Mango Festival set for Wednesday, 14 June 2017 in Bani
Pawa expected to fly direct to Jamaica
Virgilio Méndez watercolors for Casa Cuesta’s 2017 collection
Daniel Lozano named director of Paradisus
New Holland America Line ship adds Amber Cove to its Caribbean cruises

Mango Festival set for 14-18 June 2017 in Bani
This is the time to head southwest for tastings of the many varieties of mangos. Truckloads of mangos will be sold at the Baní city park at bargain prices starting Wednesday, 14 June 2017. There are an estimated 200 varieties of mangos grown in the Dominican Republic. 

In addition to talks and artistic performances, the highlight of the event for many is the opportunity to see so many varieties of mangos in one place. The fair remains open through the weekend. 

Pawa expected to fly direct to Jamaica
The Dominican Republic-based airline Pawa is scheduled to start flights to Jamaica later this year, according to a report in the Jamaican Observer. The initiative comes after the recent visit from Prime Minister Andrew Holness to the Dominican Republic. Holness had stated he was interested in direct flights between Jamaica and the Dominican Republic to promote multi-destination tourism. The Dominican Republic is the leader in tourism air arrivals in the Caribbean. 

As reported in the Jamaican Observer, during one of the many meetings, both Dominican and Jamaican business leaders urged Holness and President Danilo Medina of the Dominican Republic to open direct flights between Kingston and Santo Domingo. While Pawa is yet to announce the start date of flights and the frequency, airline officials have confirmed that the route will start operating in the last quarter of 2017.

According to local media reports, Pawa would become the first airline to fly to the capitals of five countries in the Greater Antilles – Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic with Santo Domingo as the hub.

During the recent meeting with Holness, both Jamaica and the Dominican Republic authorities agreed to increase trade, bilateral investment, cooperation in tourism and the training of teachers and students.

Virgilio Méndez watercolors for Casa Cuesta’s 2017 collection
Casa Cuesta has chosen the works of “costumbrista” painter Virgilio Méndez for its 14th coffee art collection. Méndez is known for his scenes of everyday life and portraits in watercolors. 

The collection includes sets of two coffee cups, decorative cake plates, small square plates, a coffee pot, sugar and cream set, among others. 

The collection is an excellent souvenir and can be purchased at select Supermercado Nacional (including Puntacana Village) around the country and at Casa Cuesta.

Daniel Lozano named director of Paradisus
Meliá Hotel International announced the appointment of Spaniard Daniel Lozano to direct the Paradisus Resorts in the Dominican Republic. Previously he worked at the Paradisus La Perla and Esmeralda in Playa del Carmen, Cancún, Mexico. Lozano will be responsible for the Palma Real Paradisus and the Punta Cana Paradisus. 

Holland America Line has opened bookings for their next cruise ship Nieuw 
Nieuw Statendam of Holland America Line is already accepting bookings for Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale in Florida to be launched in 2019. The ship will specialize in seven-day Caribbean itineraries, with select three-, four- and 10-day options in winter/spring 2018-19. The Nieuw Statendam will have capacity for 2,666 passengers. 

Nieuw Statendam’s first Caribbean cruise will be a four-day itinerary with calls at Half Moon Cay and Key West, Florida, departing 19 December 2018. The ship continues with a seven-day sailings, that include a first 23 December Christmas cruise with stops at Amber Cove, in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Half Moon Cay. 

A longer 10-day cruise in the Caribbean will be offered on the Nieuw Statendam that departs 20 January 2019 to the ABC Islands with calls at Half Moon Cay; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Willemstad, Curaçao; and Oranjestad, Aruba.

There will be a 17 March departure with calls at Amber Cove, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay.