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Press Release 2012

Latest News From the Dominican Republic

New flights, new hotels and destination awards annouced for DR

Press Release 2012

Dominican Republic (December 4, 2012) - Following are tourist news highlights from the Dominican Republic.

JetBlue Airways Adds Samana Flights
JetBlue Airways began their new direct service from JFK to El Catey International Airport (AZS) on Nov. 14. The flight cuts travel time by two hours and makes Dominican Republic?s renowned ecological haven and undiscovered region more accessible than ever. The twice-weekly flight flights from JFK to AZS on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Coral Highway
Coral Highway opened in early August. The highway connects the capital city of Santo Domingo to the main cities and airports on Dominican Republic?s East Coast, specifically La Romana and Punta Cana. The 43.5-mile highway allows visitors from Punta Cana to reach Santo Domingo in just two hours. The country?s most modern and much anticipated highway will stretch from the global beach destinations of Punta Cana/Bavaro, to La Romana and Bayahibe and ends in Santo Domingo, opening up the historic Colonial City to most visitors.

Eden Roc at Cap Cana
Eden Roc at Cap Cana started opening the first 12 of its 34 villa-sized suites earlier this summer. The resort will ultimately include 34 luxury freestanding suites and three bungalows, each with their own pool and spa area, three golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, a beach club, a tennis center and five restaurants. A member of Leading Hotels of the World, Eden Roc at Cap Cana will mark the debut of Solaya Hotels and Resorts in the destination.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Debuts New Hotel in Punta Cana
Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced the debut of its Four Points by Sheraton brand in Punta Cana, only minutes away from Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ). It features 124 comfortable rooms, an outdoor pool, access to five miles of private beach, state-of-the-art meeting facilities, a 24-hour business center, a fitness center, and full-service dining. It is the first of two hotels Starwood will open this year in Dominican Republic.

Taino Park
The new and exciting Taino Park, located in Samana, is the Caribbean?s largest historical and cultural park. The Park tells the story of the indigenous Taino Indians and Spanish conquistadors on the island of Hispaniola. The attraction is made up of more than 25 historical stagings, including an hour-long guided tour. The park?s museum showcases 20-0 pieces of Taino art made form clay, stone, and wood and a nearby shop offers locally-made products with profits going toward developing the area. The tour is available in six languages and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Hot Air Balloon Flights in Punta Cana
The Dominican Balloons company, Domball, has introduced a hot air balloon tour in Punta Cana to offer visitors a different view of the pristine beaches and lush landscapes found in the Bavaro and Punta Cana regions. There are two hot air balloon flights daily, one in the morning and one in the evening. Each trip includes briefing and drinks, food, a flight certificate, preparation and inflation of the balloon, and landing and packing of the balloon. I?ve attached a document with additional information.

Sirenis Aquagames Punta Cana
Sirenis Aquagames Punta Cana opened in March 2012 in the Sirenis Cocotal Beach Resort Casino & Spa, and the Sirenis Tropical Suites Casino & Spa. The new waterpark covers 14,400 square yards and offers fun entertainment and slides for the entire family. The park includes a swimming pool, restaurant area, 4-land speed slides, a 33-foot-high tower with multiple water tubes, two open toboggans, kamikaze, free fall twister, a children?s area with jets and sprinklers, and much more.

PUNTACANA Resort & Club?s Green Wall
PUNTACANA Resort & Club in Punta Cana transformed its building?s fa?ade with a vertical plant cover, the "Green Wall," blended into its design. The first of its kind in Dominican Republic, the wall reduces the indoor temperature by 10 degrees Celsius, purifies the air and improves the environment?s overall quality. The wall has 12 different plant species and a system that allows for vertical vegetation growth through plastic panels, and a drip irrigation and water harvesting system.

Puerto Plata?s General Luperon Museum
General Gregorio Luperon?s Victorian-style home in Puerto Plata was renovated and is now an honorary museum. It reflects his role in restoring Dominican independence following the annexation to Spain in 1863. The exhibit is open daily and showcases his clothing, furniture, books and legendary sword.

World?s Largest Cigar Store in La Romana
The world?s largest hand-rolled cigar factory, Tabacalera de Garcia, opened a storefront in La Romana in September. La Flor Dominicana Cigar Factory is the world?s largest cigar shop, carrying the best selection and prices of premium Dominican cigars and also includes a museum on-site. More than 300 blends are manufactured each day, 50 of which are the world?s most sought-after cigars.

Religious Routes Historical Center
The Religious Routes tourism project was recently inaugurated in La Vega. The project aims to unite and promote Dominican Republic?s pilgrimage and religious tourism. It includes two museums located in a Victorian house restored by the Ministry and a religious complex called "Holy Hill," which is a traditional Dominican pilgrimage stop. The route starts at the museums, then continues to the Marian Way Mysteries and finishes as the Light of the World Monument - a cross-shaped sculpture that is near the Church of Santo Cerro.

Barcelo Rum Historical Center
The Barcelo Rum Company opened the Barcelo Rum Historical Center at its rum aging and warehousing installations in San Pedro de Macoris. The center, open Monday through Friday from 8 a.mk. to 5 p.m., tells the history of rum making in Dominican Republic, its cultural role and manufacturing process. Visitors can tour the facilities, taste different rum and purchase rum products.

Caribbean?s First Beach-Front Trapeze
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Resort in Bayahibe added the Caribbean?s first beach-front trapeze school equipped with a rig for its guests? enjoyment. Hotel staffers teach participants how to hang upside-down while flying 25 feet above ground, among other circus-like tricks, at no extra charge. The trapeze is a fun addition to the hotel?s intimate, relaxing atmosphere that is filled with the sea?s fresh air and surrounded by lush gardens.

Extreme Park Punta Cana
Punta Cana will soon be home to a $180 million entertainment center, which is expected to be the Caribbean?s largest. The facility will have four main business areas, indoor and outdoor attractions and an amphitheater, which will welcome national and international artists. The park will offer sun, sand and snow, as there will be artificial mountains for water and snow sports. It is expected to open in 2014. Unfortunately this is the only information we have at this time.

Tourist Cards
Tourists temporarily traveling to Dominican Republic can now conveniently purchase their tourists cards online for $10 by using American Express or Visa/MasterCard. The tourist card authorizes a 30-day stay and is valid for one use up to 12 months after it is purchased. It is still available at point of sale locations in the country?s land, air or sea ports, as well as at Dominican embassies and consulate offices overseas.

Dominican Republic Wins IAGTO Award
Dominican Republic was named the "2013 Golf Destination of the Year in the Caribbean and Latin America" by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) for a second time. The award recognized courses like Punta Espada Golf Club at Cap Cana, La Cana at Punta Cana Resort & Club, Teeth of the Dog and Dye Four at Casa de Campo, Playa Dorada and Playa Grande. The honor was presented to the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism at the annual IAGTO convention held Nov. 12 - 15 in Vilamoura, Portugal.

Lonely Planet Names Dominican Republic Best in Travel for 2013
The leading travel publisher, Lonely Planet, named Dominican Republic as one of its Top 10 Countries for 2013 in its annually published Lonely Planet?s Best in Travel 2013. Lonely Planet?s staff, authors and online community gave their recommendations, which are then chosen between by an in-house panel of experts. The panel chose Dominican Republic as the vacation destination that has every necessary element, including pristine beaches, ecotourism, intriguing culture, influential art galleries and museums, and welcoming people.


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