Related to Beach Preservation, Water Processing and Sanitation Systems;
Desires to Maximize Use for Substantial Boost in Tourism
|DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, Aug. 15, 2006 - With its recent boom in popularity
among vacationers worldwide, the Dominican Republic (DR) is investing significant
resources to enhancing its tourism infrastructure. Most recently, the government
allocated more than $30 million to development and improvements in Puerto
Plata related to the protection of natural resources, water processing,
sanitation systems, and new roads and walkways. A major milestone of that
project, the recovery of a key beach, has been reached. And in true Dominican
fashion, the occasion was celebrated with pomp and circumstance.
A weekend-long event, titled "Inauguracion Long Beach," showcased recent improvements at Long Beach, located on the "Malecon," or beach road, in Puerto Plata on the DR's north coast. The accomplishment was significant enough to warrant the attendance of Dominican President Leonel Fernandez, whose policies have helped move the country to the top of vacationers' wish-lists while making the island attractive to investors worldwide. The President was among an audience of such foreign investors and dignitaries at Long Beach on Saturday. On Friday, guests were treated to a Dominican fiesta, complete with musical and artistic performances to commemorate the occasion.
Completed by Spanish engineering firm, CADIC, the project at Long Beach was designed to reverse deterioration and erosion while giving the beach an overall facelift. A team of engineers, hydro-technicians, oceanographers, geomorphologists and specialized divers spent three months at the site analyzing sand discharge patterns, conducting environmental impact studies, and building coastal works. As part of its recovery, the beach was extended by just over a mile.
Due to the lengthening of Long Beach, the Dominican government revised urban development codes for the area to accommodate tourism-related projects. "The increase in quality beachfront in Puerto Plata has allowed us to re-zone, thereby maximizing its use for our substantial boost in tourism," notes Minister of Tourism Felix Jimenez. "However, to preserve the beauty of this area we've established limitations*, such as, a maximum building height of seven stories and no more than 300 hotel rooms per hectare (approximately 2.5 acres)."
One such project for the area, currently in the final planning stages, is an amphitheater to be constructed beside the San Felipe Fort along with a 130-foot-wide dock in front of the Puerto Plata Malecon. The new dock will feature restaurants, bars and Victorian-style architecture. The design of the projects is entrusted to architect Sara Garcia, daughter of businessman Isidro Garcia, owner of VH Hotels & Resorts, and the architect behind the Casa Colonial boutique hotel.
Other beach recovery projects are underway in the DR. Among them, Cabarete Beach on the north coast, known as a world-class windsurfing and kiteboarding destination, and the beaches at Boca Chica and Juan Dolio in the south. The project at Long Beach, however, was the most extensive, requiring a budget of over $7 million.
Other projects related to the tourism infrastructure in Puerto Plata and expected to be completed by April, 2007 include:
For more information on the Dominican Republic, visit http://www.godominicanrepublic.com or call 1-888-374-6361.
Rich in history, the Dominican Republic's first tourist was Christopher Columbus in 1492. Since then, it has developed into a diverse destination offering both Dominican and European flavors. At 10,000 feet, the Dominican Republic is home to the highest point in the Caribbean. It also features some of the best golf courses and beaches in the world, the largest marina in the Caribbean and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families.
*All parameters for projects on the site have been outlined in Decree
Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism
|Also See:||Strategic Objectives of the Caribbean in Tourism Development Speech by Simón B. Suárez, Dominican Hotelier and President, Caribbean Hotel Association / November 2003|
|Geostar, Inc. Names Starwood to Operate 315-room Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort Now Under Construction Near Punta Cana, Dominican Republic / May 2005|