Punta Cana Group is a finalist in Tourism of Tomorrow Prizes

SANTO DOMINGO.- The Punta Cana Group is among the finalists of 12 destinations to receive the Tourism of Tomorrow Prizes 2009, awarded by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) since 2003.

The Dominican tourism group has been preselected in the category Destination Management.

Awards on the best sustainable practices include Destination Administration or Management, Conservation, Benefits to the Community and Global Tourism Business.

This preselection highlights Punta Cana’s 40th anniversary celebration, and recognizes the work carried out for sustainable tourism development.

“Our institution has been one of the pioneers in sustainable tourism in Dominican Republic and is always concerned with aspects that affect the surrounding communities, which turns to us into model development for other destinies the world,” said Punta Cana Group president Frank Rainieri.

An independent international team selected the 12 finalists for each category, for having successfully shown their sustainable tourism practices, including the protection of the natural and cultural inheritance, their economic and social contributions to the local communities and operations respecting the environment.

Costas Christ, president of the selection team, said more than 40 proposals were received this year from countries in six continents. “More and more companies and countries realize that sustainable tourism is not only protecting the environment and cultural diversity, it’s also an important economic opportunity.”

He said the selection process for the “Tourism of Tomorrow” prizes goes beyond what a company affirms on its practices. “Our next phase involves on site evaluation by experts to each finalist project, to determine the selection of a winner in each category.”