Paradisus Palma Real Pool
That’s the tagline of GoDominicanRepublic.com, the tourist board of the second most populous Caribbean country next to Cuba.
And they’re not just singing their own praises.
The Dominican Republic – or DR for short—boasts 1,000 miles of coastline with breathtaking beaches, national parks for exploring, top hotels and resorts, activities on and off the water and astonishing historical sites from the 16th Century. All this combined with warm and welcoming islanders and you’ve got the makings of an unmatched incentive experience.
With eight international airports, there’s also a host of flights from anywhere in the world: two hours from Miami, four hours from New York and eight hours from most European cities.
Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south, the idyllic beaches such as Punta Cana and Playa Bávaro, have been declared the best beaches in the world by UNESCO due to their pure white sand and crystal clear waters allowing for numerous activities on the water from swimming, snorkeling and kayaking. Inland, ecotourism adventures await in one of 29 national parks, with mountains, rivers and ancient Taino Indian caves for exploring. Known as one of the most diverse Caribbean countries in geography and nature, the DR is flush with a whopping 6,000 species of flora and 7,000 species of fauna including hawks and humpback whales.
This diverse island, discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492, was the first permanent Spanish settlement in the Americas or the “New World.” Santo Domingo, the capital of the DR, continues to thrive while preserving its history and original Spanish architecture including its central historical neighborhood, Ciudad Colonial (Colonial City), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The island is also known for its five-star resorts, many all-inclusive, with five-star amenities—from golf and tennis to luxurious spas. All-inclusive resorts make planning an incentive easy for incentive professionals who want to make sure their guests have an indulgent experience without ever taking out their wallets. Fine dining –from Latin fare to Japanese cuisine and everything in between can be found, too, as gastronomy has become an important part of a high-end experience.
When night falls, hotels and resorts are all about top entertainment with the sounds of local bachata music and guests dancing the merengue, the island’s national dance.
“There is so much to do and see in the Dominican Republic and so many wonderful venues for unique events for incentive groups that want a taste of something different from our fine hotels and resorts to our beaches to our historical venues and our people. It really does have it all,” says John Iannini, SITE Foundation President and VP, Business Travel, Meetings & Events, The Sol Group Corporation representing Meliá Hotels International brands.