 takes place from 5-11 November at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana. The event is part of the PGA Tour in Latin America that runs from September to December 2012 in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Colombia. Some 144 Latin American professional golf players will be competing at the Cana Bay golf course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, next door to the resort.
Concurrently with the PGA tournament, some 200 amateur golfers have booked to participate in the amateur category that will take place at the nearby Iberostate, The Lakes (Barcelo Bavaro) and Punta Blanca golf courses in Punta Cana. The DR Open 2012 will use the Stableford scoring system, in which the object is to get the highest score in the amateur categories, with the exception of Category A that will be scored in medal play. Professionals will compete for US$125,000 worth of prizes.
The program includes three days of practice rounds, from 5-7 November at all the courses. Games start on 8 November through 11.
Samana's New York connection flies 14 November
JetBlue Airways begins its twice-weekly flights between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Samana's El Catey International Airport (AZS) on Wednesdays and Saturdays this coming 14 November. This is the only direct air connection between the Dominican Republic's northeastern beach and ecotourism destination and the US mainland.
Yesawich consulting firm returns to Puerto Plata
Peter Yesawich is back helping to decide how to brand and market the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The president of the Playa Dorada Hotel Owners' Association, Roberto Casoni announced that leading Caribbean and Florida marketing expert Peter Yesawich is returning to help the industry to decide how to market and brand the north coast of the Dominican Republic. Casoni said that the Ministry of Tourism has contracted the consulting services of MMGY, which is directed by Yesawich. Yesawich has consulted on and off with the Ministry of Tourism on the country in general and Puerto Plata in particular. In 2001, Yesawich's firm was responsible for presenting recommendations for marketing Puerto Plata following the creation of the Puerto Plata Tourism and Cultural Cluster to work closely with the Association of Hotels of the North (Ashonorte).
Casoni said the company is particularly positioned to assess the evolution that the area has experienced after the multi-million dollar investments the government has made to re-launch the destination.
Gregg Dunn is the MMGY executive who will be directing the branding research.
The president of the North Coast Association of Hotels, Maximo Iglesias said that MMGY would be studying how best to position Puerto Plata in the United States and Canada. The branding and marketing initiative also has the support of the Inter-American Development Bank.
The announcement of the appointment of MMGY to help brand Puerto Plata comes on the heels of the hosting of the First Annual Puerto Plata Trade Show, POP Discover 2012 that will take place 19-21 October at Ocean World Park.
The event is being organized to share information on the attractions of the north coast region. 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.
www.mmgyglobal.com

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