The Tourism Minister, Francisco Javier García, issued a positive assessment this weekend on all works in progress to recover the historical landmarks and technology surveillance system installed by the Program for Tourist Promotion in the Old City of Santo Domingo.

García pointed out that the recovery process promoted by the MITUR and sponsored by the IDB, has been so successful that the Old City has become an international standard, recognized and admired in the tourist system.

García assured that with this successful process, the Old City received praises by Taleb Rifai, S.G to the WTO, during a meeting held amid the International Tourism Fair,- FITUR 2017- hosted in Madrid, Spain, and commented positively on the continued follow-up he’s done on the renovation process undergone by the Historical Landmark.

García remembered that Taleb Rifai visited the Dominican Republic and the Ruins of the Monastery of St. Francis of Assisi in 2014. He expressed that during the initial intervention works in the Old City, many doubted the outcomes seen today would ever be accomplished.

García Fernández, whom spoke after concluding a vast tour of the area, joined by the coordinators of the Program Development Unit, headed by architect Maribel Villalona, said that this is the most in-depth intervention ever done, to achieve returning the originality, beauty and splendor of this historical heritage site.

García’s tour covered all streetways and the most emblematic landmarks of this urban core, as Calle Arzobispo Meriño, El Conde, Isabel La Católica, Las Damas, La Atarazana and calle Padre Billini. He also inspected the development of the Subaquatic Museum in the Museo de las Atarazanas Reales.

García Fernández strolled around the Ruins of St. Francis of Assisi, the Spanish Square, the Fortress of Santo Domingo, the Peña Defilló Museum, the Billini Hotel and the Couturier’s Manor.

He seized the moment to notice the new image shown by the ancient manors, whose façades have been restored, and he witnessed the joy felt by its residents for all renovation works done in their homes.

The Tourism Minister also shared time with some business owners that offer services to visitors and tourists alike, some of them which have set up shop taking advantage of all the facilities and boom the Old City offers, such as Zona Bici and Mamey Bookstore. Also, he visited the TIME Vegetarian Re4staurant, where he was greeted by the owner, Rafael Cabrera.

García Fernández also thanked the cooperation and efforts made for the program, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, the Monumental Heritage Department, the Santo Domingo Tourist Cluster, and Fundación Banreservas, the Town Council and business guilds, among others.

The stroll began by visiting a residential project currently under development on calle Luperón cornering with Arzobispo Meriño. Later, the Saviñon Lluberes building on El Conde, where the Tourism Promotion Program of the Old City is hosted, and issued an inspection visit to the technicians and professionals working in this facility.

Video Surveillance: Minister García also visited the Center for Oversight and Video Surveillance, designed by the Program, to ensure safety for all tourists, visitors and residents of the Old City. The network is linked to the 911 Emergency System.

The Center is equipped with cutting-edge technology, operated by the CESTUR. The system consists of cameras set up in 53 intersections.