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November 12, 2013
  • Puerto Plata Province Touristic Festival
  • New cave discovered in Puerto Plata
  • Johnny Ventura and Wilfrido Vargas on world tour
  • Dreamliner lands at Punta Cana
  • DR reaches out to US senior travelers
Puerto Plata Province Touristic Festival
Puerto Plata's central park, Plaza Independencia will host the Provincial Festival of Puerto Plata (FEPP) from this Friday, 15 to Sunday, 17 November. Those attending will be able to taste and experience 100 products of the 10 municipal brands that show off the great diversity of experiences and services that each community offers.
The ambassadors of Japan Soichi Sato and Canada, Georges Boisse will be guests of honor at the opening event at 4pm on Friday.
FEPP is a community initiative with support from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) that has helped the people of Puerto Plata become aware of the wealth of their own resources, and has encouraged provincial unity through the program for Municipal Units for Community Heritage (UMPC).
Throughout the celebration there will be activities for all the family, with live music and entertainment by 20 local groups, all under the theme of "upbeat and rhythm." A provincial bachata dance contest is on the agenda, with the participation of leading dancers from all the municipalities. On Sunday, 25 drum and congo players from Puerto Plata will present the show, "The Power of the Drum", directed by Puerto Plata musician Joel Guzman and with a special appearance by well-known percussionist Felle Vega.
The Provincial Festival is organized by the Sustainable Tourism Based on Public-Private Participation for the Province of Puerto Plata (TURISOPP), the UMPC communities network, the Ministry of Tourism, Infotep, the Puerto Plata Chamber of Commerce and Ashonorte. It also has the backing of JICA, the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development, the Puerto Plata Tourism Cluster, the Dominican Tourism Press Association (Adompretur), the Ministry of Culture, City Government, Provincial Government, Ministry of Environment, the Bishop of Puerto Plata and the universities, UTESA, O&M and CURA-UASD.
New cave discovered in Puerto Plata
An underwater cave 1,000 meters in length and 25 deep has been discovered in the Choco National Park in Puerto Plata, the Ministry of Environment reported on Monday 11 November. According to the Ministry, this is the largest known cave in the island of Hispaniola. Minister of Environment Bautista Rojas Gomez said the discovery was a new opportunity for Puerto Plata to develop a new eco-tourism attraction. He said that divers from the Dominican Republic Speleological Society (DRSS) made the discovery and are describing the underwater cave as "a great attraction for specialized divers from all around the world."
Johnny Ventura and Wilfrido Vargas on world tour
Two living legends of Dominican merengue, Johnny Ventura and Wilfrido Vargas are embarking on a Mega World Tour sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism. The tour will be accompanied by billboards, posters, print, radio and TV advertisements inviting music lovers from all over the world to visit the land of merengue. Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier Garcia made the announcement.
Dreamliner lands at Punta Cana
The Punta Cana International Airport (AIPC) has seen the arrival of a Boeing 787, the latest generation for the very first time, meaning that the Dominican Republic is the first country in the Caribbean where a Boeing Dreamliner has landed.
The Thomson airlines airplane, which arrived from London with 300 passengers on board, will have a regular weekly flight until May 2014 when it will start flying here five times a week.
Grupo Punta Cana CEO Frank Rainieri said he was happy to see the new airplane land and that it demonstrated that Punta Cana airport was ready to receive large airplanes and an increased flow of passengers.
He said that the airplane was 25 to 30% more efficient in use of fuel than other aircraft; was much quieter inside and had better pressurization than normal planes.
He went on to say that the arrival of the Boeing 787 at Punta Cana had put the Dominican Republic on the world map as the first Caribbean destination to be visited by a 787.
Airport operations manager Alberto Smith said that the airport would be remodeled over the next few years as they were expecting to receive 8 to 10 million passengers. Punta Cana is the port of entry for 62% of the tourists arriving in the country and 57% of overall arrivals, with 300 flights a week.
DR reaches out to US senior travelers
The Ministry of Tourism has announced the signing of a partnership agreement with the AARP to promote the Dominican Republic as a perfect choice for 50+ travelers.
The advertising partnership with the leading United States retiree organization is a strategic effort to create interest and awareness of Dominican Republic's must-visit destinations among the fastest-growing United States leisure traveler demographic.
The campaign, which actually began in August 2013 and will run through the end of the year, is designed to target travelers over the age of 50 and highlights one of the country's best-kept secrets, Puerto Plata. The Ministry says that the campaign consists of a series of banner and online advertisements that highlight the range of activities and attractions that makes each region a must-visit destination. The ads also provide a first look at the new Dominican Republic marketing campaign.
"The campaign is a supplement to our current advertising campaign and additional initiatives, all of which work in harmony to build awareness of each distinct destination," said Magaly Toribio, Marketing Advisor for the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism. "We worked with Puerto Plata's hoteliers and AARP to create offers for travelers of this age group in an attempt to further promote the vast array of tourism offerings that are available on the country's North Coast."
AARP already lists the Dominican Republic as one of their best places to retire outside of the United States. According to a recent survey by the AARP, "Baby Boomers," also known as Americans aged 49 - 67, make up 80% of the leisure travel market in the US and this number is only expected to grow with people between the ages of 50 and 75 making up to 40% of US adult consumers by 2015. This age group differs from previous generations in that they consider travel a necessity, not a luxury. According to a 2010 survey by Travel Marketing Decisions, this group is an especially attractive target for destination marketing because:
* Boomers have traveled more than their predecessors
* Boomers like and refuse to go without "creature comforts"
* Boomers want to have fun
* Boomers are not time-deprived
* Boomers will pay for luxury, expertise and convenience

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