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April 19, 2016
  • Tourist numbers on the rise
  • Real InterContinental Santo Domingo opening in July 2016
  • First Fathom cruise docks at Amber Cove
  • Punta Cana hotels win TripAdvisor Choice Awards
Tourist numbers on the rise
According to Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia, the tourism sector has grown above 7% so far this year with 105,027 additional visitors as estimated by the World Tourism Organization for the Americas.
The Ministry of Tourism attributes the growth to strategic public and private alliances and successful promotional campaigns and informed that 1,604,429 tourists visited the country between January and March. 2016 is expected to be the best year ever for tourism, according to the Ministry, adding that the country was making good progress towards achieving President Danilo Medina's target of receiving 10 million tourists a year by 2022.
During the first three months of the year the markets that made the highest contribution to tourism were the United States, Venezuela, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and Uruguay. Minister Garcia mentioned that 64.7% of tourists entered via Punta Cana airport, 15.9% through Las Americas and 11.1% through Puerto Plata.
In March the country welcomed 565,362 visitors, including foreigners and Dominicans, up 27,722 compared to the same month last year, for a 5.2% increase.
The travel breakdown in March was 66.6% from North America (USA, Canada and Mexico), 20% from Europe, 10% from South America, and 3.3% from Central America and the Caribbean.
65% of all arrivals landed at Punta Cana International Airport, 16% at Las Americas (Santo Domingo), 11% at Puerto Plata International, 3.2% at Cibao International (Santiago), and 2.9% at La Romana International.
Real InterContinental Santo Domingo opening in July 2016
Last week the Real Hotels & Resorts Group announced the mid-July opening of their new five star hotel, the Real Inter-Continental Santo Domingo. Located on Av. Winston Churchill on the corner with Calle Porfirio Herrera, the hotel is right in the heart of Santo Domingo's central entertainment and business district. With 227 rooms and a presidential suite on the 21st floor, with a wrap-around infinity pool, the hotel will have two bars and three restaurants - Factory Steak & Lobster, The Market, and Nau Sushi Lounge. There are eight meetings rooms on the 20th floor with capacity for 750 people. Guests at the hotel will have direct access to what is being promoted as the most modern corporate center in the city, the Roble Corporate Center, under construction next to the hotel. The hotel also has four parking levels.
First Fathom cruise docks at Amber Cove
Volunteerism got a new boost with the arrival of the 710-passenger Adonia, the first ship from Carnival Corporation's volunteer-focused cruise line Fathom. The Adonia docked in Puerto Plata on 18 April for four days/three nights on a one-week impact travel cruise from Miami. The activities planned for the passengers include working with schoolchildren on their language skills. The cruises are bi-weekly, with the ship docking in Cuba on alternate weeks.
"You can't change the world in seven days," said Tara Russell, president of Fathom in an interview with USA Today. She believes, however, that bringing "an army" of volunteer-focused cruise passengers each week will help change people's lives.
On board passengers are prepared by taking an On-the-Ground Training Workshop. Volunteer activities are not obligatory. Recreational activities are also offered in each area.
The ship's arrival in Puerto Plata was delayed as the first departure had to be cancelled due to a problem with the fire doors. The ship was cleared four days later and made its inaugural trip to the DR on 17 April 2016.
Punta Cana hotels win TripAdvisor Choice Awards
TripAdvisor has published its reviewers' verdicts with many resorts in Punta Cana receiving the coveted TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards. The awards are granted based on quality and quantity reflected by traveler reviews and ratings on the popular website.
The Punta Cana hotels that have received the TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice 2016 awards include the Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro, The Reserve at Paradisus Punta Cana, The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, AlSol Tiara Cap Cana, Eden Roc at Cap Cana, Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, Iberostar Bavaro Suites, Club Med Punta Cana, and NH Punta Cana.

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