Local March 14, 2020 | 8:49 am

Dominican Republic’s main tourism fair postponed due to coronavirus

Santo Domingo, DR

The main tourism fair in the Dominican Republic, the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE), which was to be held in late March, was postponed to next summer due to the worldwide expansion of the coronavirus, the organization reported on Friday.

The Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (Asonahores) explained in a statement that the postponement was decided in consultation with the Ministry of Tourism, with the purpose of “supporting prevention measures” ordered by the World Health Organization ( WHO) and the Government.

With this decision, the organization “contributes to the protection of the health of the more than 600 delegates, Dominicans and foreigners, who participate each year in the commercial rounds and activities provided for in the event’s agenda.”

The association’s president, Paola Rainieri de Díaz, expressed the institution’s solidarity with the countries, governments, and leaders of the world tourism industry affected by COVID-19, as well as its commitment to the tourism industry in the Dominican Republic.

DATE is the main event to promote the country’s tourism offer and a meeting point for international wholesalers, tour operators, incentive groups, airlines and charter flight operators with the main tourism providers in the Dominican Republic.

Dominican airports have already begun to feel the effects of the virus’s expansion, and several airlines have notified cancellations and changes in the capacity of various routes to or from the country, the company’s communication manager told Efe on Friday. Aerodom concessionaire, Luis José López.

The Dominican Republic has so far reported five imported infections of the coronavirus, all of them in travelers from Italy, including three Dominicans and two foreign tourists.

The Dominican Government, which yesterday announced the creation of a high-level commission to monitor the coronavirus, assures that there is no community circulation of the virus in the country.