The Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization, Zurab Pololikashvili, praised the efforts of the authorities and the private sector and concluded that the Dominican Republic is a great example of how tourism should be developed.
At the gala meeting of the Banco Popular Dominicano, on the occasion of the 43rd version of the International Tourism Fair (FITUR) in Madrid, in addition to presenting the book Los Ríos dominicanos, the bank offered a broadly optimistic version of tourism and its effects on the Dominican economy.
Christopher Paniagua, president of Banco Popular, opened the meeting in Madrid. He was followed by the Minister of Tourism, David Collado, and finally the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization, Zurab Pololikashvili.
The latter valued the efforts of the authorities and the private sector and concluded that the Dominican Republic is a great example of how tourism should be developed.
The meeting was attended by investors, clients, travel agents, operators, officials, businessmen, bankers from other entities, and a team of officials from Banco Popular and Grupo Popular, headed by Manuel Alejandro Grullón and Christopher Paniagua.
Traditional gala dinner
Before a capacity crowd of more than 400 guests, under the impressive vault of the Crystal Gallery of the Palacio de Cibeles, Banco Popular Dominicano held its traditional gala dinner in honor of investors, hotel entrepreneurs and the delegation from the Dominican Republic participating in FITUR, reaffirming its commitment to Dominican tourism and its leadership as the main historical financier of this industry.
During this event, the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) presented Banco Popular with an award for its contribution over the past three decades to this sector in the Dominican Republic, which has favored the country’s sustainable development.
Pololikashvili and Paniagua speak
“On behalf of the United Nations and our organization, I want to tell you that you are the only bank in the world that is giving great support to your country and the industry. We will always hold Banco Popular as a great example for other banks to do the same as you do for sustainable development,” said Mr. Pololikashvili.
Christopher Paniagua, executive president of Banco Popular, accepted the award and expressed his gratitude for the distinction, saying that this “is one more reason to accept with pride and responsibility the fact that we are considered the bank of tourism”.
He congratulated the Government of President Luis Abinader and the Ministry of Tourism for the performance that allowed the country to reach new records in visitor arrivals and employment figures in the tourism sector. He also recognized the work of the business sector and investors, who welcome tourists and invest in the development of the hotel infrastructure that boosts the country’s development.
“We congratulate our authorities for the commitment, vision and relevance they have given to this sector, promoting public-private partnerships, facilitating new world-class hotel projects, stimulating the creation of new tourist areas and opening new international markets. Likewise, this achievement is the fruit of the constant effort of national and international tourism investors, who have always given a vote of confidence to our people, our culture and our faith in a better future. All this makes us a unique tourist destination, unique in the Caribbean”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Tourism, David Collado, thanked Banco Popular for its support in favor of tourism development and stressed the example to follow that has meant the recovery of the sector in the Dominican Republic, which has been possible thanks to the joint work of all Dominicans.
“We have truly recovered tourism in the Dominican Republic, in a public-private alliance without precedent in history,” said the Minister of Tourism.
Support for sustainable tourism
The dinner was set with a photographic exhibition of the rivers of the Dominican Republic, with images captured by the lens of the engineer and environmentalist Domingo Marte for the book of his authorship “Dominican Rivers. Redes de vida”, sponsored by the financial organization.
With this photographic exhibition, Banco Popular underscored its interest in raising awareness about the preservation of the country’s water resources and, at the same time, showcasing the potential of domestic tourism and its added value to the Dominican tourist offer.
Manuel A. Grullón, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Grupo Popular, and Christopher Paniagua, Executive President of Banco Popular, presented copies of this publication to the Secretary General of the UNWTO, the Dominican Ambassador to the UNWTO, Aníbal de Castro, and the Dominican Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain, Juan Bolívar Díaz.
Among those attending the gala dinner were Manuel A. Grullón, president of the Board of Directors of Grupo Popular; Ambassador Bolívar Díaz and his wife, Ada Wiscovitch de Díaz; the Dominican ambassador to the UNWTO, Aníbal de Castro, and his companion, Mrs. Tina Mejía.
Also, Eduardo Grullón, president of AFP Popular, and his wife, Johanna Rodríguez de Grullón; René Grullón Finet, senior executive vice-president of National and International Business, and his wife, Elima González de Grullón.
Also, Antonia Antón de Hernández, senior executive vice president of Human Resources, Cultural Transformation, Credit Administration and Compliance, and her husband, José Hernández Caamaño, vice president of Engineering and Maintenance.
Also present, among others, were presidents and top executives of important hotel chains and businessmen linked to tourism in the Dominican Republic.
Remarks by Christopher Paniagua at the Banco Popular Dominicano gala dinner:
Honorable Minister of Tourism, Mr. David Collado Morales.
Your Excellencies Ambassador Juan Bolívar Díaz Santana, and his distinguished wife Mrs. Ada Wiscovitch Carlo, as well as Aníbal de Castro and his wife Tina Mejía.
Dear Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization.
Mr. Manuel A. Grullón, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Grupo Popular.
Dear colleague and friend Samuel Pereyra, General Administrator of the Banco de Reservas of the Dominican Republic, and all other officials of the central government of our country.
Dear businessmen of the sector, headed by ASONAHORES, presidents, executives and investors of important hotel chains operating in our nation.
Dear clients, related parties, friends of the media, public opinion leaders and executives of our financial organization.
Good evening to all of you.
On behalf of Banco Popular Dominicano and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Grupo Popular, Mr. Manuel A. Grullón, it is my pleasure to cordially welcome you to this gala dinner that we are pleased to offer you each year, within the framework of the FITUR International Tourism Fair. Here we recognize the value of an industry that has a very high impact on the well-being and progress of Dominicans.
Tourism has directly and indirectly created hundreds of thousands of jobs, has allowed the rise of thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises that are part of its value chain.
In 2022 it generated more than 8.4 billion dollars for our economy and in the last 5 years it has attracted more than 31% of foreign direct investment to our country.
In essence, tourism is a great economic propellant, which moves a fundamental part of the growth model and, above all, is our letter of introduction to the world, as a diverse and promising country with stable and inclusive economic development.
I would like to express our gratitude for your loyalty and constant support. By choosing us as your main financial ally, you are granting us an enormous privilege.
Undoubtedly, the prestige that Banco Popular Dominicano enjoys today in the country and in the region, with the rating companies and in local and international publications is closely linked to you, who place your trust in our organization and in each one of us, which honors us and fills us with great satisfaction.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a successful tourism management model, recognized by international organizations, a leading destination in Latin America. Undoubtedly, this is thanks to the joint efforts of companies and public institutions that have shown how much we advance as a society when we all work hand in hand.
President Luis Abinader and the Minister of Tourism, David Collado, have proven to be a successful and effective strategy for the development of the Dominican Republic.
We congratulate our authorities for the commitment, vision and relevance they have given to this sector by promoting public-private partnerships, facilitating new world-class hotel projects, stimulating the creation of new tourist areas and opening new international markets. All this makes us a unique tourist destination, unique in the Caribbean.
Likewise, this achievement is the fruit of the constant effort of national and international tourism investors who have always given a vote of confidence to our people, our culture and our faith in a better future.
You have been a decisive factor in the socioeconomic and human development of our communities. And you deserve everyone’s gratitude.
At Banco Popular, we firmly believe in the opportunities that are yet to come to continue fostering the potential of our destiny. The world still has much to learn about the Dominican Republic.
For this reason, since last year we have been supporting the Ministry of Tourism’s campaign called “Tourism in every corner”, and we have just published the book “Dominican Rivers. Redes de vida”, authored by engineer, photographer and environmentalist Domingo Marte, which connects with sustainable tourism by highlighting the natural resources and cultural values of the provinces and communities of the interior.
Because beyond the beaches, we have a lot to offer and it is important to take this message to the countries that visit us.
Thanks to your support, we closed the year 2022 with excellent financial results. And we are optimistic about economic expectations and a favorable investment climate for our country in 2023.
Today, we reaffirm ourselves as the strategic ally of the tourism sector, assuming every day a proactive role in its qualitative development and continuous progress, which constitutes a fundamental contribution to the economic prosperity and well-being of Dominican society.
In that sense, we reiterate our commitment to fostering a culture of innovation and anticipation, based on digital transformation, so that we can continue to be your best advisors, to ensure the healthy expansion of your businesses, because our corporate purpose, our reason for being, is to work every day so that people, families and businesses prosper in a sustainable environment.
To that mystique of service, we add the fact that we are the only bank in the country, and the first in the insular Caribbean, signatory of the United Nations Principles of Responsible Banking, aligning our way of doing business with the Sustainable Development Goals and the goals of the 2030 Agenda.
As we celebrate 59 years of service on January 2, our financial organization is pleased to have been a catalyst for the economic, institutional, social and environmental development of our country, decisive factors in the consolidation of a dignified present and a better future for Dominicans.
There are thousands and thousands of stories of achievements and successes that can be proudly told by our clients, generations of people with purpose who encourage us every day to give the best of ourselves.
We are committed to continue opening roads so that all of you can continue to unfold the potential of your productive activities and for this we will continue to promote our ethical model of doing business, our philosophy of service, our sustainable vision and the good practices that have always characterized us as a company.
We are by the side of Dominican society, always, making their goals a reality, helping them to live a life with purpose.
Distinguished clients and friends. It is very gratifying for us to be able to count on the privilege of your preference, your loyalty and the credit you have always given us.
Our priority is to serve you and we do it with passion and conviction. We are happy to grow together with you in favor of the Dominican Republic.
Thank you very much for joining us. We hope that your participation in this fair will translate into ample benefits for your companies and for the country. Count on us to achieve this. Together we are building the future of our nation. Many successes