Travel Weekly names DR #1 Caribbean Destination
DR is Partner Country for Fitur 2019
DATE set for BlueMall Puntacana
Santo Domingo named Top 10 Romantic Cities in North America
Vuelta Independencia Nacional cycling race starts 25 February

Travel Weekly names DR “Best Caribbean Destination”
Travel Weekly readers voted the Dominican Republic its number one destination in the Caribbean. The country lead in the vote by travel professionals for the 2018 Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards.

“It is an honor for our country to be acknowledged by leading professionals in the travel industry,” said Magaly Toribio, marketing advisor for the Ministry of Tourism. “We are proud to promote the distinct beauty and diversity of our country and look forward to welcoming many new and returning visitors in 2019 and years to come.”

The widely recognized and coveted awards are presented annually to the industry suppliers who led the way in product and service during the past year, as explained by Travel Weekly. The open ballot phase of the voting was conducted during the summer. Travel Weekly readers were invited to write in the names of any company they believe best exemplifies a category. The leading vote recipients were identified as finalists and voting on finalists took place October through November 2018 and announced in December.

This recognition comes as the Dominican Republic prepares to welcome new direct daily flight routes in 2019 from destinations throughout the United States, including New York, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston and Fort Lauderdale, among other locations.

DR is Partner Country for Fitur 2019
King Felipe VI of Spain and his wife Leticia attended the inauguration of the Fitur travel show in Madrid, Spain and visited the Dominican Republic pavilion on occasion of the country being the year’s Fitur partner country.
The Dominican Republic is also the leading site for billions of euros in Spanish investment in the tourism industry in hotels, airlines and tour operation services. The Dominican Republic received 173,065 Spanish tourists in 2017, of the 5.4 million foreign tourist arrivals that year, said Kiara Font Bernard, director of the Dominican tourism office in Spain and Portugal.

The 39th Fitur was attended by over 250,000 travel professionals and around 10,500 companies this year at the trade show venue in Madrid, Spain. The event took place 23 to 27 January 2019 with the participation of 165 countries.

Tourism Minister Francisco Javier led the Dominican delegation to the event. During Fitur he announced that this year would be the take off for major tourism development in the prime beach area of Bahia de las Aguilas. He announced the government would call an international tender for the development of the area. At the event, Venezuelan investors, the Velutini group of Blue Mall-fame, announced they would be investing in the construction of 1,020 new rooms in the Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata area.

DATE set for BlueMall Puntacana
The National Hotel & Tourism Association (Asonahores) announced that the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE) would take place from 26 to 28 March 2019 at the BlueMall Puntacana in Puntacana Village. In making the announcement, Paola Rainieri, president of Asonahores, stated: "DATE has contributed to the sustained increase of Dominican tourism activity, and has been a very important factor to achieve an average annual growth of more than 6% in the last 10 years, superior to regional and global growth. In these years we have received more than 44 million international tourists and this fair is one of the main contributions made by Asonahores to this achievement.”

The event is organized by the Asonahores staff under Andrés Marranzini, executive vice president of Asonahores. The event is expected to feature the participation of 140 stands distributed in an area of more than 3,000 square meters all throughout the shopping mall.

Marranzini highlighted the event seeks to maximize business opportunities between hoteliers and other local tourism service providers, and tour operators, travel agents, airline representatives, and other professionals in the sector. On the program is the DATE Awards to companies for their contributions to the development of the local tourism industry.

Santo Domingo named Top 10 Romantic Cities in North America
While technically, Santo Domingo is not part of North America, a Dating Advice website has included the city of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic along with other major well known romantic destination cities in the Americas. The other cities on the 10 Most Romantic Cities list are San Miguel de Allende in Mexico; Quebec City in Quebec and Victoria in British Columbia, for Canada. And the US cities of Napa in California; Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; Norfolk, Virginia; Greenville, South Carolina; and Savannah, Georgia.

The researchers for the Dating Advice website said that the 10 cities across North America feature romantic ambiance in its history, sights, and entertainment options for couples.

Vuelta Independencia Nacional cycling race starts 25 February
The most important cycling race held every year in the Dominican Republic, the Vuelta Independencia Nacional this year will take place 25 February to 3 March 2019. The event is organized by the Dominican Cycling Federation (Fedoci).

The president of Fedoci, Jorge Blas Díaz announced that the race kicks off with a 125 km first trek on 25 February. The route for this race is along the Circunvalación de Santo Domingo-La Mina-Retorno, Autopista Circunvalación San Cristóbal-Baní, San José de Ocoa.

On the second day, 26 February, the cyclists will cover a route of 120 km from Santo Domingo to La Romana.

On Independence Day, 27 February, the racers will cover the Circuito El Higuero of 110 km.

On 28 February, the route is 120 km from Santo Domingo to Monte Plata.

On 1 March, the route is 165 km from Monte Plata to San Francisco de Macorís.

On 2 March, the race will be 110 km on the Circuito Area Monumental de Santiago.