Punta Cana celebrates its 50th birthday
Air Europe and Iberia merge
Condor announces new flights to Puerto Plata and Samaná
Samaná tourism community meets Thursday, 14 November
Sergio Vargas and Fernando Villalona at Hard Rock Live

Punta Cana celebrates its 50th birthday
Puntacana Group is celebrating its 50th anniversary. CEO Frank Rainieri has been sharing insights recalling that the area geographically registered as Yauya or Punta Borrachón became Punta Cana in 1969. Rainieri had the vision of turning the lovely beach that was around a six-hour drive from the capital city of Santo Domingo into a world-acclaimed tourism destination. During his talks on the occasion of the anniversary, Rainieri stressed that it was the perseverance and hard work of many people that created the worldclass sustainable tourism destination and community.

"We are eternally grateful to the thousands of people who during these long 50 years have backed us, in one way or another, starting with those who have been part of the Puntacana Family and made our philosophy their own, allowing us to overcome difficult moments, enjoy successes, and grow," Rainieri said.

Rainieri recalled how when the first tourism lodging was built around 52 families were living in the area. Today Punta Cana has a population of around 140,000. The area is regarded as the most economically dynamic region in the country.

He recalled how Punta Cana began with 20 rooms in the Punta Cana Club and today is a group that includes lodging in the Sheraton Four Points, The Westin by Puntacana Resort & Hotels and the Tortuga Bay. He remembered that when inaugurated in 1982, the Punta Cana International Airport became the first commercial international airport in the world. At that time, only governments operated airports. Today Punta Cana International is the leading airport in Central America and the Caribbean, with around 8 million passengers in 2018 and flights connecting around 100 cities in 28 countries.

Rainieri mentioned that part of the Puntacana Group is the Puntacana Group Foundation, the BlueMall Puntacana, eight residential communities, two golf courses (45 holes), and the Oscar de la Renta Tennis Center, among other ventures.


Air Europe and Iberia merge
It would seem that there will be less competition for fares from the Dominican Republic to Europe. The holding company International Airlines Group (IAG) has announced that Iberia and its competitor Air Europa will merge. Iberia is the single largest airline operating between Europe and Latin America.

IAG has said that they are keeping the Air Europa brand and the SkyTeam alliance, at least for now. As reported in Reportur, Iberia operates to 137 destinations in 47 countries, while Air Europa has 69 routes. Both airlines have their headquarters in Madrid, Spain.

IAG had recently announced it is buying Air Europa from Globalia, whose CEO Javier Hidalgo has said that IAG "over all these years has demonstrated its support to the development of airlines within the group and the Madrid hub."

International Airlines Group (IAG) is the parent company of British Airways and Iberia. The company announced the deal is for US$1 billion. Air Europa is the second-largest airline at Madrid, the primary hub for Iberia, and the second-largest airline in Spain by available seat kilometers .


Condor announces new flights to Puerto Plata and Samaná
Condor (DE) is adding flights to El Catey International Airport in Samaná (AZS) and Gregorio Luperón International (POP) in Puerto Plata from Frankfurt Main International Airport (FRA) in Germany for this winter season. In the Dominican Republic, Condor flies to Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It also flies to Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) on Wednesdays and Sundays.

The schedule for POP is for a weekly Wednesday flight. The summer schedule for SDQ will continue on Wednesdays and Sundays. There are connecting flights to Puerto Plata from Dresden, Dusseldorf, Hanover, Hamburg, Leipzig/Halle, Stuttgart, Berlin-Tegel, Bremen and Brussels.

The airline has scheduled flights to Samaná on Sundays from 3 November 2019 through 19 April 2020.

The airline announced it will be flying this winter season to Punta Cana International from Frankfurt daily except for Wednesdays. It also has scheduled flights from Munich to PUJ on Wednesdays and Fridays. The airline announces summer schedule of four weekly flights on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Frankfurt to Punta Cana.

Condor also has connecting flights to Punta Cana from Graz, Innsbruck, Bremen, Brussels and Dresden.


Samaná tourism community meets Thursday, 14 November
The 6th Annual Meeting for Tourism Development of Samaná is set for Thursday, 14 November 2019, at the Puerto Bahía Hotel, 3.5 km from Samana city. The annual event is organized by the Association of Hotels and Tourism Companies of Samaná (Ahetsa) and the Samaná Tourism Cluster with the backing of the National Hotel & Tourism Association (Asonahores) and the Ministry of Tourism. Tourism Minister Francisco Javier García is expected to open the event at 10am on Thursday.

The annual meeting seeks to strengthen tourism development in the northeastern province and serve as an opportunity for promoting investment opportunities and the Samaná experiences and lodging.

The speakers will be Juan Bancalari, president of Ahetsa; Diana Rodríguez, product director for Air Canada Vacations; Jan Frankenberg, director de Caribbean DER Touristik Group (REWE); Magaly Toribio, tourism marketing advisor of the Ministry of Tourism; Andrés Fernández, president of the Romana-Bayahibe Tourism Cluster and the Romana-Bayahibe Association of Hotels.


Sergio Vargas and Fernando Villalona at Hard Rock Live
Two of the best merengue and bolero singers of all time, Sergio Vargas and Fernando Villalona will be performing on Friday, 29 November 2019 at the Hard Rock Live Santo Domingo at the Blue Mall on Av. Winston Churchill. This is a Ramses Peralta production. Tickets are for sale online at Uepa Tickets, and are available at the Hard Rock Live box office, CCN Servicios, Supermercados Nacional and Jumbo stores.