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August 5, 2014
  • Scandinavians choose Puerto Plata
  • Pace of restoration picks up in the Colonial City
  • Santiago wants to show off its own cultural heritage
  • Discover Puerto Plata: 1-3 October 2014
Scandinavians choose Puerto Plata
The director of Operations of Gregorio Luperon International Airport in Puerto Plata, Enrique Pacheco reports that more Scandinavian tourists are visiting Puerto Plata, regarded as a market for tourists who enjoy exploring on their own. Scandinavian travel is up 26% this year.
Enrique Pacheco reports that in the first three months of 2014, 289,000 passengers have arrived by the Gregorio Luperon Puerto Plata airport. Nevertheless, the numbers for the first quarter of the year are 7,200 passengers less than for the same period last year. Pacheco attributed the decrease to Russian tour operators diverting two frequencies from Moscow and St. Petersburg to the all-inclusive vacation land of Punta Cana.
Pacheco said that in the first three months of the year there has been an average of 69 flights per week from 15 airlines from the United States, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean islands into the Puerto Plata airport.
He forecast the year will end with an annual increase of 2-3%. Pacheco says that the stop of the Russian flights should soon be compensated by the arrival of new frequencies by other airlines.
Air Berlin will increase from one to two frequencies its two routes to Dusseldorf and Munich, Germany, starting 1 November. Condor will start new weekly service from Munich. Air Transat starts a new frequency from Hamilton, Canada starting 19 December. JetBlue is adding a weekly direct flight to Boston. Puerto Rico is now served by a three times a week flight to San Juan by InterCaribbean Airways.
The Puerto Plata market is also served by the Santiago Cibao International Airport that offers more daily flights than the POP terminal and offers better airfares from key international airports, such as JFK in New York.
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Pace of restoration picks up in the Colonial City
The Ministry of Tourism announced that Consorcio MAC will join engineering and architectural companies already working on the renovation of six sections of Colonial City.
Lisandro Macarulla of Consorcio MAC said they would be entrusted to accelerate restoration and urban renewal works on Calle Isabel la Catolica (between El Conde and Restauracion streets), Calle Luperon (between Isabel la Catolica and Arzobispo Merino streets) and Calle Mercedes (from Isabela la Catolica to Hostos streets).
Lisandro Macarulla of MAC explained that the plan is to pick up the pace of works. Consorcio Mac was hired together with Constructora Caliche, Ingala, and Epsa Labco, in charge of supervision. Also participating with the Consorcio MAC are architects Ligia Calero, Esteban Prieto, Ruth Velasquez with the supervision of the architectural firm, Sanchez Curiel. They will be responsible for the restoration of 36 historic facades in the area.
Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier Garcia asked contractors to take advantage of the drought period to advance on the constructions.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Maribel Villalona, who is the director of the restoration project, confirmed the plan is to complete the restoration of 120 historic facades. Of these 60 should be completed this year, and the remainder in 2015.
Villalona announced the painting of facades of edifices in the San Miguel, Santa Barbara, San Lazaro and San Anton barrios.
Villalona said that by the end of August the works on Arzobispo Merino should be completed.
Residents in the area complain that several streets have been started at the same time and not completed. The pace of construction is expected to pick up with the hiring of the new professionals.
Santiago wants to show off its own cultural heritage
The largest city in the center of the country, Santiago now wants to add its cultural heritage to its farm and manufacturing strengths. Santiago is already well known for its medical tourism, cigars, nightlife and beautiful people and feels it can attract its own share of leisure tourists.
The Ministry of Culture has dusted off Decree 172-91 with the architectural restoration plans drawn by architect Manuel Salvador Gautier. A commission is now again working on identifying and rescuing the historic architectural buildings in Santiago. The intention is that the city be able to show off these as part of its bid to attract culturally-minded tourists.
The Ministry of Culture announced plans to control construction in the historic center of Santiago city. The goal is to preserve the architecturally valuable buildings. The norms for construction had originally been established by Decree 172-91, and the Ministry says the plan is to maintain this with the exception of the western and eastern borders that would be extended to the streets General Valverde, Escalante and Sabana Larga.
Minister of Culture Jose Antonio Rodriguez says there have been revisions incorporated regarding commercial and residential buildings after a review was carried out by a commission made up by technicians of Patrimonio Monumental, the legal advisor to the Ministry of Culture, the city government of Santiago, and the Center for Urban and Regional Studies of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), the country's largest private university that has its main campus in Santiago.
The project needs yet to be approved by the city government. The intention is to rescue the most important architectural heritage of the historic center of Santiago.
Discover Puerto Plata: 1-3 October 2014
Puerto Plata is preparing to host local and international travel industry at its annual trade show and exhibition "Discover Puerto Plata." The event is set for 1-3 October 2014 at the Iberostar Costa Dorada in Puerto Plata.
The exhibition is in its third year organized by the Puerto Plata Tourism and Cultural Cluster with the sponsorship of the Ministry of Tourism. This is the best time to visit Puerto Plata to learn about what's new, what's happening and the best attractions and tourism businesses in the area.
Bookings and deals can be signed during the three-day business event.
For more information and to participate, contact [email protected] or [email protected]

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