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Thread: DR1 Travel News - Tuesday, 3 October 2017

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    Default DR1 Travel News - Tuesday, 3 October 2017

    President Medina scheduled to speak at UNWTO Conference in Jamaica
    Playa Hotels & Resorts takes on Sanctuary Cap Cana
    Cruise ships switch Caribbean ports after the hurricanes
    Only big volume airports can afford US pre-clearance facility

    President Medina scheduled to speak at UNWTO Conference in Jamaica
    President Danilo Medina will be traveling to Jamaica in November 2017, to speak at the World Tourism Organization’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development Conference in Montego Bay. Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett made the announcement in Jamaica. The WTO conference is set to take place 27-29 November 2017 at the Montego Bay Convention Center. The Presidency of the Dominican Republic has yet to formally announce Medina’s participation.

    As reported in the event press release, Jamaica will welcome approximately 1,000 delegates from more than 150 countries to discuss tourism sustainability during the Montego Bay conference. The event is organized within the context of the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

    Jamaican Tourism Minister Bartlett, as chairman of the UNWTO Board of Affiliate Members, says Jamaica is pleased to cement itself in history by hosting the decision makers of the tourism sector from around the world. “We will also be using the opportunity to showcase our country’s sustainable tourism development practices and demonstrate how tourism contributes to the economic well-being of every Jamaican,” said Minister Bartlett.

    Alexandre Meira da Rosa, IDB vice-president for countries, is scheduled to deliver welcoming remarks. Also on the program is James Scriven, chief executive officer of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC). Other speakers will include: Gloria Guevara Manzo, president of the World Travel and Tourism Council; Eduardo Fayos Sola, expert on the future of tourism and Taleb Rifai, UNWTO secretary general.

    Playa Hotels & Resorts takes on Sanctuary Cap Cana
    Playa Hotels & Resorts announces Sanctuary Cap Cana will now operate under the hotel chain. In July 2017, Playa had announced the start of construction of the 750-room Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara All-Inclusive Resort Complex. With the agreement, Playa assumes the overall management of a third property in Punta Cana, the Sanctuary Cap Cana resort. The announcement was made by Bruce Wardinski, chairman and CEO of Playa Hotels & Resorts.

    Sanctuary Cap Cana is an adult-only resort with 184-rooms, including 33 luxury villas and five pools located in the Cap Cana hotel and residential development on the southern side of the eastern Punta Cana destination.

    Playa Hotels & Resorts N.V. owns a portfolio consisting of 13 resorts (6,130-rooms) located in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.

    Cruise ships switch Caribbean ports after the hurricanes
    USA Today lists several changes by major cruise ship lines in the Caribbean after Irma and Maria swept through the region, removing several important cruise ship destinations from the cruise ship map for the start of the winter season.

    Major ports that were damaged are located in St. Maarten/St. Martin, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, St. Thomas and St. John in the US Virgin Islands, and Grand Turk in Turks & Caicos. Less than a week later, Hurricane Maria swept through the region, forcing the closing of tourism installations in Dominica, Puerto Rico and St. Croix.

    Carnival Corporation port, Amber Cove in Puerto Plata will be hosting several of these displaced cruise ships. While Carnival re-routed several ships that had been scheduled to visit coinciding with Irma and Maria, the port was relatively unaffected by the storms and will be hosting travelers that would have visited other Caribbean ports.

    Only big volume airports can afford US pre-clearance facility
    As reported in USA Today, the United States government is just waiting for the Dominican Republic “to address some minor infrastructure issues and clear-up some legal authority matters in order to allow the issuing of pre-clearance protocols for the facilities at the Punta Cana International Airport”. Punta Cana International Airport has an agreement with the US government for pre-clearance.

    Todd Owen, executive assistant to the commissioner of field operations for Customs and Border Protection made the remarks when speaking to the House Homeland Security SubCommittee on Transportation Security. The US Congress had questioned the criteria used by the US government for authorizing pre-clearance. Owen told the legislators that preclearance is “the gold standard in our counter-terrorism efforts overseas at last points of departure.”

    Preclearance allows international travelers to clear United States customs and immigration checks before boarding planes abroad. Preclearance travelers can avoid long lines after getting off a long flight – while also allowing US Customs and Border Protection to screen travelers before they even board the plane to US territory.

    USA Today explains that at present preclearance systems already in place screen about 18 million travelers arriving from 15 airports, mostly in Canada, the Caribbean, Ireland and Abu Dhabi. The program began in the 1950s as a convenience for travel from Canada. But with the expansion to Abu Dhabi three years ago, US officials invited more countries to participate if they were willing to pay for facilities and staffing needed. The cost to the host country only makes sense with lots of passengers, Owen added. "Very small airports would probably not embrace preclearance," he explained.

    Punta Cana International Airport handles the most diversified and numerous traffic in the Caribbean. As reported in USA Today, more than 11,000 flights from Punta Cana International Airport carried nearly 1.6 million travelers to the United States in 2016.
    Last edited by Dolores; 10-03-2017 at 10:26 AM.

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