Pre clearance scheduled for second quarter 2018
Ani Villas Rio San Juan now open
Demand for medical tourism services on the rise
Zoetry gets awards and mention in USA Today feature



Pre clearance scheduled for second quarter 2018
Punta Cana International Airport serves the largest number of airlines in the Caribbean and Central America. Expectations are that it will become even more attractive for airline companies and the local and international travelers they serve once US pre clearance service goes into effect as scheduled during the second quarter of 2018, a credible source told DR1 Travel News. The program is expected to increase international traffic to Punta Cana that already handles more than 60% of all air traffic at Dominican airports.

The US Preclearance (USCBP) facility at the Punta Cana International Airport will allow US and Puerto Rico-bound passengers to go through all US immigration, customs and agriculture inspections at the airport prior to departure. The goal of the program from the perspective of the US government is to improve security and thwart the arrival of unwelcome visitors before they reach the United States.

But travelers stand to be the big winners of the new facility. Given that pre clearance will shorten immigration and customs wait lines for expedited entry into the US, connecting passengers also stand to benefit from the service.

The Punta Cana International Airport already has dozens of connections from Europe and South America. Clearing US customs in Punta Cana is expected to be faster than doing so in the more congested the United States airports. As a result, more Dominicans, including those residing outside the La Romana-Punta Cana area, will consider flying out of Punta Cana when booking connecting flights after arriving to their first destination in the US territory.

Once arriving to US, the passengers will be treated as though they are flying domestic despite arriving from an international destination. As part of the program, baggage is checked through to the final destination, without the need for pick up/drop off. Arriving as a domestic passenger allows for a faster processing through the airport, and the shorter connecting times mean passengers can reach their final destination sooner.

The Grupo Punta Cana owners of the Punta Cana International Airport built a separate concourse and terminal for pre clearance passengers. Pre clearance requires that from the forecourt to the airplane is effectively US soil, requiring that passengers headed for the United States be segregated from those headed other places. Immigration process, security, through the departure gate and on to the plane falls under US guidelines.


Ani Villas Rio San Juan now open
With nightly rates of US$5,000 to US$18,000, Atlantic Ocean-fronting Ani Villas in Rio San Juan, east of Puerto Plata on the north coast, opened this winter season catering to elite travelers, weddings, celebrations and corporate events. The villas are designed by Dominican architect Sarah García and combine the finest in tropical design, contemporary finishes, and touches of Dominican heritage.

Meals and beverages are included in the price. Also the round trip from the, Netflix and Apple TV, and high speed internet. Facilities include swimming pools, spa, fitness center and yoga pavilion, shuffleboard court, pool and table tennis tables are available. Activities include cooking classes, tennis lessons, personal training, kayaking, paddle-boarding and cycling tours.

This is the fourth Ani Villas luxury villas property. Others are located in Anguilla, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

http://www.anivillas.com/ani-villas-dominican-republic


Demand for medical tourism services on the rise
Alejandro Cambiaso of the Dominican Association of Medical Tourism says that the number of tourists coming for medical services in the Dominican Republic is on the rise. He says the services most in demand are surgery, dental implants and orthopedic treatments. Surgery services include esthetic and plastic surgery, dental treatments, fertility procedures, bariatric surgery, among others.

Cambiaso said that companies offering the wellness and medical services report increases of 15% in demand for these from tourists. Cambiaso estimates at 25,000 to 30,000 the international tourists that came in 2017 to take advantage of high-quality health care at a good price. He said 80% of those coming for medical tourism travel are accompanied.

Medical centers catering to tourists are primarily located in Santiago, Santo Domingo and Punta Cana.

http://adtusalud.org/


Zoetry gets awards and mention in USA Today feature
A feature by Alisha Prakash of Oyster.com lists Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, an AmResorts property, as one of 10 top honeymoon destinations. The Honeymoon Guide feature recommends 10 all-inclusive resorts for romantic holidays around the world for 2017. It is published in USA Today on 27 December 2017. Zoetry is located on the north side of the Punta Cana beach strip in the Uvero Alto beach area.

The boutique hotel had earlier won the Apple Crystal 2017 Award given by tour operator Apple Vacations for best culinary experience. It also won the Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice 2017 Award.

The feature in USA Today describes the 96-room hotel: “Zoetry Agua Punta Cana is as honeymoon perfect as it gets: an uncrowded white-sand beach, spacious suites, a pristine pool, a gorgeous spa, and free on-site activities like yoga, snorkeling and a horseback riding session all cater to couples. To top it off, the atmosphere is serene — thanks in part to a difficult-to-reach location and a lack of kid-friendly amenities.”

Other hotels listed in the same feature are: Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, The Caves, Jamaica; Fowl Cay Resort, Bahamas; Jade Mountain Resort, St. Lucia; Tadrai Island Resort, Fiji; Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun, Mexico; Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Thailand; Los Altos de Eros, Costa Rica; and Beyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp, Botswana.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/trave...rld/982582001/