By Ben Kilbey in the Dominican Republic
All eyes are on Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s capital city, at this year’s annual tourism exchange DATE. As the trade floor bustles with activity, secretary of tourism Felix Jimenez has indicated that there will be a cash injection for tour operators to increase promotional aid in order to sell the city.
This incentive program will hope to encourage travel to the city, officially the first city of the Americas and steeped in rich and vibrant history and culture.
Packages will be coupled with resorts such as the ever-popular Punta Cana and emerging destinations such as the northeastern beach town of Samana (which is scheduled to receive a airport later this year.)
The percentage of aid is still to be finalised.
Talking at the trade shows opening ceremony the secretary stated;
“Santo Domingo has been primarily recognised as a business destination however, this city offers an array of attractions, including museums, cultural celebrations and recreational opportunities, to name a few, making it an ideal destination for business and leisure travelers.”
Another key objective is the “Santo Domingo de Fiesta” an initiative to showcase the cultural diversity of the city.
The British market has been discussed as a key area for expansion.
Lisette Fernandez, marketing director of ASONAHORES is clear on the importance of the UK market;
“The UK market is a key objective for the Dominican Republic and the government and the private sector are working together in order to promote the region to the UK.”
Hans Dannenberg, the deputy minister of tourism commented;
“We are working directly with the tourism promotion office in London in order to interest tour operators to prepare a package consisting of two days in the city and perhaps four or five days at the beach. This must be packaged correctly in order for people to enjoy the two facets of our country (Dominican Republic), our beach and our city.”
The deputy minister is keen to see scheduled airlift arrive from the UK.
Date finishes this evening, April 8 2005