Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2023

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B M & T ••• March/April 2023 ••• 48 D O M I N I C A N R E P U B L I C BREAKING VISITOR RECORDS DESPITE COVID B Y S O L O M O N J . H E R B E T I I The Dominican Republic is one of the most desired destinations for a combined business and leisure trip. Offering the most varied landscape in the Caribbean– from sea to mountain ranges, valleys, sand dunes, and signature continuous white sand beaches–along with a wide choice of accommodations, modern transportation and venue infrastructure, and a plethora of attractions, the DR blends work and play seamlessly. Its soar- ing visitor numbers–the highest in the region, currently over six million a year– reflect the destination's efforts in continu- ously upgrading all aspects of the visitor experience, from lodging to highways, entertainment, historical and cultural preservation, and meeting and conven- tion spaces. Throw in eight international airports– making it the best-connected Caribbean destination–and a total hotel inventory of over 80,000 rooms: choosing the ideal DR region to fit your group or incentive trip becomes a simpler task. The top choice in DR, Punta Cana boasts continuous white sand beaches, and the largest offer of all-inclusive hotels. A total of 35,000 rooms, coupled with a wide-range of sea and safari excur- sions, plus the largest convention center in the country make this region ideal for medium and large events. The Dominican Republic's capital city of Santo Domingo is the Caribbean's largest, boasting a rich history as the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, as well as the most modern and vibrant cityscape. Contrasts of the old and new appear at every turn–con- temporary hotels sit on ancient cobble- stoned streets, modern shopping malls are lined with designer boutiques and movie theaters, and local cuisine is served on street corners while the city center's upscale restaurants and lounges fill up at night, when the city comes even more alive. Luxurious La Romana offers over 800 hotel rooms, as well as world-ren- owned golf courses. Nearby, the Baya- híbe and Dominicus area, a charming fishing hub, boasts large all-inclusive beachfront resorts with more than 4,000 hotel rooms– perfect for medium- sized events. With over 12,500 hotel rooms, and multiples attractions for nature and cul- ture lovers–water sports, mountain bik- ing, and plantation hiking–Puerto Plata is an ideal destination for medium and small events, or incentive trips filled with adventure-packed activities. Stroll Puerto Plata city center, lined with beautiful Victorian architecture from the 19th and 20th centuries. Visit Fort San Felipe, built in 1541 by the Spanish. The Amber Museum reveals the DR's famous prehistoric gem, found in abundance in this area and said to be the clearest in the world, while the Ron Brugal factory offers a tour on the rum-making process. Offering more than 3,000 hotel rooms, Samaná's stunning coastal landscape and Atlantic beaches, cou- pled with eco-friendly attractions teem- ing with wildlife, make it a favorite for small groups seeking an intimate nature destination. Meeting planners can easily organize incentive group activities around Samana's renowned annual whale-watching season from mid-January through March. Bonding also comes easy with the multitude of outdoor activities: facing fears on a 122 meter (400 feet) high zipline, horseback riding through the jungle to reach the spectacular Salto El Limón waterfall, sailing to Cayo Levantado island, or kayaking amid the dense mangroves of Los Haitises National Park. A valid passport is required. You may also need a tourist card or a visa. Citizens of countries who are legally able to enter the European Union, Great Britain, the United States of America or Canada may enter the Dominican Republic by presenting a Tourist Card. Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) is only 15 minutes from the Punta Cana and Cap Cana area, and some 30 minutes from Bávaro, El Cortecito, Arena Gorda, Macao and Uvero Alto hotel areas. • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS Catalonia Santo Domingo 228 The Westin Punta Cana Resort & Club 200 Bahia Principe Grand El Portillo 602 VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort 538 Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa 756 EXHIBITION FACILITIES Hard Rock Hotel, Punta Cana Total Space 75,744 sq. ft. Largest Hall 37,500 sq. ft. Largest Ballroom 19,000 sq. ft. Meeting Rooms 8 WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism – (809) 221-4660 One of Dominican Republic many Beaches photo credit: D.R. Ministry of Toruism AREA GUIDES

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