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travel pulse | April 23, 2010
Dominican Republic Reports Steady Growth in Visitors
Published on: April 23, 2010
In 2009, U.S. visits surpassed 1 million arrivals for the fifth consecutive year. Garcia said the country is investing more than $12 million in 58 new tourism projects, and is launching infrastructure initiatives including Atlantic Boulevard, which will connect the country’s North Coast to the Samana Peninsula, the revitalization and development of major highways and roads, and the construction of new airport facilities. Finally, new territorial ordinances include a five-year plan to develop rural tourism in the country’s 31 provinces. The plan calls for developing friendly guest houses with create a minimal environmental impact on small villages and towns, but allow visitors to explore the areas. For more information, call 888-374-6361 or visit http://www.GoDominicanRepublic.com.
2. IMF sees positive growth for region
Central America and the Dominican Republic will experience a GDP increase of 2.9% in 2010, below the 4% that is forecast for the rest of Latin America, according to latest estimates by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). At a press conference in San Salvador yesterday, the main advisor at the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department, Miguel Savastano, stated that one of the reasons why the Central American countries are not going to grow as much as their continental neighbors is that they are importers of raw materials. During the presentation of the report “Economic Prospects: The Americas making the most of a favorable wind”, with an emphasis on data from Central America and the Dominican Republic, the official said that Latin American would grow at a 4% rate.
The report estimates a growth rate of 4.5% and even higher for countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia, all “net exporters of raw materials”. For the Caribbean, where six months ago the IMF forecast a fall in GDP, he predicted that the region would be near 0% growth at the end of the year. Savastano stressed that in the last half-year they estimated that there would be an average growth rate of 2.5% for Central America in 2010, but that the prospects for recovery from the economic crisis made them rectify the forecast since the United States “is going to grow at a larger rate”, and Asia is recovering quickly.
In April, Central Bank Governor Hector Valdez Albizu had forecast the DR economy would grow 8%.
Santo Domingo.- Samaná’s Boulevard Turístico del Atlántico (Atlantic Tourist Boulevard) will lead to a significant increase in flight frequencies to Juan Bosch International Airport (El Catey).
Elsa De León Tool, deputy Tourism minister for the province of Samaná, predicts that this new highway will increase internal tourism and hotel occupancy and will bring the region closer to the capital and to Las Americas International Airport.
She said that the road would give El Catey airport the boost it needs, because it hasn’t met initial expectations due to the current poor state of the roads. It will also make it easier for tour operators to sell Samaná because its remoteness has always put it at a disadvantage despite being such an attractive destination.
Hotels would also increase their profits once they don’t have to absorb the cost of transferring passengers from Las Americas Airport. Both large and small businesses in the area will be able to increase their service capacity, said De León.
Other direct beneficiaries would be the transport companies, which spend a lot of money on spare parts and tires due to the current state of the roads.
The deputy minister says that despite the fact that Samaná is a paradise on earth due to its natural beauty, road access in some areas is almost completely nonexistent. For this reason, tour operators prefer to send their clients to the eastern region.
The Boulevard Turístico del Atlántico has been awarded international recognition as the best financed project of the year, as the first project being financed by four multilateral agencies – the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) and French financial entity Proparco.
Samaná is far away from Punta Cana, Bavaro, Juan Dolio and Bayhibe, with its all-inclusive Caribbean dream, rum shots, bachata and meringue.
It is beyond the mountains, which for many years advocated the development of mass tourism. The Samaná Peninsula, with its 60 miles of spectacular beaches and lush coconut plantations, remains a pearl, and is yet undiscovered even by Dominicans.
Perhaps this is the reason why the CCN (Centro Cuesta Nacional) for its “Orgullo de mi Tierra” documentary, decided to start with the Samaná Peninsula, in the belief that to learn to love your own country, you must get to know it first.
In the world there are few beaches with water so transparent and san so fine; as this is the first reason to visit the Peninsula.
The region has about 100 beaches, creamy on the north coast, white sand on the east coast, interrupted only by groups of rocks in the south. Still mostly wild, to be discovered on foot or on horseback in complete solitude.
But if you are convinced the Caribbean is only long beaches and palm trees you will change your mind. Samaná is an ideal destination for trips dedicated to discovering the fauna and flora, a vacation to live in strict contact with nature.
Only Los Haitises National Park has 11- species of birds, with a total of 270 in the country, including herons, pelicans and frigates; endangered mammals, like the manatee and the solenodonte, three species of sea turtles, the green, Caretta caretta and the giant Leatherback turtle, which can weigh 800 kilograms!. More than 700 species of plants and a territorial morphology characterized by small cays called “mogotes”. Composed of limestone karst formations which emerge 40 meters above the water.
We also find the most widespread mangrove (Rhizozphora mangle) and white mangrove (Laguncularia racermosa) that creates spectacular links with its roots.
Between January and March, you may presence the passing of the Humpback Whales that come every year to these waters to mate and to give birth, in an unforgettable experience.
Another vital goal is the Waterfall at El Limon. Leaving the namesake town, where horses are rented, we move among plantations, of cocoa, coffee, pineapple bushes…the last stretch must be done on foot to reach the waterfall that drops for 40 meters forming a natural pool where you can bathe.
The dense forest hides small village houses that are so brightly painted, sometimes decorated with naïf drawings, flowers, and always have beautiful gardens shaded by a papaya plant.
Samaná Peninsula wisely mixes nature and the art of living the simple life in the Caribbean…united with the comforts of the modern world. Here you can live in a house designed by an architect of international repute, stand by the window and watch the fishermen returning from sea with their baskets of lobsters and fish.
And if you fall in love with the colors of the peninsula, you can take back semi-precious stones as souvenirs, maybe Larimar with its turquoise colors, with white, amber, yellow, green, and blue shades.
Balmy breezes, unbelievable beaches, fantastic financial incentives…the utter escape from the mad-dash of the “real world” and a permanent flip-flop lifestyle. These are just a few of the reasons more and more affluent travelers are choosing to live in paradise.Of all the spots to buy a vacation or retirement home in the paradises of the Caribbean, Central America and Latin America, beachfront property continues to top the list.
There is something restorative about the beach-the sand, sun and sea have the power to revive us even after long hours of working and months of cold weather back home. Whether you enjoy splashing in the surf, sunning on the shore or simply listening to the waves from the terrace of your villa while relaxing with a cool drink, beach living is about as blissful as it gets.
The Caribbean and Central and Latin America are blessed with some of the finest beaches in the world. Only hours away from most major U.S. and European cities, these beaches offer the added bonus of being easily accessible.
For many, it’s an simple choice to own a vacation home or retire to a beach in paradise-not only are these stunning beaches easy to reach (yet worlds away from reality), but many of the countries have a lower cost of living and offer financial incentives to make retiring in paradise more desirable than ever.
Last year, Luxury Living International brought you our expert picks for the Top 10 Places to Live in Paradise. Now, we delve further into life in paradise, providing a detailed look at the Top 10 Beaches to Live on Paradise. From the Turks and Caicos to the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, these are the best beaches, beachside developments and beachfront properties that you would love to call home-and actually can.
Our picks represent the best of beach living in paradise-each of these beaches offers luxury, accessibility, great properties and, above all, sublime beauty.
Coson Beach, Las Terrenas, Samana (northeast)
Perhaps the Caribbean’s best-kept secret, the once-sleepy fishing village of Las Terrenas is becoming one of the hottest spots for vacation homes in the Caribbean for those in-the-know. Some are even calling it the San Tropez of the Caribbean.
The Dominican Republic boasts some of the best beaches in the world and Las Terrenas and Samana Peninsula have the best of the best, including Coson (Playa Coson), a long, luscious stretch of untouched sand dotted with gently leaning palms.
Besides beautiful beaches, Las Terrenas entertains with an eclectic mix of international restaurants and shops and outdoor pursuits from fishing and diving to hiking and whale watching. Los Nomados, the Samana Peninsula’s premier gated community, is the place to find that paradise dream house and own a slice of virginal Playa Coson. Villas such as the sprawling, modern-meets-Caribbean-chic Villa del Mar enjoy a prime spot right on the sands of Playa Coson.
President Leonel Fernandez was recognized for the DR’s leadership in tourism in the Caribbean at the World Tourism Organization headquarters in Madrid yesterday. Speaking at the event, Fernandez expressed his firm belief in the social and economic contribution that tourism makes to sustainable development.
President Fernandez commended UNWTO’s work in promoting tourism’s role in economic development and peace building, stressing the importance of “receiving support from a prestigious organization like the UNWTO” for his country.
Welcoming the President to the UNWTO headquarters, Secretary-General Taleb Rifai congratulated the progress made by the DR as a leading tourism destination and the way it has made the most of the positive contribution of tourism for its entire population. “Your country, Mr. President, is a living example of how tourism, when given the necessary political recognition, can drive economic growth and development”, said Mr. Rifai.
Rifai invited Fernandez to become “an ambassador for the cause of tourism.”
“UNWTO is proud to have the Dominican Republic as an active member that clearly identifies the positive values of our industry and puts them at the service of social progress, both nationally and beyond its own borders”.
Rifai also commended the DR for role in helping Haiti after the 12 January earthquake. “Your swift and generous role in the recovery of Haiti, ranging from humanitarian support to the reconstruction process is a clear example. Only yesterday you called on Latin American, Caribbean and European leaders here in Madrid to continue supporting your neighboring country,” he said.
The UNWTO highlights the fact that the DR, which was one of the founding members of UNWTO in 1975, has played a prominent role in the organization over the years. The country, a leading Caribbean destination with over 4 million tourist arrivals each year, generates more than US$4 billion in export revenues. Despite the extremely challenging economic conditions of 2009, the Dominican Republic reported positive results in international tourist arrivals for the year.