Dominican Annual Travel Exchange (April 2009)
He said that within three months, by the start of the summer season, a blitz to patch up holes in highways using one million gallons of asphalt leading to and within the Punta Cana zone would be completed.
Javier Garcia spoke of efforts under way to work closely with tour operators, but also to attract new markets, especially at a time when US travelers are showing a downward trend. But at the same time, he said that they expected US travel to continue strong, as many who would have chosen a long-haul destination would now look to the Caribbean for their vacations. "It is an opportunity for close destinations," said Javier Garcia. He said the Dominican Republic would be increasing its presence in US market with the opening of nine new tourist offices.
"In times of crisis, you have two options," he said. "You sit down and cry, or you take firm steps forward," he stated, indicating that the Dominican Republic would be stepping forward. He forecast that tourism developments would continue in the DR. "The beaches, the climate and nature are not going anywhere," he said.
He said that during his term as Minister of Tourism he would be strengthening relations with the private sector - with the National Hotel & Restaurant Association, and all associations with ties to the tourism industry. He said the Ministry was working closely with the tourism clusters throughout the country. "In tourism neither the private sector nor government can be ahead or behind, they have to work side by side," he said.