By Youri Kemp
Caribbean News Now associate managing editor
PUERTO PLATA, Dominican Republic – Puerto Plata is ready to start the second half of 2019 in a breathtaking manner having had a slate of events and initiatives for visitors who plan to visit the north-eastern part of the island of the Dominican Republic.
Tatty Lahoz de-Beard, the executive director of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants (ASHONORTE), headquartered in Puerto Plata, spoke to Caribbean News Now about what’s upcoming in Puerto Plata during the annual Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE) in March 2019 in Punta Cana organized and hosted by ASHONORTE’s sister organization, the Dominican Republic Association for Hotels and Tourism (ASONAHORES) along with the ministry of tourism for the Dominican Republic.
Tatty said that the ASHONOTE is planning its version of the DATE for the larger northern district of the Dominican Republic, titled the Feria Internacional de Turismo y Aventura/ The Annual Tourism Fair and Trade Show (TATFT) September 18 to the 20 in Puerto Plata and also at the JackTar Hotel in Playa Dorada.
It is expected at the TATFT that over 300 plus professionals in the tourism industry from Latin America, United States and Europe are expected to take part in the event with more guests than last year already booking reservations to attend and meet up with official delegates at the Trade Show.
Tatty also noted that the Dominican Rum Festival will be this year on the 19 and 20 of July. She claimed that this Festival is a particular favourite for locals and visitors alike and the response they have been getting over the years have been tremendous.
Tatty said that the Rum Festival is only open to local rums and liquors and not for regional or international brands, but in the past small exceptions have been made to accommodate all persons who wish to make the investment and participate.
Bookings for the Rum Festival are also up exponentially this year, Tatty noted, and local brands have already booked with limited space available.
The Rum Festival will also share the same month with the seventh annual Puerto Plata Golf Classic that will be held July 5, which is also a part of the PGA Tour circuit and a major stop for the top tier, world-class golfers.
Last, but not least, there will be the Dominican Jazz Festival held on November 1 to 2, 2019, which is a major international attraction for music lovers in the United States and those in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
Jazz acts from Puerto Rico, the USA and Canada are expected to attend, most notably will be Gilberto Santa Rosa, the Salsa King of Puerto Rico, where Tatty said that visitors booking for the event have said they are travelling to Puerto Plata in November for the Jazz Festival to see and hear his music.
Along with the various international events on tap, Puerto Plata has a wide array of other local attractions for tourists to help soak up tour time and enrich your experience with both activity related tourism sights, from water sports to hiking to various cultural backgrounds within the community and historical sites rich with tradition in addition to the multiple restaurants and bars all in the northern district of the Dominican Republic.