The Dominican Association of Tourism Press (Adompretur) celebrated the second edition of the Luis Augusto Caminero Award in an elegant ceremony held in the auditorium of the Central Bank, where various actors of the national tourism value chain were also recognized.
The “Gran Supremo” for merit and good practices in Dominican tourism was presented by the board of directors of Adompretur, headed by its president Yenny Polanco Lovera, in recognition of the extraordinary work carried out by the government and the private tourism sector to position the Dominican Republic as the number one country in the world in the recovery of tourism, as certified by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
In presenting the motivations for awarding the main distinction to the Cabinet of Tourism, the selection jury took into account the impact of this initiative to accelerate the normalization of tourism activity when the country was still under the effect of the pandemic.
In 2020, in the midst of the most critical and uncertain moment of the Covid-19 pandemic, the President of the Republic, Luis Abinader, and the Minister of Tourism, David Collado, announced the creation of the Tourism Cabinet to face the impact of the crisis in the industry with the highest incidence in the country’s economy.
The Tourism Cabinet was initially integrated by the Ministries of Tourism, Public Health, Public Works and Communications; the General Directorate of Internal Taxes, and the aeronautical authorities, including the National Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (Asonahores), among other entities linked to the value chain of the tourism industry.
The tourism recovery plan was aimed at controlling health risks in tourist communities, supporting the hotel sector in anticipating the opening of their establishments, creating a special program with zero-rate financing so that Dominican families would have the option of vacationing in five-star hotels, providing free health insurance for tourists, and reaching agreements with airlines to ensure routes to outbound markets, including the main ethnic destinations in the United States and Europe.
Specific actions included fiscal flexibility measures, the creation of a guarantee fund, credit support for small and medium-sized enterprises, and the commitment of the Government and the private tourism sector to cover the cost of 9,000 additional seats from September to December 2020.
In the “Education and Tourism” category, the award was presented to the National Institute of Technical and Professional Training (Infotep) and its director general Rafael Santos for his extensive training program in favor of the country’s tourism development.
A particularly moving moment took place during the presentation of the “Marca República Dominicana” statuette to the “Queen of Merengue” Milly Quezada, for her successful and consistent artistic career, now approaching five decades.
Other award winners were, in “Gastronomy and Tourism”, the young master chef Inés Páez (Chef Tita); in “Tourism and Health”, Dr. José Natalio Redondo, president of the Rescue Group, with presence in Puerto Plata, Punta Cana and La Romana; in “Community Tourism”, the 27 Charcos de Damajagua, located in Puerto Plata; in “Tourism, Art and Culture”, the Centro León located in Santiago de los Caballeros.
In the category “Internal Tourism”, the municipality of Jarabacoa, and in “Meeting Tourism”, the renowned professional Elizabeth Tovar, president of the Confederation of Organizing Entities of Congresses and Related Entities (COCAL) and of the company Turenlaces del Caribe.
In the “Corporate Social Responsibility” category, the Fundación Popular was recognized for its work focused on the preservation of Plan Sierra and its contributions to various initiatives that have a positive impact on tourism; as was the Consorcio Energético Punta Cana-Macao (CEPM), for its commitment to the sustainability of the environment in its areas of operation as an energy company.
In the “Hotels, Investment and Development” category, Cap Cana was recognized for the sustained development of the destination identified with its brand, according to the criteria of the Luis Augusto Caminero Award jury.
All the winners received a trophy with an original design, with the participation of cartoonist Cristian Hernández and Valentín Soto, director of the Art and Design Department of Logomarca, under the supervision of Lorenzo Gómez Marín, president of the company.
During the activity, a posthumous tribute was paid to Rita Cabrer, a lady who made great contributions to tourism journalism through the magazine “Bohío”, as well as the National Tourism Guide “La Cotica”; she was also president of Adompretur. The recognition was received by Reynaldo Caminero, grandson of Mrs. Rita and Luis Augusto, who today continues the legacy of these two great human beings, occupying the executive direction of Cabrer Editions.
Contributions to tourism
Yenny Polanco Lovera, president of Adompretur declared in the central speech of the ceremony: “from this journalistic institution we value the support given by the government, the public and private businessmen, who in this time of great challenges joined their efforts in a common objective”.
He added that with this action “we demonstrate that we are a resilient country, capable of reinventing ourselves and of receiving our visitors with the enormous joy and hospitality that characterizes us”.
Luis José Chávez, director of the Award, stated that the purpose of the Award is to highlight “what we have achieved in many years of evolution and growth, and to recognize, as a token of gratitude and encouragement, those who have made it possible”.
The gala hosted by Néstor Estévez and produced by filmmaker Dayanna Minier began with the artistic participation of Techy Fatule, who premiered his song “Pedacito de paraíso”, in honor of the Dominican Republic.
The president of the jury Mr. Ellis Pérez, indicated that since 2019, this Award is given to actors who make valuable contributions to this industry, which has become the backbone of our economy.
The other members of the jury are Severo Rivera, deputy editor of Diario Libre, president of the Dominican Academy of Arts and Entertainment Journalists (Adopae); Jairon Severino, director of El Dinero newspaper; and Raysa Féliz, eastern regional director of Adompretur.
Completing the Adompretur board of directors are: Yenny Polanco Lovera, president; Salvador Batista, vice-president; Sarah Hernández, general secretary; José Alberto Selmo, director of Finance; Cristian Mota, director of Public Relations; Milka Hernández, director of Tourism and Culture; Carmen Luz Beato, director of Training; José María Reyes, director of Regional Affairs; Yubelkys Mejía, director of Events; and Juan de Dios Valentín, director of Institutional Marketing.
The institutions and companies sponsoring the LAC Award are: Ministry of Tourism, Presidency of the Republic, Banco de Reservas, Banco Popular, Banco Central, Cap Cana, Instituto Dominicano de Aviación Civil (IDAC), Departamento Aeroportuario and Banco BHD.
Other sponsors of the Award are the Mayor’s Office of the National District, the Consorcio Energético Punta Cana-Macao (CEPM), the Instituto de Formación Técnica Profesional (Infotep), canal 4RD, Policía Turística (Politur), Logomarca and Mejía Alcalá. Also co-sponsoring the gala were La Oreja Media Group, Bride to Be, Casa Brugal, Gilbey Piurde (Gilrose), Álvarez y Sánchez, Pernod Ricard Oliver y Oliver.