Hoteliers join INTEC to seek Sargasso solutions

The impact of sargasso on tourism in the country will be the focal point of cooperation between the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC) and the Asociación Nacional de Hoteles y Turismo de República Dominicana (ASONAHORES) after signing a collaboration agreement in which they agreed to carry out training and research activities and to identify and promote solutions to the problems caused by sargasso and others that impact the important tourism sector of the Dominican economy and society.

The agreement signed by Julio Sánchez Maríñez, rector of INTEC, and Rafael Blanco Tejera, president of ASONAHORES, also contemplates the realization of a diploma course to train personnel of the tourism sector on the subject of sargasso, with a focus on taking advantage of its opportunities, among other activities for the dissemination of culture and the extension of services.

The agreement was signed at a meeting held at the offices of Asonahores. After the signing, Rector Julio Sánchez Maríñez and a team of researchers from INTEC’s Interdisciplinary Research Group on Sargasso (GIS) presented to the tourism industry association the actions that INTEC has developed and the research being carried out to find solutions to the sargasso problem, both for tourism and for marine life and the environment in general.

Julio Sánchez Mariñez Rafael Blanco TejeraINTEC specialists offer ASONAHORES their technical expertise on the effectiveness of the use of different types of barriers against sargassum that can be installed in the country and seek the institutional support of ASONAHORES for the development of the Quisqueya Sat nano satellite, in which the university is working under the leadership of aerospace engineer Edwin Sanchez, to predict the arrival of sargassum waves to the coasts of the country.

“The actors of the tourism sector are interested in knowing when, where and how much sargassum arrives to the country and in that sense, with the Quisqueya Sat we will work on the prediction of the arrival of sargassum to our coasts,” said Ulises Jauregui, coordinator of the PhD in Environmental Sciences and GIS of INTEC. In addition, the researchers plan to use drones as the basis for a software solution designed to monitor and predict in a timely manner the movement of sargassum in the vicinity of our beaches.

Jauregui also said that INTEC is able to offer diploma courses and workshops to train human resources in the tourism sector on the management of sargassum, which will address basic points of the chemical composition of the macroalgae, the effects it can cause to health, how to monitor and collect it, what can be done with sargassum, its sustainable management and, mainly, the challenge that its arrival to the Caribbean beaches means for tourism.

The members of the GIS are also working on the identification of products and uses based on the sargassum that can give it a useful life, with economic and social benefits for the entities and communities affected by the massive influx of sargassum.

Finally, the agreement contemplates that ASONAHORES will create a program of internships and institutional visits for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students, in addition to other scientific and academic activities.

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