Santo Domingo. This weekend, the National Botanic Garden “Dr. Rafael Moscoso” was the stage of the successful celebration of the third edition of “Aventúrate 2015”, the alternative tourism, nature and adventure fair, where more than 70 small and medium enterprises offered their alternative tourism and nature products and services to the public.
Among the exhibitors were projects such as Dominican Treasures, artisans; tourism clusters members of The Dominican Consortium for Competitive Tourism(CDCT), the Dominican Apicultural Network, the United States Forest Service, some communications media specialized in the tourism sector, specialized tour operators as well as institutions who devote their efforts to nature preservation and to the creation of opportunities for environmental education and scientific research.
“Aventúrate 2015” exceeded expectations, as it received more than 6,000 visitors genuinely interested in learning about alternative touristic offers, about the creativity of the artisans, and took advantage of the knowledge of experts who shared their professional experiences through lectures and conferences free of charge.
“Aventúrate 2015” allowed visitors to take a tour of the different destinations in the country through alternative tourism offers, specifically those of the 10 tourism clusters that make up CDCT: Samaná, La Altagracia, La Romana-Bayahibe, Santo Domingo, Barahona, Montecristi, Jarabacoa, Constanza, Samaná and Santo Domingo as well as Sabana de la Mar, María Trinidad Sánchez, Miches and Hato Mayor.
Each destination featured individual exhibitors, eco-lodges, community housing, boutique hotels, ecological and cultural tours, regional routes, as well as artisans selling their creations and crafts, displayed, tasted and purchased by visitors, among which stood out the stands of D’Vieja Pan (Samaná), Las Mermeladas de Mi Siembra (La Ciénaga-Barahona), honey, soaps and handcrafted chocolate.
The Dominican Consortium for Competitive TourismDirector, Karen Pannocchia, described the fair as very successful and stressed that the importance of this event lies in the economic development of small and medium alternative tourism enterprises, which represent economic support for their communities.
Aventúrate included a program of lectures, workshops and talks on strategies to support small and medium enterprises, social entrepreneurship, income diversification, gastronomy, apiculture, social networks, photography, and accessibility, among others.
Meanwhile, Máximo Iglesias, President of CDCT, admired and expressed his gratitude for the trust demonstrated by both, sponsors and exhibitors, during this great event.
Starlina Guerrero, Dominican Treasures Coordinator, noted that the development of Aventúrate not only provided trading opportunities, but also fostered working relations between exhibitors and visitors, contacts with specialized media, establishing relationships among key Dominican gastronomy actors and some of its top chefs, besides the linking of crafts and the opportunity for Dominicans to appreciate the kindness of its people and the country.
Featured activities included bird watching, where people who attended early Sunday morning observed approximately 20 species, in addition to the Yoga practice and a tour along a path that displays the characteristics of a rainforest.
“Aventúrate 2015” also dealt with the inclusion of people with disabilities, incorporating handcrafts made by children with Down Syndrome, a tour of the Path of the Senses, accompanied by an audio guide for multiple disabilities, and culminated with a masterful closing act performed by the Dominican Orchestral Theatre (TODO), a Ministry of Culture program that promotes the inclusion of people with diverse disabilities through song, music, dance, theater and other artistic expressions.
Among this year’s novelties was a contact desk with the participation of Republic Food Wine & Travel, Good Living Magazine, Expedia, Booking and some tour operator companies offering products such as Rural Tourism, Excursiones RD, Ecotourism and Mr. Tour, among others.
This event was sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Banreservas and ALPHA Securities Company; in collaboration with Centro Cuesta Nacional, Andariego, Plan LEA, Aguila Tours, Quisqueya 96.1, Dominican Infotour, Colorín, Carpa Dominicana, Chiqui Events, My Yoga, Body Shop Club,the Ministry of Environment,the Ministry of Culture, Colorblind Design, Good Living Magazine, Dominican Gourmet, Baldom, the United States Forest Service, Traveling with Salvador, Cultura Green and Meeting with my Country.
This document was produced with the support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) under the terms of the Cooperation Agreement No. AID-517-A-12-00001 implemented by the Association for Challenge Course Technology (CDCT). The content and the views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of USAID, or the Government of the United States of America.