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High cost of tolls is roadblock for Samana development

The Samana tourism sector will be holding its main stakeholders meeting, the II Meeting for Tourism Development in Samana for 30 September 2014. Private business, national and regional government authorities and community representatives are invited.

The theme of this year’s event is “Towards integrated tourism management”. Speakers include Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia, Asonahores president Simon Suarez, and the president of the Dominican Tourism Competitiveness Consortium Maximo Iglesias.

Upon making the announcement in a press conference, the president of the Samana Tourism Cluster Rafael Blanco Tejera said that while arrivals are up 7% by way of the El Catey International Airport (AZS), land arrivals are affected by the high cost of tolls on the Santo Domingo-Samana expressway. He said that tolls on the Autopista del Nordeste cost RD$1,014 to Las Terrenas, Samana, the main tourist area, a distance comparable to that between Santo Domingo and Punta Cana where the tolls only cost RD$330.

“Why is Samana being discriminated against compared to other destinations?” asked Blanco.

He also said: “Samana needs a different kind of tourism, one that integrates better with the community, so that they go out and visit our protected areas.” There are around 3,000 hotel rooms in Samana, 50% of which are in all-inclusive hotels and the other 50% in small hotels with around 20 to 50 rooms.

During the event, other issues such as the lack of attention to historic Victorian houses in the area, need to improve garbage collection, lack of care for beaches, slumification of sidewalks by street vendors, and improvement in security are called for.

Speaking at the event, Samana Hotel and Tourism Enterprises Association (AHETSA) president Federico Schad said that for this cruise ship season they were expecting 52,000 passengers to visit on 32 cruise ship stops to be made in Samana.

Source: DR1, DiarioLibre

Category: DR News |

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Last updated March 25, 2017 at 5:40 PM
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