Leisure arrivals in the Dominican Republic grew 9.4% from January through August this year, compared to 2005.
U.S., Canada now top source markets for booming D.R. resorts
By Gay Nagle Myers
It’s hard to keep track of what’s
opening where and when
in the booming Dominican Re-
public these days.
However, visitor figures indicate that the
majority of the “who” in the tourism equation this year hails from North America.
More than 51.9% of tourists originated
from the U.S. and Canada from January
through August, according to a report from
the Dominican Republic’s Central Bank,
marking the first time that visitors from
North America surpassed Europe in tourist
arrivals to the Dominican Republic.
Then there’s Roco Ki, the 2,700-acre,
$4 billion resort community development
project under construction in Punta Cana.
The first phase will debut in the fourth
quarter of 2007 with the opening of Star-
wood Hotels & Resorts’ 327-room Westin
Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort with six restaurants, a conference center, a Nick Faldo-designed 18-hole golf course, a water sports
center, an 18,000-square-foot spa as well
as luxury residences, villas and 130 Wes-tin-branded condominiums, priced from
$400,000 to $4 million.
Part of the landscape will include a bo-
Continued on Page 62
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In addition, leisure travel arrivals though
August jumped just over 9.4% over the
same period last year.
Something in the air
New on the tourism scene this winter will
be El Catey Airport. The facility, to open on
Nov. 1, is a 20-minute drive from Samana,
on the island’s Atlantic coast.
In anticipation of the new airport, which
will be capable of handling jet aircraft, several five-star properties also will open their
doors this fall. Leading the pack is the Gran
Bahia Principe hotel group, with four all-inclusive resorts set to open in a six-week period from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15. These include:
• The 295-room Gran Bahia Principe
Cayacoa, opening Nov. 1 in Samana, which
will offer in-room Jacuzzis, four restaurants, four bars, a gym and a spa.
• The 396-room Gran Bahia Principe El
Portillo, also opening Nov. 1, in the town of
Las Terranas, a 30-minute drive from El Catey
Airport. The resort has four restaurants, four
bars, tennis courts, a gym and a spa.
• The 110-room Gran Bahia Principe Samana, opening Nov. 15, a beachfront boutique resort located 15 minutes from Samana, facing Cayo Levantado island. Facilities
include three restaurants, three bars, a small
shopping area, tennis courts and a gym.
• The 195-room, villa-style Gran Bahia
Principe Cayo Levantado, opening Dec. 15,
located on Cayo Levantado and offering
four restaurants, four bars, cigar bar, jogging track, tennis courts, gym and spa.
For more, visit www.bahia-principe.com.
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