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April 23, 2013
  • Avianca triples its frequencies to DR
  • Cultural extravaganza in Santo Domingo
  • Quantum of the Seas to dock off Samana
  • Constanza Spring Fair: 26-29 April
Avianca triples its frequencies to DR
Colombian airline Avianca has announced it is increasing its frequencies from Bogota (BOG) to Santo Domingo (SDQ) and Punta Cana (PUJ) to seven, up from two at present. Colombians are showing an increasing preference for vacationing in the Dominican Republic. Viviana Martin, speaking for Avianca, made the announcement after a visit last week to the director general of the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute (IDAC), Alejandro Herrera. Martin said that the increase is proof of the interest in the Dominican Republic as a destination.
The increase in direct flights from Colombia comes at a time when other Latin American airlines are also adding capacity in response to the Dominican Republic's popularity as a vacation destination among South American travelers.
Cultural extravaganza in Santo Domingo
The annual Santo Domingo International Book Fair is underway at Plaza de la Cultura. While books are the main focus, there is also an extensive all-day program of cultural events, complementing the book presentations and author readings. An estimated 700 foreign writers have been invited, including US film director and writer Shelton Jackson Lee, known as Spike Lee who will give a reading. Others include Argentinean writer Juan Gelman, (Cervantes Award 2007, Queen Sofia Award 2005), Spanish writer Jose Ovejero, (Alfaguara Award 2012), Colombian novelist Santiago Gamboa, Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura-Estelar, Argentinean novelist Cesar Aira, Uruguayan poet Alfredo Fressia, poets Mayra Santos Febres and Ana Maria Shua, Ecuadorian authors Cristobal Zapata, Francisco Herrera Arauz, Carlos Gustavo Rodriguez Jaramillo, Daniel Leonard Wild Stapel, Paola Sanchez Perugachi, Andrea Moreno Wray, Patricio Montaleza and Yonny Marcil Nazareno.??
The program also includes readings by outstanding Dominican writers Jose Miguel Soto Jimenez, Jorge Tena Reyes, Jaime de Jesus Dominguez, Hector Luis Martinez, Ilonka Nacidit Perdomo, Angela Hernandez, Jeannette Miller and Indira Sierra Suero.
This year the fair commemorates the Bicentennial of the Birth of Country Founder Juan Pablo Duarte, the Centennial of the Birth of National Poet Pedro Mir, the 50th anniversary of the presidency of Professor Juan Bosch in 1963, the 150th anniversary of the restoration of the Republic, and the 50th anniversary of the rebellion of Manolo Tavarez Justo.
www.cultura.gob.do/Noticias/Articulo/tabid/78/smid/456/ArticleID/1434/reftab/70/Default.aspx
Quantum of the Seas to dock off Samana
Royal Caribbean Cruises has announced that its soon-to-launch new ship, Quantum of the Seas is including Samana, Dominican Republic in its Eastern Caribbean itinerary. The ship will be stopping in Labadee (Haiti), Samana prior to San Juan, Puerto Rico on an 11-night cruise from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey.
The 167,800-ton, 4,180-passenger ship is set to launch in autumn 2014.
It is not yet possible to book cruises on board the ship, however. Royal Caribbean has marked November 2014 for Quantum of the Seas inaugural sail date, and says cruises on Quantum will go on sale from 4 June.
Quantum of the Seas will include new features such as indoor skydiving, bumper cars, trapeze lessons, studios with balconies and inside cabins with "virtual balconies."
Samana hopes to have a new cruise ship terminal in time for the arrival of the new ship. The Dominican Port Authority recently announced a US$8 million project to build the modern terminal on the Samana City coastline.
www.royalcaribbean.com/quantumoftheseas/meet-the-ship/itineraries/
Constanza Spring Fair: 26-29 April
The Constanza Ecotourism Cluster is hosting the Constanza Spring Fair this weekend, 26-29 April. The event, hosted at the Club Japones, is sponsored by USAID through its Sustainable Tourism Empowerment Program. The Ministry of Tourism, the La Vega Senator's Office and the municipalities of Constanza are participating.
The festival will serve as a meeting point for everyone interested in making contact with companies, institutions and anyone interested in productive projects for farming, eco tourism, cultural tourism and adventure tourism.
Rafael Collado, president of the Constanza Ecotourism Cluster, said the festival is an opportunity to showcase many of the area's emblematic attractions, such as the Ebano Verde, Las Neblinas and Valle Nuevo scientific reserves, the historic sites of Las Piedras Letradas, Piramides de Valle Nuevo, and Monument to Caamano, the El Arroyazo spring in Arroyo Frio, and the Aguas Blancas waterfall.
Constanza valley is where most of the flowers and vegetables sold in the Dominican Republic are grown, says Collado. It is a major producer of garlic, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, beets, peppers, onions, cucumbers, eggplant and other vegetables. It is also well known for being a producer of strawberries, kiwifruit, plums, and other fruits, as reported in El Caribe.

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