BTN Spotlight: Dr. Claudio Silvestri, Casa de Campo
Voted “World’s Leading Golf Resort” at 2010 World Travel Awards, Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic is blazing a trail in sporting holidays in a paradise setting. BTN talks to Dr. Claudio Silvestri, President & CEO, Premier Resorts and Hotels, the management company for Casa de Campo.
BTN: You were voted “World’s Leading Golf Resort” and “Caribbean’s Leading Golf Resort” at World Travel Awards 2010. Why do you think you won in such a tough category?
CS: The quality golf experience found at Casa de Campo can be found nowhere else. This year, our renowned Teeth of the Dog course turns 40 years old – and if you ask any golfer who has played the course, they can’t believe it. This course – like each of our three Pete Dye designed resort courses – Teeth of the Dog, Dye Fore and Links – are maintained in top condition year round. And when you combine their unique challenge, the spectacular beauty of each and the value of the golf experience at our resort you can understand why Casa de Campo was voted “World’s Leading Golf Resort” and “Caribbean’s Leading Golf Resort” by World Travel Awards.
(Above: Dr. Claudio Silvestri of Casa de Campo with John Lynch, Director, Jamaica Tourist Board and Graham Cooke, President & Founder, World Travel Awards)
BTN: How does Sport Tourism fit into your overall strategy?
CS: Sports Tourism is valuable component of our overall strategy. For nowhere else can you find the great variety and high quality sports at a single destination: 63 holes of golf on the best courses in the Caribbean; Tennis on 13-har tru courts – 10 floodlit; equestrian centre with English and Western trail riding, jumping, dressage; polo; 245-acres shooting centre with trap, skeet, sporting clays and another 20,000 acres for hunting; sailing and sailing school, deep sea fishing, and kayaking.
BTN: How do you envisage 2011 up for Casa de Campo?
CS: In late 2010, we completed a two-year $40 million hotel transformation featuring all new guestrooms, new main area with a new lobby, pool pavilion, fitness centre and a totally new main kitchen featuring the latest equipment. And since the first of this year, we additionally opened two new restaurants at the Altos de Chavon artists village: the chic OneBurger and Da Ginos Trastevere. 2011 is shaping up to be a very exciting year!
(Altos de Chavon, Casa de Campo)
BTN: What are you hoping to achieve at this year’s ITB?
CS: In addition to our new hotel rooms and main area, in late 2010 Casa de Campo joined The Leading Hotels of the World. At ITB this year, we hope to expose attendees to the all new luxury vacation found in the Dominican Republic at Casa de Campo!
BTN: And which aspects of the resort are you most proud of?
CS: This is a tough question as there is so much I am proud of. This includes the personal dedication and full support given by the owners of Casa de Campo to the employees and facilities of Casa de Campo to optimize our guests’ experiences.
BTN: Which markets offer you the greatest growth potential?
CS: The luxury markets throughout Europe, China, India, the Middle East and in the Americas: the US, Brazil, and Venezuela.
(Casa de Campo is the perfect place to unwind)
BTN: What in the way of plans, development or initiatives are currently underway at your resort?
CS: Our Altos de Chavon artists’ village will continue to be a source of growth and evolution as we continue to explore the culture within the Dominican Republic for our guests to enjoy; our sports – especially our golf, will continue to receive investment funds; and guest servicing throughout Casa de Campo will also receive a continuous flow if attention.
BTN: How would you like the resort to evolve?
CS: Casa de Campo is fortunate to have a rich history of nearly 40 years of providing luxury vacation experiences in the Caribbean. Over the years, we have been able to observe trends as they come and go, so as we look towards the future, we have found no reason to deviate from our strategic plan that we have been following for decades: to continue to provide our guests: families, couples, wedding parties, groups and incentives – with a high quality, high value luxury vacation experience in the Caribbean. In our guests’ life story of vacation experiences we would like Casa de Campo to stand out as the grandest chapter.
BTN: What are the key issues that need addressing for the Caribbean to evolve as a region?
CS: Air lift has been and continues to be one of the primary challenges for hoteliers throughout the region.
To find out more about Casa de Campo visit http://www.casadecampo.com.do or call +1-809-523-8396.