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Dominican Republic holidays more appealing as country with most Blue Flag beaches in Latin America

The Blue Flag Beach International awards were announced for 2011/2012 season with 15 of the Dominican Republic's beaches earning the distinction. The announcement will, no doubt, boost the lure of Dominican Republic holidays.

Dominican Republic holidays more appealing as country with most Blue Flag beaches in Latin America

On 1st December 2011, a symbolic ceremony was held in the Dominican Republic to hoist the blue flag in all 15 beaches. An impressive six of Dominican Republic’s blue flag beaches are located in Higüey. Exotic locations like Punta Cana have earned the district of Higüey the reputation as the capital of Dominican tourism. The Cabeza de Toro Be Live Grand Punta Cana beach made its way on the list of 2011/2012 blue flag beaches. The five star Be Live Grand Punta Cana all inclusive resort sits just a few footsteps away from the beach’s crystal clear waters and pristine shore line making this is a prime location for holidaymakers on their Dominican Republic holidays.

While other countries are experiencing a slowdown in the number of tourists brought to their shores, the Dominican Republic is expected to close 2011 with a whopping five million tourists topping 2010’s record. The recent triumph at the blue flag awards may provide a further boost to the country’s tourism industry with an expected growth in the number of holidaymakers opting for Dominican Republic holidays in 2012 despite the global economic downturn. Senior economist at US based Tourism Economics, Scott Sperling, noted that the number of people taking holidays in the Dominican Republic is expected to increase by nearly five per cent this year with a further one per cent growth expected in 2012 at six per cent.

Sharing the Greater Antillean island of La Hispaniola with Haiti the island is well positioned to be one of the top Caribbean holiday destinations. A spokesperson from the Dominican department of Tourism stated, “Because of the economic situation, Americans that used to travel to long-haul destinations have shifted their preferences to traveling to closer destinations”. A mere two hour direct flight from Miami, the country’s tourism department has made adopted the marketing slogan “Closer than you think”. Supporting nearly 250,000 jobs including staff at the many Dominican Republic hotels and resorts, the tourism industry has contributed to a five per cent growth in the country’s economy according to the Central Bank.

The blue flag certification programme reviews both beaches and marinas assessing water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, safety services and other services. While participation is voluntary, countries from all over the world take part in the programme, managed by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), from North America and Europe to the Caribbean.

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