Santo Domingo.- The Dominican capital prepares to receive more than 2,000 tourists daily, by restructuring and redesigning public spaces, at an initial cost of RD$1.2 billion and five years to implement.
However government officials and private sector leaders fear that the citizens won’t appreciate their efforts for failing to understand the future economic impact the renovations would have on their lives.
The project already underway includes the renovation of monuments, lighting, streets, sidewalks, underground cables, beautification of the roads and to education campaign and training for guides, with the Colonial Zone Historical Center as flagship, featuring its museums, monasteries and buildings older than five centuries.
The goal is to take advantage of the impact of the Coral highway’s (east) inaugural, slated for August, when the drive between the capital and that region’s resorts will be cut to only one hour, from the more than three now. Organizers prepare for the increased tourist visits from Punta Cana and Bavaro.
The project also aims to showcase Greater Santo Domingo as a metropolis with modern buildings and shopping centers comparable to the world’s best.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will provide RD$1.17 million although the ambitious project would require more funding to fully implement, by the Tourism Ministry, Santo Domingo Tourism Cluster, Santo Domingo Hotel Association, National Hotels and Tourism Association (Asonahores), merchants, artisans and community groups.