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Why the D.R. can’t get enough of Canada, plus resort news from RIU, Melia...
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Why the D.R. can’t get enough of Canada, plus resort news from RIU, Melia, Bahia Principe

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

TORONTO — The top two feeder cities for travel to the D.R. are now right here in Canada.

Toronto is now the number one most common point of departure or destination for D.R. flights, followed closely by Montreal and New York City, according to new stats from the D.R. tourism board.

The tourism board adds that airlines including Sunwing, Air Transat and Air Canada have ranked among the top 10 airlines servicing the D.R., providing 20% of total service. Sunwing recently announced it will reintroduce winter flights from Saskatoon and Regina to Punta Cana for another season.

The D.R. is also anticipating more than 80 cruise ships to dock this November and December, the first two months of the 2018/19 season. Between January and May 2018, Maimón, Puerto Plata has received a total of 57 cruise ships and 179,360 passengers, the most of any port in the D.R. In total, the Dominican Republic has received 683,712 cruise ship visitors aboard 238 cruises in the first five months of the year.

Last year some 6,260,249 people visited the D.R. on vacation, and over 31% reported choosing the destination for its beaches, says the tourism board.

More news:  Sunwing adds Montego Bay flights out of Sudbury

In the first quarter of 2018 the D.R. saw a 2.2% increase in average tourism spend per night compared to the same time in 2017, according to MITUR.

Here’s a look at the D.R.’s latest resort news…

  • There are renovations and updates on deck for accommodations all over the D.R. Legacy property Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana is set to unveil its renovations with new rooms, a gym, sauna and spa, and new restaurants among other offerings.
  • A total of 29 new tourism projects in the D.R. are set to create a total of 16,612 new rooms in the country.
  • The largest of these projects, Selectum World Macao, is developing a complete tourist project that will have a total of 8,120 rooms.
  • Another large project, with 2,313 rooms, will be the partnership between GSM Punta Cana and Hotel Dreams Macao, which will create a tourist complex with three hotels, a convention centre, stores, green spaces and sports facilities.
  • Meanwhile a new US$100 million development from Spanish hotel chain Meliá, The Grand Reserve, will create rooms ranging from 800 to 3,000 square feet, on Bávaro beach, 30 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport. The Melia property will have 288 suites, some with exclusive swim-up pool access, featuring one to two bedrooms, living and dining areas, whirlpool tubs and private balconies. The Grand Reserve will also offer seven restaurants and bars, a full-service spa by Natura Bissé, beach access to Bávaro, a kid’s club with Aqua Adventure Park, a fitness facility and a cigar bar. Guests of The Grand Reserve will additionally have access to all of the amenities and services of Paradisus Palma Real.
  • Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts’ luxury property, Bahia Principe Ambar Blue, has closed to undergo renovations before re-opening and re-branding as Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar by the end of November 2018. The 528-suite hotel, located in Bávaro, Punta Cana, will feature three updated restaurants, an Italian kitchen, a gourmet restaurant and a garden grill.
  • Spanish hotel chain BlueBay Hotels is reinforcing its presence in the Caribbean with a third hotel, BlueBay Grand Punta Cana. This new five-star hotel has 156 rooms and includes a top tier spa, and three restaurants inspired by grilled foods and Mediterranean cuisine.
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