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    Default DR1 Travel News - 28 January 2020

    14.4 million arrivals and departures to DR in 2019
    Anex Tourism Group begins first resort of 7,000-room development in northern Punta Cana
    Finest Punta Cana to open in September
    Weekend adventure: a car trip to the Southwest

    14.4 million arrivals and departures to DR in 2019
    The Dominican Republic registered a record number of 116,390 air operations for January-December 2019. More than 14,400,000 passengers were transported on inbound and outbound flights through the country's main airports, according to a statistical report prepared by the Civil Aviation Board (JAC).

    A record of 1,247,001 passengers were transported in December 2019 alone, when there were 10,353 operations.

    Luis Ernesto Camilo, president of the JAC, says that despite the adverse media campaign the industry suffered during the past year 2019, the confidence of international markets has been maintained. He forecast 2020 will be a good year.

    He mentions that three airports experienced substantial growth in 2019. These were: La Romana International Airport (LRM) with a 97% increase and more than 190,600 additional air arrival and departures in 2019 compared to 2018; La Isabela International Airport (JBQ) in northern Santo Domingo with a 71% increase, and 34,100 more passengers than in 2018; and Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) experienced a 10% growth, bringing 4,150,220 passengers that used this terminal, east of the capital city.

    Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) is the main Dominican airport, with 7,106,258 passengers transported in different operations to and from.

    US and Canadian airlines were the dominant carriers. JetBlue transported more than 2,900,000 passengers during the year. American Airlines was the second largest local transporter, with more than 1,400,000 passengers. Delta Airlines followed with 1,369,960, and United Airlines with 914,341. Copa and Air Transat each moved more than 680,000 passengers. Sunwing Airlines and Southwest, Spirit Airlines and Air Canada complete the top 10 air carrier list.

    Anex Tourism Group begins first resort of 7,000-room development in northern Punta Cana
    Anex Tourism Group, the largest transporter of Russian tourists to the Caribbean, announced it will invest US$1.8 billion in a 7,000-room vacation development in Macao Beach in northern Punta Cana over the next five years. President Danilo Medina was present for the ceremony celebrating the start of construction on 16 January 2020. A first resort with 500-rooms will operate under the Selectum Luxury Resort brand.

    Upon participating in the ground-breaking ceremony, Tourism Minister Francisco Javier García said the project is the largest tourism investment announced in Dominican history. The development is located a short distance from Macao beach.

    The new hotel will be built around a small nine-room luxury hotel already operated by the Anex Tourism Group on Macao beach, called Selectum Hacienda Punta Cana.

    The president of Anex Tourism Group, Turkish travel entrepreneur Neset Kockar, came for the start of construction. He called the Dominican Republic "one of the most spectacular destinations in the world."

    Anex Tourism Group also owns the airline Azur that flies from several Russian cities to the Dominican Republic. Russia is the third largest source market for tourists to the Dominican Republic, with 217,082 travelers in 2019. Only the United States and Canada send more tourists to the country.

    In October 2019, Anex Tours and Azur Air opened two new direct flights from Kazan and Yekaterinburg, Russia, to La Romana International Airport. The airline also has flights from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kiev. The airline flies a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with capacity for 531 seats.

    Finest Punta Cana to open in September
    The Finest Resorts for vacationing families and adults will open this September 2020 in Punta Cana. The property is a sister hotel to the Excellence Collection. The all-inclusive hotel will have 455 all-suite accommodations.

    Finest Punta Cana resort will be divided into half for adults only and Excellence Club areas, and half for all ages plus Finest Club areas. The property will have mini water parks and pools, 16 bars and 12 restaurants, a spa and a fitness center.

    The resort is offering pre-opening rates with discounts of around 50% for stays from 1 September to 21 December 2020. Bookings must be made by 29 February 2020.

    Weekend adventure: a car trip to the Southwest
    This is not exactly a "car" trip, since the route suggested recommends the use of an SUV or an all-terrain vehicle for this adventure that begins in San José de Ocoa. The trip is a mix of mountain valleys and rough landscapes, but ends in one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Bahia de las Aguilas. The route suggested by the group called Tiempo Libre (Free Time) of Diario Libre newspaper is an eco-tourism adventure that includes the provinces of San Jose de Ocoa, Azua, Barahona and Pedernales. The trip is about 600 kilometers long and was first carried out by a group of rallyists from Ocoa called the Third El Pinar Rally.

    If the reader does not want to do the more difficult part, then just start in Azua or the community of El Pinar and go into the mountain valleys where strawberries abound because of the very chilly climate and the altitude. The trip route takes adventurers through the mountains of Azua and its highest point, La Piojosa, and goes through the Savanna of Miguel Martin and comes out in Peralta, in Azua province.

    From there on, one can rest up on lodging on the Barahona highway, but the group says it is better to go south to Los Patos and its beach. The whole area is perfect for tents and campfires. Food is available in the little kiosks in the area and the tiny river is perfect for wading.

    If you want a hotel, there is South Beach, located in Paraiso, where breakfast is included in the price. They have a bar, pool and a memorable view of the beach.

    Before reaching Pedernales, make a stop at the Wind Farm of Los Cocos, which stretches across the horizon.

    The last stretch of the trip, accompanied by a hot sun, rocky terrain, cactus and the sea, ends in Pedernales. The town is quiet, and not much is going on, nonetheless its treasures are indeed magnificent. For eating there is the Ibiza Restaurant, where the specialty is Dominican cuisine with fish and other seafood. The Alba Coral is a luxurious place, and its design, rooms and gastronomy are the equal of any in the East. A more economical option is Doña Chava. There is also the bi-national market, a beehive of activity on the border with Haiti.

    The best is saved for last, and that is the Bahia de las Aguilas. The road is difficult yet passable, the area is rocky, or, you can go by boat. This is a magnificent example of nature at its best: a virgin beach, seven kilometers of white sand, and a refuge for over 130 species of birds. The water is warm and the seas is not very deep. Enjoy the afternoon, and respect the environment.
    Last edited by Dolores; 01-28-2020 at 03:43 PM.


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