DR1 Travel News - 23 July 2019



Kite Festival in Cabarete
Tourism grows 3.9% this year
Tourism bounces back
Former President Bill Clinton in La Romana
Festival de Coco de Nagua

Kite Festival in Cabarete
Outstanding kitesurfing athletes from all over the world are in Cabarete, Puerto Plata for the 22-28 July 2019 3rd Cabarete Kite Festival. The winner qualifies to participate in the "Red Bull King of Air" in Cape Town, South Africa in 2020.

The Cabarete Festival was created by German-Dominican kitesurf athlete Susi Mai. In addition to the sports competition, workshops, musical events, north coast and domestic travel excursions are on the program for the participants and their families.

One of the main themes this year is ocean conservation. There will be discussions on health and wellness, technology, sports and solutions to environmental problems. Francesa Santoro, from the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), will be one of the speakers. She runs the "Ocean Legacy" program that aims to spread the word about the importance of the ocean for the planet and humanity.

"The ocean is our main source of life. We live in a generation that is part of its destruction. We must act and do everything possible to reverse the damage. I am gathering key players from the ocean world in the Dominican Republic because I firmly believe in the island's natural resources and the importance of preserving them. I hope this event will inspire people to take care of their homes," says Susi Mai, organizer of the Cabarete Kite Festival.

Meanwhile, there is good news for the local kitesurfing community. Dominican Adeuri Corniel has just won the GKA Freestyle World Cup at the GKA Kite World Tour held 19-24 July in Fuerteventura, Spain.


Tourism grows 3.9% this year
Over the first six months of the year, air travel reached 3,575,298 visitors. That is 134,493 more travelers than from January to June 2018.

The 3.9% increase would have been greater, if not for the fact that travel in June stayed practically at the same level as in 2018, according to the monthly Central Bank travel statistics bulletin. Air travel in June 2019 was 587,143 non-resident visitors by air, for an increase of 336 passengers (0.1%) compared to June 2018.

In the total of arrivals, 86.4% are foreign tourists. There was a 2.5% increase in the pace of growth of foreign tourists during the first six months of the year. Meanwhile, non-resident Dominican travel was up 14.1%, most likely reflecting the boom in the US economy.

64% of visitors came from North America, 20.6% from Europe, 11.5% from South America, 3.6% from Central America and the Caribbean. There were declines in travel from the United Kingdom (-13,443), Germany (-12,321), France (-6,676), and Sweden (-4,652) among others. Travel from South America was also down compared to last year. There was a decline of 21,793 passengers, or 5.8% less, from South America. The biggest drop in air arrivals from South America were from Argentina (-19,667), Venezuela (-10,213), Brazil (-2,798) and Uruguay (-1,594). There were increases in travel from Colombia (4,622), Chile (4,578), Bolivia (1,821), Peru (1,118) and Ecuador (500).

67.2% of all air arrivals landed at Punta Cana International Airport or around 2,077,193 passengers. Las Americas (15.8%), and Puerto Plata (8%) followed in numbers of arrivals and departures.

La Romana International Airport had a strong first half of the year. Central Bank statistics indicate that 44,542 more tourists arrived, for an 87.9% increase this first half of the year compared to the same period in 2018.

94.3% of arrivals said they stayed at hotels. 59.2% of those surveyed by the Central Bank said they were of ages 21 to 49.


Tourism bounces back
Paola Rainieri, the president of the National Tourism & Hotels Association (Asonahores), says travel in June was down 2.5% but is recovering. During a visit to Adriano Miguel Tejada, executive editor of Diario Libre newspaper, Rainieri said that the falloff was manageable. The decline is attributed to effects of the US press and social media persistent coverage of the spat of tourist deaths in the eastern region, despite there being nothing out of normal.

Rainieri said that what is important is that the hotel bookings are returning to normalcy. "This is a clear sign we are in a recovery process," she said. She acknowledged the lower numbers in June will affect the year-end figures.


Former President Bill Clinton in La Romana
Former US President Bill Clinton was in Casa de Campo, La Romana, from this past Thursday, 18 July 2019. Andrés Pichardo Rosenberg, president of Casa de Campo, received Clinton at his arrival to Casa de Campo.

A visitor to the Dominican Republic for the past two decades, Clinton was photographed walking through Altos de Chavón where he bought arts and crafts, as reported. In addition to arts and crafts shops, he visited the Regional Archaeological Museum and the Amber Museum. Clinton also played golf at Teeth of the Dog course.

He was also accompanied by Jason Kycek, senior vice president, sales and marketing, and Rolando González Bunster, CEO, of InterEnergy. They had dinner at the SBG Restaurant in the Casa de Campo Marina.
He played golf with González Bunster, Roberto Herrera and Bob Mancini.

On the same visit, he stayed in Punta Cana. Clinton is a frequent visitor to the Dominican Republic. In February 2018, he was here with his wife, Hillary Clinton.

Clinton arrived on Wednesday, 16 July to Punta Cana where he played golf and visited the Consorcio Energético Punta Cana Macao (CEPM) power plant. Clinton stayed at the Tortuga Bay hotel of the Puntacana Resort & Club.


Festival de Coco de Nagua
The province of Maria Trinidad Sanchez presents the Festival del Coco, "Festicoco," from 24 July to 28 July 2019. The event coincides with Father's Day in the Dominican Republic, which falls on the last Sunday of July.

Nagua is the municipality where most of the coconut in the country is produced. There are around 500 producers that supply two free zones that export and sell locally.

Coconut is a popular ingredient used in cooking, especially in Samaná. There are many fish and seafood dishes made with coconut milk. There are coconut sweets made with coconut flakes and the pulp. Coconut oil is a popular in skin care. And of course, there is the coconut and its refreshing water!