Puerto Plata – The Ambassador of the United States in the Dominican Republic, James W. Brewster, met with members of the Puerto Plata Tourism Cluster to discuss initiatives to promote sustainable tourism in the Northern zone. Ambassador Brewster was received by the President of the institution, Mr. Maximo Iglesias; Executive Director, Mrs. Jakaira Cid and the other members of the board of directors of the Tourism Cluster.
The American diplomat’s visit was aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries on the basis of promoting trade, boosting competitiveness and foreign investment. It also seeks to establish strategic business alliances between the United States and the Dominican Republic that result in job creation and economic dynamism of the region.
The board of directors had the opportunity to talk with Ambassador Brewster on achievements reached by the Tourism Cluster through the programs Dominican Sustainable Tourism Alliance (DSTA) and the Sustainable Tourism Empowerment Program (USAID-STEP), the latter executed through Dominican Tourism Competitiveness Consortium (CDTC). The action plan for the province that the Cluster has undertaken with the interest of maximizing the tourism potential and services in the region was also discussed.
Ambassador Brewster noted that to continue to attract foreign investment for the region, especially of American origin, it is essential to ensure a favorable business climate within the rules of fair competition and equal conditions in the business environment. Also, the American diplomat assessed as positive the American capital investment in the province, citing World Ocean and the current construction of the Maimon port for Carnival Cruises. Ambassador Brewster said this latest investment will provide an important source of growth for the region with over 250,000 estimated tourists a year when it is operational.
“It is a priority of the Government of the United States and our Embassy to contribute to our efforts of the Dominican government and the private sector to promote policies that enhance the competitiveness of dominican enterprises, promote environmental conservation as a driver of sustainable tourism, to increase citizen security, reduce poverty and, above all, ensure social inclusion”, said Ambassador Brewster at the end of the meeting.
Mr. Maximo Iglesias, president of the Tourism Cluster destination Puerto Plata and the Dominican Tourism Competitiveness Consortium (CDTC), thanked the government of the United States, through Ambassador Brewster, for the support provided by the USAID to the clusters in the Dominican Republic. He said the international collaboration initiatives are urgently needed to stimulate the development of projects to ensure the sustainability of tourism in the country.
The Tourism Cluster of Destiny Puerto Plata (CTDPP) is an association that operates since 2003 bringing together the leading institutions of the province of Puerto Plata with influence on the tourism and cultural fields.
The meeting with members of the tourism cluster was carried out in the framework of a three-day visit to the province of Puerto Plata by the American diplomat. Ambassador Brewster also met with province officials, business representatives and members of civil society.
Similarly, Ambassador Brewster participated as a guest speaker at the American Chamber of Commerce in Dominican Republic, held a meeting with members of the American community residing in the northern region and visited two community development projects sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which aim to empower at risk youth.