TORONTO — Looking to lift your spirits on Blue Monday? The Dominican Republic Tourism Board, CBC and 40 merengue dancers will heat up Yonge-Dundas Square with a live event today at noon. The ‘Beat the Winter Blues’ party, designed to chase away winter in a flurry of music and dance, will feature dancers, virtual reality lenses, giant postcards and a live giveaway of a trip to Punta Cana.
The event, hosted by CBC Music’s Julia Nesrallah and sponsored by Sunwing, will run from 12-1 p.m. and is free of charge to the public. Co-op Taxi drivers across the GTA bearing Dominican Republic advertising will be playing merengue music for customers, and offering $10 coupons toward a future taxi ride.
People who are unable to attend the Beat the Winter Blues party can enter a second draw for a trip to Punta Cana by visiting CBC.ca/BeatTheBlues until Feb. 26, 2017.
In addition to live dance performances, visitors will be able to take photos of themselves in front of life-sized photographs and visualize their own tropical getaway through a virtual reality lens inside a heated tent. The virtual reality experience is also available on the Xplr VR app from Google Play or the App Store.
Rich in history, the Dominican Republic has developed into a diverse destination welcoming more than 714,000 Canadian visitors each year. Visitor increases from Western gateways have been particularly strong, with Vancouver up 11% and Calgary up 22% last year, according to the tourism board.
“We are seeing very strong numbers and have the highest amount of repeat guests of all the islands because we have the beach combined with the history. But it’s really the character of our people and the level of service that are most important,” said Abdalah Castillo, Chair of the Dominican Republic Tourism Board Canada.
Golfing continues to be a large draw to the island. Named #1 Golf Destination in Caribbean & Latin America by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, the Dominican Republic boasts 25 designer golf courses. Some estimates show that golf business in the Punta Cana area is growing at a rate of 35% per annum.
The Dominican Republic and the tourism board are also excited about infrastructure improvements that make travel around the island even easier. Now it is possible to go from culture to beach in just an hour and 45 minutes (down from four hours), from Punta Cana to Santa Domingo. In addition, significant investment is being made in Puerto Plata to the promenade, plus there’ll be a brand new amphitheater for the world-renowned jazz festival.
For more information visit, GoDominicanRepublic.com.
Check out a video from the event: