Ministry of Tourism: DR has 82,500 hotel rooms
Flavors of the World at Casa de Campo
Blue Mall set for 17 August 2017 opening
Thelma Martínez in charge of booking Mirex convention center
Simón Súarez: 2017 Caribbean Hotelier of the Year
Mexican charter flights to PUJ this summer

Ministry of Tourism: DR has 82,500 hotel rooms
According to the Barometric Report from the Ministry of Tourism, the number of hotel rooms in the Dominican Republic is 82,500, including 7,300 new rooms that were added in 2016. Another 2,300 are expected to be on the market by the end of 2017.

The report highlights that the new hotels that opened in 2016 are:
In Santo Domingo: Hotel Real Intercontinental, Santo Domingo;
In Punta Cana: Secrets Cap Cana Resort and Spa; Luxury Bahía Príncipe Fantasía Hotel; Hotel Riu República in Punta Cana; Nickelodeon Resort, Excellence El Carmen, Now Onix;
On the north coast:
Amanera in Playa Grande;
In San Pedro de Macorís:
Condo–Hotel Hemingway in San Pedro de Macorís.

The report added that 69 new tourist projects have been approved by the Tourist Development Board (Confotur) calling for an investment of US$1,482.1 million, and adding another 8,664 rooms to the national hotel inventory. The new rooms are expected to generate around 13,000 direct and indirect jobs, on top of those that are being created during the construction phase.

Most of the new hotel projects are located in the La Altagracia (Punta Cana) area with 40, ten in Santo Domingo, five in Samaná, four in San Pedro de Macorís, and two in each of Puerto Plata, La Vega, Peravia and El Seibo with one in María Trinidad Sánchez.

Flavors of the World at Casa de Campo
The Flavors of the World culinary event continues at Casa de Campo with the participation of Michelin Star Chef Alyn Williams from The Westbury at 37 Conduit St. Mayfair in London, UK. The restaurant is known for its creative modern cuisine.

The London-born Chef Williams began his career working with Marcus Wareing where he refined his modern French cooking style as the head chef at The Berkeley. He later honed his skills working at a wide variety of establishments, such as Les Alouettes in Surrey and Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham in the U.K., as well as at US restaurants in Colorado and California. He also worked along with Gordon Ramsay at Teatro in London before transitioning to the Gordon Ramsay Holdings group and taking a role as sous-chef at Ramsay’s three star Michelin restaurant.

Following his time with Ramsay, Chef Williams accepted a position at the Groucho Club in London’s Soho as head chef to raise the club’s standards and oversee the company’s portfolio. In 2008, Alyn rejoined Marcus Wareing as head chef at The Berkeley, during which time the restaurant received its second Michelin star, a full five Rosettes with the AA Restaurant Guide, a consistent 8/10 rating with the Good Food Guide, and inclusion in the San Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurants.

The weekend’s culinary events, taking place from July 21-23, will include exclusive pairing dinners on the nights of Friday, July 21st and Saturday, July 22nd, followed by a more casual brunch on Sunday, July 23rd. All events will take place at La Piazzetta in Altos de Chavon. The event has the backing of the Embassy of the United Kingdom.

The next Flavors of the World events at Casa de Campo are:
Flavors of the World – Buenos Aires with Fernando Rivarola: August 11th – 13th
Flavors of the World – New Orleans with Tory McPhail from Commander’s Palace: October
Flavors of the World – New York with Chef Marco Canora: November
To reserve your participation, call 809 523-3333 ext 3165

Blue Mall set for 17 August 2017 opening
Frank Rainieri of Grupo Punta Cana announced the opening of the Blue Mall in Punta Cana for Thursday, 17 August 2017. The mall is located two kilometers, less than five minutes from the Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ). It will have access from the Boulevard Turístico and the Carretera Juanillo leading to Cap Cana.

Rainieri announced that Blue Mall Punta Cana has 35,000 square meters of area for stores on the 112,847m2 property, making it the largest in Punta Cana. The mall will also feature an amphitheater where leading artistic performances are expected to take place. Banks are already operating at the mall.

Thelma Martínez in charge of booking Mirex convention center
Thelma Martínez is the new director of the Ministry of Foreign Relations convention center. She began her new role this July 2017 after 12 years as director of marketing for the National Hotel & Tourism Association (Asonahores), the country’s leading tourism organization. She brings to the position her extensive relations with hotel groups, tour operators, travel agents in the country and abroad.

Martínez is a graduate of the Cornell University and PUCMM hotel programs. She began her career in the sales department of the Dupont Plaza in Miami, Florida in 1987, returning the Dominican Republic in 1989 when she worked in sales with the Barceló hotel group in Punta Cana. She was promoted to commercial director for the Barceló Gran Hotel Lina in Santo Domingo. In 1997, she joined Amhsa Marina Hotels & Resorts where she was commercial director.

In 2005 she was hired by Asonahores to serve as marketing director of the organization to 2017. Martinez was responsible for several events such as DATE, the Asonahores Trade Show, and Vacation Planner and Welcome Punta Cana publications.

Her new challenge is to promote conventions, meetings, incentive groups and group gatherings in the city of Santo Domingo.

Simón Súarez: 2017 Caribbean Hotelier of the Year
The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) recognized Dominican Simón Súarez as the 2017 Hotelier of the Year. Súarez is a past president of CHTA.

In the Dominican Republic, Suarez is vice president of institutional relations and projects for the Grupo Puntacana. He received the award at the opening of the third annual Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), hosted by CHTA, in Miami last month.

Accepting the region's premier hospitality award, Suárez, called for those present to "embrace unity, diversity and ingenuity" in the Caribbean.

"Simón Suárez is a pioneer in Caribbean hospitality. He has played and continues to play a major role in the development and growth of Caribbean tourism, and we are indebted to him for all that he has done for his native Dominican Republic and the Caribbean," said Frank Comito, Director General and CEO of CHTA.

Suárez began his professional career in the Dominican Republic tourism industry at the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic in 1974. Since these early beginnings, he has served as the president of Occidental Hotels' local operating company, Occidental Hoteles Dominicana, S. A.; executive vice president of Coral Hotels & Resorts; President of the Dominican Republic's Tourism Promotion Council; chief development representative - Central America and Caribbean for Hilton Hotels Corporation; and president of the Dominican Republic's Hotel and Tourism Association (ASONAHORES).

Mexican charter flights to PUJ this summer
Magni Charter now has six flights to the Dominican Republic bringing guests for the Paradisus Resorts in the Dominican Republic in July and August. Punta Cana is the only destination outside of Mexico where Magni Charter flies.

The Mexican airline and tour operator flew in the first group of 138 tourists last week from Monterrey, Mexico to Punta Cana (PUJ). The group was received at the Punta Cana International Airport by Deputy Tourism Minister Fausto Fernández; Gabriel Bojorquez, director of Magni Charers; José Luis Soto, executive director of Link DMC and Daniel Lozano, general manager of Paradisus Resorts in the Dominican Republic.
During the first five months of 2017, some 13,467 tourists have arrived by air from Mexico.