DR returns to normalcy after Irma
Foreign press on the DR and cruise ships after Hurricane Irma
Cestur personnel were unexpected guests at La Residence
Irma's path continues to affect flights

DR returns to normalcy after Irma
Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier García reported that no tourist was injured and no hotel suffered major damage due to Hurricane Irma. The Punta Cana area tourist destination was spared after the hurricane took a northerly course as it moved west of the DR. Hotels nationwide had bunkered down to await Hurricane Irma that instead made a WNW turn sparing the country from significant damage.

The Ministry of Public Works promptly cleared fallen trees or debris from north coast roads and in cities and towns. The Ministry assigned thousands of civil servants working in brigades to supplement efforts of city municipalities in the clean up.

The Water Authority reported that aqueducts that supply hotels in Puerto Plata, Montellano, Sosua and Cabarete hotels were not affected by the storm. Hotels were prompt to restore landscape and clear beach and pools from debris.

Expect some good deals as the word gets out the DR was spared from Irma, despite it passing to the north of the island. Casa de Campo reports all is normal again at the resort and community. It is advertising an extension of their Labor Day Sale with rates from US$249 per person including guest room accommodations, 4-passenger golf cart, horseback riding, one-round of skeet shooting, non-motorized water sports, tennis, unlimited drinks, and daily breakfast, lunch, & dinner at the resort restaurants.


Foreign press on the DR and cruise ships after Hurricane Irma
The foreign press shares insights of tourists in or headed to the
Dominican Republic in days of Irma. Punta Cana resorts are already hosting some of the survivors of Irma in the eastern Caribbean.

The media is also focusing on how the storm will affect the cruise industry in the Caribbean. The Miami Herald focuses on how the cruise industry will need to redirect its ships now that St. Thomas, St. Johns, Turks & Caicos, Anguilla, Barbuda, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Bahamas and Cuba destinations need time to recover. The newspaper reports that Royal Caribbean will be sending his ships to transport tourists stranded in the islands.

Cruises into the Carnival-Amber Cove terminal in Puerto Plata that were suspended due to Irma, will be resumed since Tuesday, 11 September 2017, according to their website.


Cestur personnel were unexpected guests at La Residence
Hotelier Philippe Gonin of La Residence in Las Terrenas opened the doors of the town hotel to the 20 members of the Specialized Tourism Security Corps (Cestur) that were stationed in Las Terrenas for the passing of Hurricane Irma on 6, 7, 8, 9 September 2017. Samaná was affected by strong wind gusts, falling trees and light posts, houses that lost their roofs. Gonin was expecting the worse. Samaná got intense wind gusts and surf surge, but the destination has promptly recovered.

Gonin, nevertheless, explained that from Tuesday, 5 September he chose to relocate his guests to safety in hotels in Santo Domingo, where tropical storm was forecast, and not hurricane effects. Since the members of Cestur did not have anywhere to stay, we hosted them in the emptied rooms, he explained.

El Dia reported that the people of Samana have commended Gonin for his solidarity with Samana. Others in Samana helped the crews remove the debris from the roads so vehicles could better circulate to help others affected by the storm.


Irma's path continues to affect flights
Flights to the Dominican Republic from Miami, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale began to be suspended since Wednesday, 6 September 2017 due to Irma. Likewise, commercial flights from the islands of Sint Maarten and St. Martin, Antigua, Turks & Caicos flights are also on hold. JetBlue, Spirit, Pawa flights to these destinations have been affected. The storm has also affected some flights to New York and Boston from Dominican airports. Travelers need to check with their airline prior to continuing travel plans.