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February 12, 2013
  • Russian tourists love the DR
  • Overhaul for Playa Grande popular beach area
  • US News & World Report says Tortuga Bay is No. 1
  • First Sustainable Tourism Fair
Russian tourists love the DR
The Minister of Tourism, Francisco Javier Garcia, has told Hoy reporters that Russia is set to overtake most European nations and challenge France for first place among countries sending tourists to the Dominican Republic. Over the past two years, more Russians than Spanish and German travelers have been arriving by plane. Last year alone, Russian travel to the DR by air was up by 36%.
As a result of this increase, Russia is opening an office of their embassy in Punta Cana, destination of choice for most Russians, and is considering opening another in Puerto Plata. Garcia was speaking to reporters after a visit by Russian ambassador Vladimir Zaemskiy.
The main European source markets for Dominican tourism by air are now France, Russia, Germany and Spain.
Overhaul for Playa Grande popular beach area
Playa Grande Holdings and North Shore Land Holdings, the two leading developers in the Playa Grande beach and golf area of Rio San Juan in Maria Trinidad Sanchez province on the north coast have announced that work on improving facilities for the general public at Playa Grande and Playa Preciosa will soon be complete. The companies have invested in a sustainable development project that seeks to harmonize private investment with social interests, the company reports. Areas have been set aside for vehicle access, parking, new stands for food vendors, bathroom areas, arts and crafts, and a surf stand to replace the old deteriorated facilities.
Adolfo Ramirez, construction and development manager for Costa Norte project, said that the new facilities are a pioneering concept that seeks to harmonize the use by general public that visits the beaches that are part of a luxury development. He said that since the start property investors Boykin Curry and Pierre Charalambides have encouraged the implementation of a design that is in harmony with nature and combines and improves services for beachgoers.
Mirtha Cabral, executive vice president for Playa Grande Holdings said that the project is an expression of their long-term commitment to the towns of Rio San Juan, Abreu and Cabrera. "These new installations for visitors to Playa Grande are proof that the project seeks to become a model for sustainable tourism development, integrating with nearby communities and establishing a basis for organized growth that has a positive impact on the inhabitants of the region," said Cabral.
US News & World Report says Tortuga Bay is No. 1
In its annual Best Hotels in the USA and Best Hotels in the Caribbean Awards, US News & World Report has ranked Tortuga Bay in Puntacana as the No. 1 Best Hotel in the Caribbean. The news service ranks around 2,000 hotels in the US and the Caribbean using a methodology that is centered on the reputation among professional travel experts, guest reviews and hotel class ratings.
In its description on Tortuga Bay, US News & World says:
In a destination known for its luxurious, all-inclusive resorts, you'd think a boutique property would be overpowered. But in Punta Cana, tiny Tortuga Bay has won the hearts of travel experts and guests alike. Sure, it may not have as many pools as there are days of the week or more dining options than you know what to do with, but previous travelers describe their stay here as total bliss. A part of the Puntacana Resort & Club complex, Tortuga Bay's villas - designed by fashion icon Oscar de la Renta - face golden sands, turquoise waters, and one of two golf courses. Guests can't help but exalt the lavish decor, but what earns Tortuga Bay the title of Best Hotel in the Caribbean is its customer service. Returning travelers rave that that they were remembered by name, while first-timers say that the staff's attention to detail is what sets Tortuga Bay apart from other luxury hotels.
US News has ranked nearly 2,000 hotels across the USA and the Caribbean. Among the luxury hotels we analyzed, the top 10 percent were selected as winners of our annual Best Hotels in the USA and Best Hotels in the Caribbean awards. You can find the list of these exceptional properties here:
First Sustainable Tourism Fair
The Dominican Tourist Competitiveness Consortium (CDCT), with the backing of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is organizing "Aventurate" (Go for the Adventure), the first sustainable tourism fair on 2-3 March at the National Botanical Gardens in Santo Domingo.
The fair seeks to stir up more domestic travel interest, especially for weekend and vacation time.
Some fifty small to medium companies that offer alternative products and services to travelers will be participating in the exhibition.
The tourism clusters in Barahona, Constanza, Jarabacoa, La Altagracia (Punta Cana), La Romana-Bayahibe, Pedernales, Puerto Plata, Samana, Santo Domingo, Montecristi and from the Provincial Fund for the Development of Eco-tourism for San Jose de Ocoa are backing the event.

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