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Friday, March 23, 2012

Dominican Republic to start destination promotion in India

Keen to tap the growing Indian outbound market, especially the Wedding and Family Travel segments, Dominican Republic made its first marketing and promotional foray in India by participating in SATTE which was held last month. According to Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, Ambassador of Dominican Republic to India, the island nation, the second largest in the Caribbean’s, is already a favourite wedding destination for Indian families settled in the US and Canada. “We wanted to expose the destination to the Indian market as well and also want to engage the Indian travel trade. In order to co-ordinate the promotional activities in India, the embassy in Delhi, has appointed a dedicated official who will take care of promotional brochures in different Indian languages,” informed Castellanos.

There has been tremendous growth in trade and business between the two countries since Dominican Republic set up Embassy in Delhi. According to Castellanos, lot of Indian companies like Wipro, TCS, etc., have set up their call centres in the island. He informed that about 3,000 Indians visited Dominican Republic last year. "The country received four million tourists last year. The average growth in tourism in the country is 5.2 per cent, which is well above the regional average of 3.2 per cent," added Castellanos. When asked about the Visa formalities, the Ambassador said that the Embassy can issue Visa within 24 hours, which is quickest for any country. When asked about growth expectations in terms of Inbound from India to Dominican Republic, Castellanos said that the country wants to double the figures this year.

Speaking about connectivity, Castellanos said that people without Shengen or the US visa can travel through Middle East by Emirates to Brazil and then to Dominican Republic; as well as through Amsterdam. According to him, European countries offer transit visas easily to people having Dominican Republic Visa. The Republic is also easily accessible through New York. Dominican Republic recently signed air bilateral agreement with India, which qualifies Indian carriers to fly directly to the Caribbean nation. Indian carriers which are already flying to Europe and the US are also eligible to extend their route to Dominican Republic, the Ambassador added.

Major source markets for tourism for Dominican Republic are the US and Canada, followed by Europe. Golfing is a major leisure activity for tourists in the Dominican Republic. The Republic's East coast - Punta Cana - is a top destination for sophisticated luxury, championship golf and world's top beaches. Santa Domingo, the capital city, La Romana and Bayahibe, Puerto Plata on the Northern coast; Santiago in the Central region, Barahona, etc. are the most popular destinations in the island.

Source: Travel Biz Monitor

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