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March 11, 2014
  • DR wins best stand at ITB Berlin 2014
  • Puerto Bahia announces its springtime regatta
  • Asonahores and Puerto Plata tourism associations set priorities
  • Santo Domingo Sheraton ready for 27 March opening
  • New look rooms and wine & rum bar at the Embajador
DR wins best stand at ITB Berlin 2014
The Ministry of Tourism has done it again, winning the greatly coveted Best Stand Award for Latin America and the Caribbean at the ITB Berlin 2014 (5-9 March 2014). ITB Berlin is regarded as the world's leading travel trade show. Petra Cruz, director of the Dominican Republic tourism office in Germany, accepted the award on behalf of the country. "This award is a recognition for our country and the work that our Minister Francisco Javier Garcia has been doing, as well as confirming our leadership in the Caribbean," said Cruz. The runners up were Peru and Colombia.
Germany is an important leisure market for the Dominican Republic. Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia said that travel from Germany last year was up 16.3%, and more German tourists are expected this year. An estimated 250,000 Germans are expected to visit, up from 213,333 in 2013. Garcia stressed the importance of the Dominican Republic in the trade show where the leading players of the sector come together to compete for business.
This year, a live band playing merengue classics welcomed visitors. The Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit visited the stand on the first day of the event.
A total of 10,081 exhibitors from 100 countries took part in the trade show.
Puerto Bahia announces its springtime regatta
Sailors will be gathering this weekend (14-16 March) at Samana's Puerto Bahia Marina for the XVI Regata Abordo del Caribe sponsored by Puerto Bahia & Residences with technical support from the Dominican Sailing Federation
Regata Abordo has become a sailing tradition. There will be opportunities for great photography as all the sails unfold. The Open Cruising Class event includes free dockage at the Puerto Bahia Marina over the four-day period of the race.
Asonahores and Puerto Plata tourism associations set priorities
The Dominican Republic Hotels & Tourism Association (Asonahores) and North Coast tourism associations have agreed on an agenda for boosting tourism in the area. Top on the list is the construction of a convention center, road repairs, improvements at Sosua beach, and resolving pressing electricity and environmental issues.
The announcement was made after an extraordinary meeting of the Asonahores board in Puerto Plata.
In his state of the nation address on 27 February 2014, President Danilo Medina announced that the Navarrete-Puerto Plata highway expansion would go ahead. The plan is to widen the road to four lanes, up from two. Minister of Public Works Gonzalo Castillo has said that the renewal of the Puerto Plata highway includes a new section that will cut 23 km off the present route.
Santo Domingo Sheraton ready for 27 March opening
Starwood Hotels is already taking bookings for the opening of the remodeled Santo Domingo Malecon 365 boulevard hotel later this month. The hotel has been operating as Magna 365 but will reopen as the Santo Domingo Sheraton on 27 March.
The hotel, with 245 guest rooms and suites facing the Caribbean Sea, is targeting both business and leisure travelers. The new Sheraton offers upgraded amenities at its Sheraton Club Rooms floor.
The Sheraton has also remodeled its function rooms, its business center, and expansive ballroom.
New look rooms and wine & rum bar at the Embajador
The Hotel Occidental Embajador in Santo Domingo says that US$5 million has been spent on refurbishing the Mirador del Sur Park hotel. The renovations have updated the rooms, bars, restaurant, meeting rooms, terrace and lobby and added new color to the hotel furnishings in general. The hotel dates back to 1956.
The management says that the renovated lobby of the Embajador is now a Gastro & Wine Bar with an extensive menu of the best Dominican rums, too.
As part of the renovations, 61 rooms were redecorated in a contemporary classic design, where neutral colors prevail for a relaxing experience and furniture was changed. The 104 rooms and suites that are part of the El Embajador Club, the preferential floor, were also renovated with new colors and furnishings. They have their independent front desk and a new lounge. The Royal Club section, with its 22 rooms and five suites, were improved with new furniture and decor.
Overall, the hotel has 278 rooms. The hotel is popular with the events sector, and its Garden Tent has a capacity for 700 persons. A new parking area with more than 400 spaces is also part of the overhaul.

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