"Catalina Island, does not exist any more amigo ...
They have handed it over to someone by a mysterious contract,
and they have changed the name to Serena Key referring it in their broshures as
a private island not shown on any map. "
comment of a local fisherman in La Romana harbor
- In the late 80's a former Secretary of Tourism signed a contract valid for 99 years with a
tourist promoter granting him exclusivity of use of Catalina Island for touristic purposes.
- In 1996 another former Secretary of Tourism presided a meeting between all licensed Catalina
tour operators , this very promotion company and the Dominican Navy where he informed all
concerned that they ( all licensed tour operators execpt the very one with the contract ) have to
stop excursions to Catalina Island because when the cruise ships arrive, the " privacy advertised "
shall not be disturbed by other visitors. Privacy is also guaranteed in the exclusive contract granted
in former years.
- The current Secretary of Tourism has underlined the validity of such a contract and that it
has to be respected by other potential visitors and operators and that it leaves a huge benefit
for the government.
- The contracts foresees a US$ 5.00 fee for each cruiseship passenger visiting Catalina.
- Traditional tour operators pay (paid) a total of US$ 20.00 in taxes for a tour to Catalina.