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    Jury Selects Maestro José Cestero as the Winner of the National Plastic Arts Award
    Fernando Villalona to Reflect on His Life, Music at New York Dominican Get Together

    Tourism Announces Agreement with Iberia and the Launching of the Pedernales Destination at Fitur
    Madrid, Spain, January 20, 2016

    The Dominican Republic began its participation in Fitur with a firm foothold. The country announced that in 2015 it had received a record number of visitors, 5.6 million; that it is getting ready to reach 10 million tourists before the 10-year deadline set by President Danilo Medina, and that the agreement with Iberia, the main Spanish airline, will increase the number of tourist flights to the country.

    During a press conference that was held in the pavilion that the country opened for the first time in Fitur 2016, Francisco Javier García said that the launching of Pedernales as a destination is a great innovation because it will be aimed at a high-end tourism, it does not compete with any of the other tourism destinations, and it has been organized from scratch because no such industry existed before.

    Javier García stressed that, in 2016, the largest number of hotel rooms will be built by investors who have seen a good business environment for tourism in the country. In 2016 there will be 4,500 new rooms, between the newly built and the remodeled ones. He said that, according to the negotiations that took place, 6 million tourists will visit the country in 2016, so that the 10-million target number will be reached before the deadline set by President Medina.

    He said that, in addition to the agreement to increase the number of Iberia flights, important negotiations with major international tour operators have taken place, which guarantee the increase of visitor arrivals in the country.

    The Minister of Tourism said that the design of the pavilion that is now being presented is new and follows the latest trends for this type of exhibition structures, and he recalled that the former pavilion won several first places at European tourism fairs.

    Exceptional Tourism

    About Pedernales, he explained that the management plan will serve as a model because it has been built from scratch, and that it has not been restructured as it has been the case with other traditional destinations.

    He argued that it impacts not only Pedernales but the entire Enriquillo region, which includes Barahona, Lago Enriquillo, Independencia and Pedernales.

    He said that Pedernales and its adjacent areas are unique because of the low density of hotel rooms and because there is little rain and that these are attractions that appeal to high consumption tourists. Also, the fact that it is the area of the country with the largest number of protected areas, as 55% of its territory is protected. He added that there will be no hotel facilities built in Bahia de las Aguilas beach, and that only public use for domestic and foreign visitors will be allowed.

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