In the Dominican Republic, visitor numbers are up, road construction is under way and Donald Trump is investing.

Foreign arrivals increased by 16% in 2006, to a total of 4.4 million visitors. The U.S. market accounted for 30.2% of the total, or more than 1 million arrivals, for the second consecutive year, according to a report issued by the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism.

In addition, North American arrivals to the destination exceeded those from Europe for the second consecutive year.

A separate report from the country's central bank revealed that tourism receipts contributed more than $3.75 billion in foreign exchange revenue to the Dominican Republic's economy last year, up from $3.5 billion in 2005.

In other D.R. news:

" The highway linking Samana on the country's east coast and Santo Domingo on the south coast will be completed by December, reducing driving time between the two points to two hours.

" The Pomier Caves system in San Cristobal, an hour west of Santo Domingo, has a new entrance, thanks to a design team of students, architects and instructors from the U.S. and the Dominican Republic who built the entrance in January.

The caves are considered one of the Caribbean's most important pre-Columbian sites, prompting UNESCO to apply for their application for World Heritage status.

" Cabarete on the north coast, noted for its superb kiteboarding conditions of wind, water and waves, will host the annual Kiteboarding World Cup from June 26 to July 1.

Its famous Kite Beach underwent a $3 million regeneration last December, which widened the strand by 114 feet and added tons of white sand.

Cabarete will be the fifth of 11 stops in various countries as part of the Professional Kiteboard Association's 2007 World Tour.

For details, visit www.pkra.info.

" Donald Trump announced plans to invest $2 billion in a luxury resort development within Cap Cana, a mega-resort complex in Punta Cana. Trump's plan calls for a golf course, villas, a beach club, a condo-hotel and private residences.

The first stage will be a gated community of 68 luxury residences called Trump Farallon Estates at Cap Cana.

The homes will sit 200 feet above sea level. Estate owners will have memberships in a variety of clubs and amenities within the 30,000-acre Cap Cana complex, including the beach club, golf course, pools and marina.

For details, visit www.capcana.com.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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