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March 24, 2015
  • Jet skis banned for Easter Week safety
  • DATE set for 28-30 April in Punta Cana
  • Easter is here
  • Last week of whale watching in Samana
  • Santo Domingo Sheraton chefs win GastroFest
Jet skis banned for Easter Week safety
In order to enhance the safety of the throngs of domestic tourists joining foreign tourists at beach destinations nationwide, the Ministry of Tourism announced on Monday, 23 March 2015 that the use of jet skis and similar motorized equipment such as jetlevs, flyboards and jetovators is prohibited.
The decision is based on the high accident rate abroad, the high risk of a jet-ski driver losing control, and the noise they create, as well as their effect on natural currents and the environment.
The Ministry of Tourism has published a list of specific beaches, but it is understood that the ban covers all beaches for the safety of the large number of beachgoers from 27 March 2015 through Sunday, 5 April 2015.
South and eastern coasts:
Boca Chica, Caribe, Guayacanes, Juan Dolio, Villa del Mar, La Romana, Isla Catalina, Bayahibe, Boca de Chavon, Dominicus, Saona Island, the coastal stretch from Punta Cana to Boca de Maimon, Macao, Punta Palmilla.
North, northeastern and northwestern coasts:
Cayo Levantado, Las Terrenas from Playa Moron to Playa Coson, Matancitas, Playa de los Gringos, Caleton (Ruo San Juan), Playa Breton, El Caliche, Diamante, Magante, Cabarete, Sosua, Playa Dorada, Costambar, Cofresi, Long Beach, Poza del Castillo (Puerto Plata), Luperon, El Morro, Estero Balsa (Montecristi).
Southwestern coasts:
Playa Najayo, Palenque, Monte Rio (Azua, Salinas de Bani, San Rafael, Los Patos (Barahona), Bahia de las Aguilas (Pedernales).
DATE set for 28-30 April in Punta Cana
Now in its 20th year, the country's leading tourism event, Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE), will be held from 28 to 30 April 2015 at the Barcelo Bavaro Beach Resort Convention Center in Punta Cana. Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort will be hosting one of the evening dinner-entertainment events for participants in the trade show and booking event.
Easter is here
The peak season for domestic vacations, Easter Week officially starts on Friday, 27 March 2015 when schools close their doors for the weeklong holiday. Most businesses in the big cities will close on Good Friday, 3 April, but expect the opposite to happen in resort towns around the country as the tourism industry revs up to welcome hundreds of thousands of local tourists.
This is a great time to enjoy the capital city of Santo Domingo, as traffic is relatively light. Shopping in the city is frenetic in the lead-up to Easter Week, with shopping centers and big stores offering sales for holidaymakers getting ready for the peak beach week of the year.
In Santo Domingo, on Good Friday, 3 April, there is the Santo Domingo Cathedral choir concert at the Cathedral with around 200 voices and around 50 musicians at 8pm. On Saturday, 4 April, the churches in the Colonial City stay open until around 11pm and it is a wonderful time to walk from church to church.
Last week of whale watching in Samana
CBC News of Canada focuses on whale watching in the Dominican Republic, reporting that the humpback whales that will soon be delighting locals and tourists in Canada with their frolicking off the coastlines of Newfoundland and Labrador can be seen in the DR now. Jane Adey of CBS News describes the excursions organized by Kim Beddall, a Canadian woman who is credited with having founded commercial whale watching in Samana in the northeast of the country. The Bay of Samana is the first national marine mammal sanctuary in the Caribbean. Beddall says that the Bay's warm waters attract the whales in the same way as Canadian tourists are attracted by the warm weather.
Visitors to Samana who will not be making a whale-watching excursion also have the option of the Samana City Whale Museum, although explanations are in Spanish only. There is also the Punta Balandra whale-observatory point, involving a long walk uphill. The sign made up of two large whalebones is on the eastern side of the road from Samana City to Las Galeras.
Santo Domingo Sheraton chefs win GastroFest
The cooks of the Santo Domingo Sheraton have won the first Gastrofest event at the Crowne Plaza. They won with a dish that was a combination of squash stuffed with pork, pork rind and spicy mango. The Santo Domingo Hotels' Association, the Casa Caribe Gastronomy Cultural Center and Creato marketing agency organized the event. The National Hotel & Tourism Association reported an enthusiastic turnout by chefs from these hotels: Accor, Aladino, Atarazana, Barcelo Santo Domingo, Casas del XVI, Courtyard, Crowne Plaza Santo Domingo, Dominican Fiesta, El Embajador, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Santo Domingo, Holdelpa Caribe Colonial, Holiday Inn, JW Marriott, Napolitano, Quality Real Aeropuerto and Sheraton Santo Domingo.
The Crowne Plaza team won the best creativity award.

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