This week, the Dominican Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development (MEPYD) announced plans to develop the north-eastern towns of Miches and El Seibo, to further promote eco-tourism throughout the region. This new initiative is set to attract tourists to the northern part of the country and will create over 10,000 new jobs.
Miches has historically been an isolated region of the Dominican Republic that has not received the same type of urban development as Puerto Plata, Punta Cana or Santo Domingo. The new development is therefore set to generate more revenue for the municipality.
The government first announced their plan to develop Miches as a sustainable luxury destination for tourism at the start of the year, with brands such as Apple Leisure Group and The Four Seasons investing over 100 million dollars in new hotels and attractions.
Yamel Valera, the deputy minister of MEPYD, stated that ahead of the new development plans, the government would consult the municipalities, businesses and social organisations of Miches to produce the Land Management Plan. Valera went on to say the plan was “…an essential instrument for the development of the municipality of Miches”.
This plan is set to provide a sustainable framework for the construction of eco-hotels and resorts, without causing further damage to the environment. This comes after the prior development of other tourist attractions led to environmental degradation throughout the country, including unregulated land usage, littering and pollution.
The new development will also allow tourists to travel with ease to the El Seibo Province, host to a number of unspoilt beaches and the exceptional Cordillera Oriental Mountain. It will also allow for greater accessibility to Los Haitses National Park: with extensive mangroves, 98-foot high rock formations, multiple bird colonies and rare sea life, it truly is a hidden gem of the north-eastern region.
The government also aims to follow the example of the only eco-resort in the Miches district, the Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda.
After re-opening in 2021 (after the pandemic caused its closure for over a year), the resort was built alongside the stunning Playa Esmeralda beach and its adjacent jungle, without causing damage to either environment.
Throughout the construction of the resort, detailed planning ensured that the biodiversity of the region would be preserved as much as possible: over 2,000 trees were preserved or replanted during the build and single-use plastic water bottles are banned from the resort. The resort is also Green Globe certified as a top sustainable resort in the Caribbean.
The resort has become hugely popular not only for its commitment to environmental preservation but also for its several unique amenities. At 93-acres, the 111 room property is split into four distinct ‘villages’, each with its own unique spin on Dominican culture.
It is also a fantastic destination for families, with an ‘Explorer Cove’ and ‘Chocolate Room’ for children, as well as an adults-only Archipelago and Zen Oasis.
In April of this year, the Dominican government also announced an investment of USD $18 million to increase eco-tourism around rainforests, waterfalls and undeveloped beaches elsewhere in the country. This is expected to increase tourism in proximity to the Gayacances and Macao beaches, by paving roads and paths to the spectacular locations without inhibiting the flora and fauna the Dominican Republic is famous for.
As the Dominican Republic is covered by rainforests, it is often difficult to access several tropical locations due to the lack of road access. It is expected that the new investments will help to eradicate this issue, alongside improving roadside signage and hiking paths.
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