The Minister of Tourism, Felix Jimenez, said that President Leonel Fernandez has plans to complete or initiate work on basic infrastructure that would resolve, in the short term, the major problems affecting Puerto Plata, the country’s principal tourism center, with over 10,000 hotel rooms.
While major investments have been made in the hotels, and because the previous government did not allow the municipality to tax them, nor provided the funds for the works to progress at an adequate pace, the overall development has outstripped the local infrastructure.
The Fernandez government budget for 1997 will allow for the completion of important potable water supplies, sewage and street paving, which will considerably improve Puerto Plata and Sosua.
The president of the permanent commission for tourism in the Chamber of Deputies, Victor Ortega Espaillat (PRSC-Puerto Plata), told the newspaper Hoy that it is urgent that the decree 40-96 issued by former President Joaquin Balaguer that prohibited the export of clinker and the installation of fuel tanks in Puerto Plata city be effected.
Vice President Jaime David Fernandez said that Puerto Plata’s problems are considered a priority by the government of Leonel Fernandez.
Recently, the Minister of Tourism Felix Jimenez announced that the Lome IV agreement (i.e. the European Union) will provide funding for the construction of the Puerto Plata-Monte Cristi-Cabo Haitiano highway. It will connect several beautiful beach areas and allow visitors to comfortably drive into Haiti to visit La Citadelle.