Coral Hotels & Resorts and Hilton
Hotels mutually dissolved their three-year agreement to further
develop the Coral by Hilton brand, which includes four
all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic.
which have operated in the Dominican Republic since 1996, reverted
back to the Coral brand.
resorts are the Coral Canoa Resort in Bayahibe, the Coral Costa
Caribe in Juan Dolio, the Coral Hamaca in Boca Chica and the Coral
Marien in Puerto Plata.
"stems from a mutually agreed upon and amicable decision," said
Simon Suarez, executive vice president of Coral Hotels &
Hilton's president and COO, said, "Hilton has enjoyed a successful
three-year relationship with Coral Hotels & Resorts. This
mutual decision is a result of our companies pursuing new
directions and focus for development opportunities."
reservations will be honored by the four Coral hotels.
debranding process now in place, Coral plans to launch a marketing
campaign and is continuing to sell through existing distribution
channels, including tour operators, travel agents, online agencies
and direct to consumers.
Coral also has
plans to launch a rewards program for frequent guests.
Its new Web site,
CoralHotels.com, is in operation, although many features are still
to be added.
toll-free reservations number is (866) 863-9281.
conditions in the Dominican Republic, including a new trade
agreement with Central America, has opened up that region to new
business, according to Suarez.
Coral, which has
been firmly entrenched in the Dominican Republic, may move beyond
its home base, Suarez said.
"We're working on
that and looking at different opportunities and strategies," he
Dominican Republic, likely areas of expansion include Punta Cana
and Samana, according to Suarez.
bookings for the four Coral resorts were described by Suarez as
Suarez added that
much of the business early in the winter season has come from
Europe rather than the U.S. He attributed this to the Western
Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which will require U.S. citizens
traveling by airplane to have a passport when entering or
re-entering the U.S., effective Jan. 23.
"This will have
negative effects," he said. "The Dominican Republic does not now
require a passport of U.S. travelers, and we know our business will
be impacted because of this."
Coral's Web site
includes an advisory regarding the passport requirement.
attempting to inform the traveling public as much as possible and
through various means," Suarez said.
To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].