And today's blog comes from…
…The Dominican Republic.
What can I say? We always start to feel in need of the sun at this time of year, to set us up for the frantic preparations for the next Corfu season, and also because during the season we hardly ever actually get to the beach – more like a frantic rush on a Sunday, down to Santa Barbara, quick swim, 30 minutes on the beach, and then back to work. This, in contrast, is all about the beach, and on the basis of best beach, cheapest holiday it had to be Dom Rep.
The flight from London was vile. Well, nine hours on a charter flight was never going to be good, just bearable. I was fairly depressed when I saw six large planes in line at the arrivals building, but the airport was a surprise, thatched buildings, lots of luggage conveyors and a quick passage through This island has four airports to service its two million tourists a year – I think we have one million and one airport, so if we ever get the new Lefkimmi airport things will be slightly more balanced.
I knew absolutely nothing about the Dom Rep, except that it is the cheapest tourist destination in the Caribbean and the fastest growing. Also that it is very poor and there is virtually no local tourism infrastructure of restaurants, shops etc. It appears that big hotels saw the value of the beach and realised that in order to bring tourism they had to provide all the facilities themselves. As the taxi took us along the main road we saw signs of major new road building, power plants, factories, and tourism service businesses. Then, guess what, the next sign I saw was for an estate agency who have a franchise in Corfu and then the second sign was for another estate agency with an office in Corfu. I began to wonder if I would see DomRephomefinders and DomReppremierproperty – but not so far.
Wherever you go there is no escape it seems, but I have to confess I have to go and have a look at the estate agency I have been told is ‘just down the road’ and see what the property sale situation is in this particular island. I know the property for sale in the rest of the Caribbean is generally in a different league, so I wonder what it is like here.