Call for more local government involvement in tourism

Tourism expert Juan Llado highlights that if the Dominican Republic is to continue to succeed in competing with regional tourism destinations it needs to incorporate the municipalities as part of the tourism product. Writing in Diario Libre on the municipalities known for their tourism development, he says that the central government, has taken a leading role, while the private sector is mainly investing in hotel construction. He points to the slums that have developed alongside the boom in tourism and stresses the weak involvement of municipal and provincial authorities in land use planning and other areas. He urges more municipal involvement in Puerto Plata, Sosua, Cabarete in Puerto Plata, Samana city, Las Terrenas, Las Galeras in Samana, Boca Chica in Santo Domingo Province, Juan Dolio in San Pedro de Macoris, and Veron and Bayahibe in La Altagracia (Punta Cana). Next priority he says should be given to Luperon, Rio San Juan, Gaspar Hernandez and Cabrera on the North Coast, Jarabacoa and Constanza in the central province of La Vega, and to Boca de Yuma in La Altagracia, Guaycanes in San Pedro de Macoris, Salinas (Bani) and Nisibon, to the north of Punta Cana. Others that should follow are Montecristi, Nagua, Sanchez, Miches, Sabana de la Mar, Palmar de Ocoa, Paraiso, Palenque and Pedernales, states Llado.