Tourism September 6, 2015 | 6:23 pm

Dominican Republic basks in golf tourism boom

La Romana, Dominican Republic.-Dominican Republic´s thriving tourism industry has yet another source of highend visitors as golf travel to the Caribbean nation jumped 40% last year, makingthe travel niche one more incentive for investors worldwide.

TARGET Consultores de Mercadeoexecutive director Teddy De Lara revealed the figure Saturday night during theopening of the 2nd annual DR Golf Travel Exchange 2015, a venue thataims to showcase some of the country´s most breathtaking links located in LaRomana and Punta Cana (east).

Dozens of prominent local andinternational golf figures and tourism sector executives and Tourism Ministry officials,leading tour operators and local and international golf niche travel agents attendedthe inaugural at Casa de Campo Resort, hoisted by Casa de Campo president RafaelTorres.

De Lara called DR Golf TravelExchange an event that with a lot of effort. “We began only last year and wewere able to repeat this year thanks to you. This edition of DR Golf TravelExchange 2015, our goal is to consolidate golf tourism in the Dominican Republic,to asses our growth, evaluate our weaknesses and ultimately spawn a dynamic integrationwhich allows our country to start competing with the world´s most renown golfdestinations in the near future; a goal which we must not just foresee as onlyas a possibility, but as an attainable reality."

For Torres, DR Golf TravelExchange "is a great privilege for Casa de Campo to be its home, towelcome so many important worldly figures that are golf lovers and show them aportion of what we are able to offer our guests and partners.”

He said the event showcases thecountry´s world class golf courses including "Teeth of the Dog"designed by Pete Dye, “and which has been classified as the No. 1 Golf Coursein Latin America by Golf Magazine."

Also present were PGA MagazinePublications president and CEO Richard Summers; International Golf TourOperators Association (IAGTO-North America Div.) president Claudio De Marchi, DeputyTourism ministger Fausto Fernández and Tourism Ministry Marketing Advisor MagalyToribio.

The DR Golf Travel Exchangeincludes a seminar, a workshop, business meetings between travel agents andinternational tour operators, as with Dominican hotel managers, golf coursesdirectors, and with receptive tourism operators.

The activities includes a tournamentat Casa de Campo´s famed Teeth of the Dog links with two additional rounds, oneat Bavaro´s Cocotal Golf Club, and another at Punta Espada at Cap Cana, for participantsto experience the unrivaled Dominican courses.

More than 85 specialized golfevents tour operators from several continents, as well as coverage by local andforeign specialized media from 25 countries were present at the inaugural cocktail.

Among the sponsors of DR GolfTravel Exchange 2015 figure the Tourism Ministry, Casa de Campo Resort,International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), National Hotels and TourismAssociation (ASONAHORES), The Level by Melia Caribe Tropical, Cocotal GolfClub, Punta Espada Golf Club, BanReservas, Banco Popular, Delta Air Lines, TheCoca-Cola Company, Dasani, Powerade, IVI DMC, Turaser and VPAR.

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