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December 8, 2015
  • Two Dominicans in Miss Universe 2015
  • Pavel Nunez at Casa de Campo
  • Gilberto Santa Rosa at Hard Rock Punta Cana
  • North Americans head for foreign shores
Two Dominicans in Miss Universe 2015
Two Dominican-born contestants are competing in the Miss Universe 2015 pageant - Miss Dominican Republic, Clarissa Molina and Miss Canada, Paola Nunez, who emigrated from the DR as a child.
Miss Dominican Republic Clarissa Molina has been included in the top 10 list of favorites for the event together with the representatives of Sweden, Vietnam, Indonesia, France, Philippines, Thailand, Colombia and Japan.
Miss Universe 2015 will be the 64th Miss Universe pageant. This year it will not be aired by NBC, after comments made by pageant owner Donald Trump that were considered insulting to Latin Americans.
The event finals will be held on 20 December 2015 at The AXIS in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA where Paulina Vega of Colombia will crown her successor.
The contestants have already arrived in Las Vegas, where they are staying at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. They will spend the next few weeks touring the city, filming and rehearsing for the pageant.
Pavel Nunez at Casa de Campo
On Sunday, 27 December 2015, talented Dominican singer-songwriter Pavel Nunez will be playing a free concert at Plaza Chavon in Altos de Chavon, La Romana. Admission is free if you are already in Casa de Campo; otherwise, there is a US$25 admission fee.
Gilberto Santa Rosa at Hard Rock Punta Cana
Gilberto Santa Rosa will be performing live at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana on Saturday, 26 December 2015 at 9pm. Special packages are available for guests coming for Christmas and staying at the hotel.
North Americans head for foreign shores
ITB World Travel Trends Report of the IPK Travel Monitor predicts strong growth for North American outbound travel in 2016. This is good news for the Dominican Republic, which is the leading Caribbean destination for travelers from the US and Canada.
ITB explains that North Americans are traveling in force this year thanks to the improving US economy and strong US dollar, and similarly strong growth is expected next year. There are reported good levels of consumer confidence, supported by GDP growth and falling unemployment. Outbound trips are up by 5% this year, which is ahead of forecasts. This is ahead of the expected 3% growth for 2015 and follows growth of 6% in 2014.
This year's outbound trends are also reflected in inbound data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as reported in the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. According to UNWTO, international tourist arrivals in the Americas as a whole grew by 4% between January and August 2015, which consolidated last year's strong 8% growth. The appreciation of the US dollar stimulated outbound travel from the United States while impacting on inbound travel to the country. The Caribbean and Central America (both up by 7%) saw the highest growth in international tourist arrivals in the region fuelled largely by the US and European markets, thus maintaining their good growth rates of 2014. International tourist numbers to North America recorded a 3% increase following a 10% growth last year. Inbound tourism to the United States was affected by a stronger currency but both Canada and Mexico enjoyed strong growth.
Tourism consultant Rolf Freitag, the IPK International president who produces the IPK World Travel Monitor for ITB Berlin, comments: "The US outbound market is performing very well this year and 2016 should be the best year that the North American outbound travel market has ever seen. But we must see if the recent terror attacks in Paris change the picture."

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