PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic – The Dominican Republic (DR) Ministry of Tourism proudly welcomes new direct flights to Casa de Campo La Romana International Airport on the country’s Southeast Coast; twice weekly JetBlue flights from New York’s JFK will begin in November 2011 and daily American Eagle flights from Miami to La Romana began April 5.
“The new flights put the beautiful and romantic La Romana area within a few hours of two major U.S. cities,” said Magaly Toribio, DR Ministry of Tourism, Vice Minister of International Promotion. “Dominican Republic’s long-term commitment to innovative marketing has firmly established our culturally rich paradise in the hearts and minds of global travelers who seek sensational sun, azure blue seas and sumptuous and affordable world-class hotels. Our country’s increasing popularity with U.S. visitors allows our airline partners to increase their flights to meet the growing demand for our warm and welcoming island nation.”
As a growing global destination, the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE), held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Convention Center in Punta Cana from April 27-29, drew hundreds of international tourism buyers, tour operators and media to the country’s glamorous East Coast to conduct business and book future travel from around the world.
During the week’s events, the DR Ministry of Tourism noted that non-resident visits to the DR increased in the first quarter of 2011 by 3.3 percent following a record 4.1 million visitors to the DR in 2010, setting the pace for an even more successful 2011.
The DR government and tourism industry’s long-term commitment to develop necessary infrastructure, airlift and support of sustainable hotel developments over the last decade has resulted in diverse tourism offerings with a variety of upscale developments and world class hotel brands investment in the DR.
Several tourism projects from around the country were announced during DATE, including:
AMResorts announced several new hotel projects in the Dominican Republic; Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana with 373 rooms and Now Larimar with 642 rooms and suites will premiere in May. Now Larimar represents the Now brand’s entry into the Caribbean and emphasizes AMResorts’ strong investment and confidence in the globally popular Punta Cana. AMResorts also expects to open up to five more resorts in the DR in 2013.
The DR Ministry of Tourism announced a new program and $53 million investment in capital city Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone that aims to preserve the ancient city and enhance the visitor experience. The project includes dramatic lighting of the historic Colonial Zone; preservation of its ancient buildings; and relocating electrical wires and phone lines underground. Historic museums in the ancient city will increase evening hours and high-tech video monitoring of the entire zone will ensure safety of visitors and residents.
Grupo Punta Cana announced plans for a Four Points by Sheraton hotel located in the Puntacana Village complex opposite the Punta Cana International Airport. To open in winter 2012, the 122-room hotel will serve the growing number of business travelers who come to Punta Cana to conduct business in the area.
The Cabarete – Sosua Association of Hotels and Restaurants announced a new campaign to highlight the unique diversity found along these two north coast towns including the best conditions in the world for Kiteboarding, windsurfing, the best animated beach night life with 30 bars and restaurants and a top Jazz Festival each fall in Cabarete. Sosua and its idyllic Bay are known as the best place for snorkeling and scuba diving in the DR with magnificent coral reefs. Sosua Alderman Adolfo Faringthon also announced the completion of a new park located next to Sosua Beach dedicated to the arrival of the Jews in Sosua. The area is also a growing destination for artists with an Artist’s Path and 10 art galleries located near the beach where tourists can meet local artists.
Casa de Campo Resort announced two innovative summer packages including “It’s a Pirate’s Life,” to celebrate Disney’s upcoming release of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, with excellent values from April 25 to Sept. 30, 2011. (www.casadecampo.com.do). In addition, Altos de Chavon School of Design near the Resort will offer affordable Summer Design School packages starting at $500 that includes tuition, lodging at dormitory at the artist’s village and airport transfers. (www.AltosdeChavon.com).
The Dominican Republic’s first tourist was Christopher Columbus in 1492. Rich in history, the DR has developed into a diverse destination offering both Dominican and European flavors to more than one million U.S. visitors each year. Named #1 Golf Destination in Caribbean & Latin America by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, the DR boasts 28 designer golf courses, upscale resorts, pristine nature, and sophisticated cities and quaint villages filled with warm Dominican people. The DR features the best beaches, fascinating history and culture, and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families alike.