Mathematics is fun at the Akiyama Museum in the Colonial City
From Puerto Plata resorts to cruise director for Celebrity Cruises
Air arrivals up in 2017
December 2017 air travel statistics

Mathematics is fun at the Akiyama Museum in the Colonial City
Did you know the Colonial City of Santo Domingo hosts the first museum in Latin America specialized in mathematics, an eye-opening experience for the entire family. The Museo de Experiencia de las Matemáticas is located at the Centro Cultural de las Telecomunicaciones Ing. Alvaro Nadal on Calle Isabel la Católica, diagonally across from the Plaza España.

Opened in November 2017, the Akiyama’s Math Experience Museum is the second hands-on math museum built by Professor Jin Akiyam and his first in Latin America. His first was the “Akiyama’s Math Experience Plaza” in Tokyo built in 2013.

71-year old Professor Jin Akiyama is regarded as one of the best-known mathematics author and professor in Japan. He studied at Tokyo University of Science and Sophia University, as well as at the University of Michigan in the United States. He is best known for explaining mathematics. He was the host of the popular educational prime time TV series (running from 1991 to 2013) that for years helped Japanese understand and excel in mathematics. The series had over 400 episodes over its 25 years on the NHK TV station. The shows are available at the Santo Domingo museum.

Akiyama is the author or co-author of more than 200 books including, “Treks into Intuitive Geometry” (with K. Matsunaga, Springer, 2016), “Factors and Factorizations of Graphs” (with M. Kano, Springer, 2011) and, “A Day’s Adventure in Math Wonderland” (with M. Ruiz, World Scientific, 2008), which was translated into ten different languages.

Professor Akiyama continues to teach at the University of Sciences of Tokyo, a 140-year university. He is also president of the Museum of Science and Mathematical Experiences at the Tokyo University of Science.

Professor Akiyama is the namesake of the Nintendo DS game, Master Jin Jin’s IQ Challenge.

Professor Akiyama came personally for the opening of the museum. At the opening, Dominican ambassador in Japan, Hector Domínguez, told the story of how the museum came to be. He explained he first discovered the concept of a fun introduction to mathematics at the Museo de Matemáticas de Cornellá in Barcelona, Spain, where the museum was also a tourist attraction. There he met Professor Akiyama and began working on the project. The project got a major boost when he received an email from the Japanese professor who had seen the Dominican results in the OECD tests for 60 countries and the DR was listed last. Akiyama was challenged to help Dominican students perform better on math and science skills tests. The professor donated 46 modules that are the same as at the Tokyo museum. Another four were added for 50 modules that are part of the Dominican museum, with the commitment to bring 50 more modules for the museum expansion. The collaboration is being expanded to other sciences taught at the Tokyo University of Sciences, such as physics, chemistry, pharmacology.

From Puerto Plata resort to cruise director for Celebrity Cruises
Entertainment on a cruise ship encompasses from the production of shows in the ship's theater, the theme parties, the live music in the various public venues, the in-cabin television, the visiting entertainers and all of the organized activities that take place around the ship during the day and night. And Dominican Luis Manuel de la Cruz Zapata (Luigi) has climbed the professional ladder and for about a year and a half ago has been cruise director/director of entertainment at Celebrity Cruises, of Royal Caribbean Cruises.

In a recent interview with Listin Diario, De la Cruz told his story. He said he applied online and took a job as a janitor that was the only position available. He left a good paying job in local tourism industry working as an entertainment organizer in a number of Puerto Plata resorts. He had completed his accounting studies at UNAPEC but felt more at home in entertainment. Yet he explained he took the bottom starter job because he said he wanted to get a start in the cruise ship industry.

Once on the cruise ship, he got his break two months later from a fellow worker, a Jamaican, who worked in the bar, who saw how well tourists related to him. He switched from cleaning to interacting with passengers. In less than six months he got another break and returned the entertainment field. In less than a year he was promoted to the number two post in the entertainment division, a job he held for four years, prior to his promotion to cruise director/entertainment director a year and a half ago. He said he has now been working in the Celebrity Cruise company for seven years.

Air arrivals up in 2017
According to a press release from the president of the Civil Aviation Board (JAC), Luis Ernesto Camilo Garcia, visiting passenger numbers to the Dominican Republic grew by 4.2% in 2017, with an increase from North America (Canada, United States and Mexico) of 1.6%. Air travel from the Caribbean is up by 4.1% and from Central America 3.7%.

There were 5,354,017 foreign visitors with 56.4% coming from North America, 4.6% from Central America and the Caribbean, 12.8% from South America and 25.9% from Europe. The main source markets in Europe were Russia, Germany, France, England and Spain.

The number of female passengers arriving by air increased by 9.1% over the previous year and there was an increase in young passengers, between 0-12 years, making up 35.2% of the total, with those between 13 and 20 years increasing by 12.5%.

Dominican international airports carried out more than 102,373 flight operations in 2017, transporting 13,770,551 passengers. This is 637,000 more passengers or 4.9% more than in 2016, according to statistics from the Civil Aviation Board (JAC) of the Dominican Republic. Of these, there were 6,935,292 departures and 6,835,259 arrivals.

Some 12,126,642 (88.1%) of the passengers used regular airline flights, and another 1,643,879 (11.9%) came on charters. The president of the JAC says this shows the strong positioning of the Dominican Republic as a destination for international travelers. When the tourism industry was in its early years, most tourists arrived on charter flights.

December 2017 air travel statistics
According to the Civil Aviation Board (JAC), December 2017 was a good month for tourism, with 1,236,386 air passengers, up 49,541 compared to 2016. There were 9,454 flight operations. The JAC points out that in 2017, the Cibao International Airport in Santiago showed a 7.7% increase in passenger flow, followed by Punta Cana International Airport. Peak travel days were 23 and 30 December with 42,217 and 51,809 passengers, respectively.

The top ten airlines transporting the most passengers in December 2017 were JetBlue, American, Delta, Air Transat, United Airlines, Sunwing Airlines. Also Copa, Condor, Southwest and Air Canada.