SANTO DOMINGO -- The Dominican Republic may be the home of some of
Major League Baseball's best players, but its beaches also have
been known to hit home runs with visitors.
Now a number of the country's beaches are about to get even better.
The new millennium will bring a new look for five Dominican
Republic beaches, under an extensive beach conservation initiative
valued at more than $13 million.
The beaches in the program are Monte Cristi, Puerto Plata,
Cabarete, Juan Dolio and Barahona. The conservation project is
designed to beautify the beaches and add amenities and facilities
to make them more attractive for both visitors and residents. All
of the beaches in the program are located along the country's north
and south coasts.
The initiative also includes a plan to renovate a number of
unoccupied homes along the coasts into Victorian-style inns for
In addition, Felix Jimenez, the country's secretary of tourism,
is working with operators of small hotels in the area to classify
each of their properties for visitors, travel agents and tour
"The classification system will make it easier for visitors to
know exactly what category of hotel to expect," said Jimenez.
Jimenez said he has received the cooperation of a number of
small hotels in the affected areas. The entire project is set for
completion by summer 2000.