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May 12, 2015
  • Hilton uses Santo Domingo to launch new brand in Caribbean
  • Karisma gets BanReservas financing for Nickelodeon
  • Progress towards Santo Domingo convention center
  • Promoting medical tourism
Hilton uses Santo Domingo to launch new brand in Caribbean
Hilton Worldwide has announced its first Caribbean Homewood Suites by Hilton Santo Domingo on the former site of the La Chismosa bar-lounge on Gustavo Mejia Ricart Avenue, opposite the Blue Mall. The JW Marriott Hotel is located in the Blue Mall. Two blocks away, Intercontinental will open its own hotel in a high-rise building also under construction on Winston Churchill Avenue.
Hilton already has two hotels in Santo Domingo - the Santo Domingo Hilton on the Malecon seafront boulevard and the Embassy Suites hotel, also on Av. Gustavo Mejia Ricart but in the Naco neighborhood.
The new hotel will be an 11-story 120-studio, one- and two-bedroom suites property targeted at extended-stays. All units will be fully equipped with kitchens complete with modern appliances, living and sleeping areas plus ample workspace. A fitness center and swimming pool is also in the plans.
The owners of the hotel are Robledo, SAS, a joint venture between Proinversion and TVP Management. The hotel is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2017.
"The signing of Homewood Suites by Hilton Santo Domingo is a great milestone as it introduces a new Hilton Worldwide brand to the Caribbean and our third hotel in the Dominican Republic," said Tom Potter, senior vice president, Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America, Hilton Worldwide. "This agreement helps pave the way for further Homewood Suites by Hilton expansion opportunities in the Caribbean and Latin America."
"We are proud to work with Hilton Worldwide on this exciting project and together bring their Homewood Suites by Hilton brand to the Dominican Republic," said the developers, Proinversion and TVP Management, Rafael Blanco and Carlos Tejera, respectively. "We are sure that our project's superior quality combined with Hilton Worldwide's 95 years of renowned service standards and exceptional guest experiences will deliver the perfect recipe for success."
Blanco is the president of the National Business Council (Conep), the Dominican Republic's leading private sector association .
Karisma gets BanReservas financing for Nickelodeon
Karisma Hotels & Resorts has announced the construction of two hotels in Uvero Alto, at the northern end of the Bavaro-Punta Cana resort area. The announcement came at the time of the signing of US$51.9 million in financing from the Banco de Reservas. The total investment by the hotel group will be US$92 million. The complex will include the first Nickelodeon hotel to be built outside the United States. Overall the complex will have 11 restaurants, a water park, casino and nightclubs.
In March 2015, the chain announced an alliance with Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) to develop Nickelodeon Hotels, luxury family-friendly hotels using the Nickelodeon brand that is globally recognized as a children's brand. The first Nickelodeon Punta Cana is scheduled to open in late 2016.
Karisma Hotels & Resorts operates hotels in Riviera Maya, Mexico, in Jamaica, Croatia and Colombia.
Progress towards Santo Domingo convention center
Consultants Kirsi Hyvaerinen and Bruno Walter of ITB Advisory of Messe Berlin recently visited Santo Domingo for preparatory talks for their recommendations for the construction of a fair and convention center in Santo Domingo. They were hosted by the marketing advisor of the Ministry of Tourism Magaly Toribio and the Ministry's conventions and meetings director, Marianela Pina. The consultants also met with experts from the city's urban planning department.
Pina said that the recommendations by Messe Berlin are expected to be delivered this July (2015).
The study examines the establishment of a convention bureau for the efficient marketing of meetings, incentives, conventions and events in the Dominican Republic.
"The construction of a modern center for conventions in Santo Domingo is a project that has all the support of the Dominican government and Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia Fernandez," said Pina.
The Messe Berlin executives have met with a range of groups and organizations, including the National Hotel & Tourism Association (Asonahores), Inversiones Sansouci, Banco Popular, the Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce, the Dominican Republic Tour Operators Association and the Santo Domingo Tourism Cluster.
Promoting medical tourism
The Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Public Health, Dominican Medical Association (CMD) and the Hotels & Tourism Association (Asonahores) have signed an inter-institutional cooperation agreement. The plan is to work together to draft a proposal with the legal framework for medical tourism in the Dominican Republic. The advocates of medical tourism believe it can contribute significantly to the economy. The goal is to offer world-class services and to promote them internationally. This would be a new niche segment for Dominican tourism.

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